If you’ve incurred injuries in an accident, you’re likely finding out how quickly medical and other related costs add up. When you’ve suffered an injury because of another person’s negligence, a personal injury claim can help relieve your financial stress, and allow you to focus on your recovery. But how do you calculate such a claim to ensure that your bills get paid, and your potential future needs are covered? Figuring out the right amount of damages to seek in a claim is a complicated process that is driven by the unique factors of your accident and injury.
Do you have questions about how to calculate a personal injury claim? At David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can help. Reach out online to schedule a free consultation of your case.
Factors in Calculating a Personal Injury Claim
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating what a personal injury case is worth, there are some common factors that are considered in valuing claims. There are both economic and non-economic damages you might face from an accident. Economic damages include the things that are easier to put a specific price on, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Possible future medical bills
- Lost income from missed work
- Loss of earning capacity if you can no longer work
- Property damage
Personal injury claims may also consider non-economic damages, which are less quantifiable. Pain and suffering, reduced quality of life following the accident, loss of consortium if your spouse died as a result of the accident. Loss of consortium basically means loss of companionship, love, and support of the other person.
The severity of injuries and the degree to which the person who caused the accident acted negligently are also considered when calculating a personal injury claim. Generally, the more severe the injuries and the longer the medical treatment, the higher the claim for damages.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
In personal injury cases, there are two main categories of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to repay you for what you lost because of the accident. They include your economic and non-economic losses.
In addition to compensatory damages, courts will sometimes award punitive damages. These damages intend to punish the person who caused the accident when their negligence has been especially egregious. The court may award punitive damages to try and deter the defendant from repeating their reckless actions. Or the court might wish to send a message to other possible offenders that a specific behavior will not be tolerated. For example, when a repeat drunk driver has caused an injury accident, punitive damages might be considered. In Florida, however, the bar for receiving punitive damages is generally set high. It must be shown that the person who caused the accident engaged in gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Again, when trying to calculate a personal injury claim, remember that the specifics of your case will drive your claim. It may be helpful to consult a personal injury attorney who understands the formulas used to calculate a claim’s value.
Contact a South Florida Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
When you’ve been injured in a traumatic accident, your focus should be on getting better, not on how you’re going to pay all the bills the accident has left you with. You can turn to an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer at the David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. for help. Reach out online to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.