If you were involved in a car accident or a slip and fall incident or sustained any other form of injury due to another party’s negligence and carelessness, then you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit is defined in the American legal system to hold and penalize the party responsible. Personal injury lawsuits are designed to get you the rightful compensation you deserve. But before filing the case, the most likely question to pop up in your head is, “How much compensation would I receive if I opt to file a personal injury lawsuit?” The simple answer to the question is evaluating the extent of the damages the personal injury has caused.
In personal injury cases, the injured person (plaintiff) receives monetary compensation from the party (an individual or company) found legally responsible for partaking in the affliction of the injury. The compensation is paid by the individual (the defendant) or their insurer. The damage award or compensation could be negotiated by both parties involved in an out-of-court settlement or ordered by a judge/jury after a court trial. Given below is the list of damages that most commonly impact the compensation awarded. Personal injury damages can broadly be classified into the following two categories:
Most damages caused by a personal injury fall under the compensatory damages category. These are meant to compensate the injured plaintiff monetarily for all the damages caused by personal injury. Compensatory damages account for evaluating the extent of the damages caused by the personal injury and calculating the money that could monetarily compensate for the losses. Compensatory damages are further divided into two categories based on the complexity of quantification. The categories are:
Punitive damages are awarded on top of compensatory damages if the defendant’s conduct is legally proved to be outrageously careless. Although these damages involve awarding the plaintiff with monetary compensation, the objective of the punishment is to deter the defendant from not repeating the mistake. Punitive damages can easily cost the defendant thousands to millions of dollars. Consequently, most states have set a certain type of cap on the money that could be awarded under the category in personal injury lawsuits.
Apart from these factors, your own action or inaction could impact the personal injury compensations you may receive. Here is how:
If your negligence also partially contributed to the personal injury, it is likely to impact the damage award you will receive. This is because most state courts follow a standard known as “comparative negligence,” where the damage award is calculated based on the degree of the defendant’s fault.
A policy followed by a few states across America, contributory negligence would nullify compensation for personal injury cases if the plaintiff’s negligence was partially the cause of the accident.
The plaintiff is expected to take the necessary measures to limit and mitigate the impact of damages caused by the accident. If a plaintiff avoids doing so, it significantly reduces compensation awarded for the aggravated damages. A denial to get the required medical treatment after sustaining the personal injury, for instance, falls under this umbrella.
Personal injury cases require specialized supervision of experts who have the experience to put a value on the damages caused by the accidents. Absurdly high demands or quick negotiations will likely make you end up dissatisfied and with less compensation than you deserve. Personal injury attorneys are seasoned experts in the legal industry and can help you recover the compensation you deserve. These attorneys know the intricate details of personal injury cases that can play in your favor or against you. They then draft a formal personal injury demand letter outlining the compensation you intend to receive and negotiate a settlement with the defendant. Their expertise allows them to evaluate and weigh whether out-of-court settlements or a court trial would get you closest to the figure you expect in compensation. Sign up on The Legal Helpers today and find an expert personal injury lawyer to help you with your case.