What is my claim worth? How are damages calculated in a car or truck accident case?
What is My Claim Worth?
So, you have been injured in an accident and you don’t know what your claim is worth. Well let’s look at different types of damages that you may have received and how you may recover under them. Most people throw around the term “damages” freely without really knowing what the term means in context of the law. To fully understand the term, you must understand that there are two types of damages: (1) economic damages, and (2) non-economic damages. In order to get the most out of your recovery, you need to make claims under both types of damages. But in order to do that you need to know the difference between economic and non-economic damages and how to use them to get what you deserve.
When most people think of economic damages, they only really think of the medicalvbills and lost wages associated with their injury, but what they do not realize is that there are many more forms of economic damages that will play a role in their claim. Damage or destruction of their property, loss of earning capacity, and any other costs directly related, including court costs, are recoverable as economic damages.
When it comes to most economic damages, the damages include past, present, and future expenses. The damages are determined by the date of the accident going forward, i.e. lost wages are determined by when the accident occurred and the amount of time you will be out of work because of the accident.
Economic damages are much easier to put an actual dollar amount to in terms of awarding damages. Simple accounting figures and mathematical formulas can put a number to just about any of these types of injuries. Lost wages, for instance, can be determined by the amount of money you made before the accident and how much time you were kept out of work because of the accident. In addition to that, other factors, such as going back to work part-time for a period rather than normal full-time, having to change jobs because of time spent away from work and same job is not available, and other factors can affect your recovery positively or negatively.
Non-economic damages are different. Familiar terms like mental anguish, and pain and suffering fall into this category, but so do emotional suffering, which is different than mental anguish. In addition, you can have physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium or companionship, injury to reputation and even the inconvenience of the injury. These are all considered non-economic injuries that are compensable.
It is much more difficult to put a dollar amount in the place of non-economic damages. When putting a number figure on a non-economic injury, the judge or jury must answer the question “what is that injury really worth under the circumstances before us?” There is no real mathematical formula that we can use to ascertain the value of companionship between a husband and wife. To the couple, that companionship is worth the world, but is it worth a million dollars to the jury? Maybe.
Pain and suffering very often makes up a good portion of the overall award and given more often than most of the other non-economic damages. Pain and suffering compensates the injured person on a non-economic basis for the time, harm, recovery, and trouble that the injury caused them. Those categories seem related to the loss of wages and earning capacity, and medical bills, but it is not the same. It is the physical pain felt, and the suffering that it caused.
Call Guest and Gray Law Firm if you Have Questions About Your Claim
If you have been injured and it is someone else’s fault, you need to speak with our personal injury team about your injury. The last thing you want to do is wait. If you want to know what your claim is worth, contact our experienced injury and accident attorneys today.
If you have received an offer from the insurance company and are not sure whether you should take it, CALL US. The insurance settlement is not a bottom line number, it is open to negotiation and an attorney will be able to properly assist you in getting what you really deserve. Don’t let the insurance company short-change you. You were a victim once, don’t let it happen again. Call someone who knows.