When you have suffered an injury, your primary concern is your recovery. However, it is also common to question what you may obtain for compensation for your injury, and the financial damage you have suffered in an accident.
There is no simple answer to this question because of the various factors used to calculate damages when filing an accident claim.
What Factors Determine Damage Compensation?
Several different factors can play a role in how much compensation you, as a victim can demand as a settlement for your injury and the additional damages.
Some of these factors include:
- Accident type – victims of slip and fall accidents typically suffer different injuries than victims of a car accident.
- Injury type – someone who suffers a broken bone can typically recover within four to six weeks with the proper treatment. However, a victim who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could find the recovery time can be weeks or months. This will have an impact on the settlement amount.
- Victim age – the younger we are, the faster we tend to heal. If a person is 20 years old and slips and falls, their recovery will not be as challenging as a person who is 70 and suffering a slip and fall accident.
These are only a few factors that will determine the value of an accident injury claim. Victims should speak with a personal injury attorney who has experience handling similar cases.
Accident Injury Claims: Types of Compensation
When filing an accident injury claim, there are two categories of compensation that your personal injury lawyer may attempt to collect. Damages that result in direct monetary losses are compensatory, while other damages are non-compensatory.
Compensatory damage break into these categories:
- Wages – you can claim the wages you lose while recovering from an injury in a settlement demand. These amounts may include losses due to taking vacation time, personal time, or sick time. An attorney who has experience handling accident claims can explain these losses to you in more detail.
- Medical bills – you can include any costs you incur from treatment for your injury in a settlement demand. This would apply to deductibles, prescriptions that your current health plan won’t cover, and costs of transportation to and from appointments. Some accident victims may also need wheelchairs, braces, or crutches, which you could also include as part of your claim.
- Other expenses – in some cases, a victim may find it necessary to hire someone to perform chores that they would normally do themselves. Expenses can often include tasks like taking care of your home, house cleaning chores that you can’t attend to yourself, or a sitter for children because you are immobile while recovering. Your personal injury attorney can discuss these expenses with you further.
These are not all of the types of compensatory damages that you may seek when filing an insurance claim. Victims should work with an experienced accident injury attorney to file a claim for all of the damages they may seek.
Those victims who suffer a catastrophic injury generally can file a more substantial claim for compensatory damages.
Non-Compensatory Damages and Injury Claims
Unlike compensatory damages, which are accounted expenses, non-compensatory damages are more subjective. These dollar amounts will vary greatly depending on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
In general, non-compensatory damages can include:
- Pain and suffering – the more serious the injury, the more pain victims will suffer. Other factors can complicate this type of claim as well. For example, if a victim suffers a traumatic brain injury, they may undergo a complete personality change, suffer increased pain, and face mental health challenges.
- Loss of enjoyment – victims of certain injuries could face challenges with enjoying things they did before their injury. For example, if a motorcycle accident injures someone, they may fear traveling by motorcycle.
- Scarring and disfigurement – some victims will have to spend the rest of their lives living with the scars from an accident. Even if surgery can repair facial scars, you may have grounds for compensation.
As you can see, non-compensatory damages are subject to the interpretation of the person who seeks damages and the person evaluating the claim. Therefore, these amounts can vary from case to case, and may also depend on the extent of the injury a victim suffers.
Personal Injury Attorneys Have Experience Handling Complex Cases
Whenever you have suffered an injury that you believe someone could have avoided had they acted reasonably, you may have a good personal injury claim. When you meet with a lawyer, they can help you determine if you have the legal basis for a claim and help you understand what types and amounts of damages you can seek for your injury.
There is never an easy answer to what an accident injury claim is worth because every individual’s injuries are different. To get the best idea of what your injury claim may be worth, talk to an experienced attorney. Once they evaluate your case, they can give you a better idea of what type of compensation you may be able to seek for your injuries.
Accident injury victims often believe they can fruitfully negotiate with insurers on their own, but this is seldom a good idea. The more complicated an injury case, the more you likely need an experienced accident injury attorney to serve as your advocate.