If you've been injured because of the negligent actions of another, you know firsthand that the cost of medical treatment can be astronomically high. For this reason, litigants often have one main concern – how much is my personal injury case worth? There are a number of considerations that go into this determination, making it harder to answer this question. However, familiarizing yourself with some of the factors that are considered can at least point you in the right direction.
Ability To Earn
Have your injuries had a negative impact on your ability to earn an income? If the answer is yes, your case will generally be worth more than an individual who can still work with their injuries. When your ability to earn an income is impacted, the law deems that you can be compensated for this loss.
This is true whether you are unable to work at all or you have to change your schedule, such as going from full-time employment to part-time. To cover this cost, you will generally have to submit recent earnings statements to determine exactly how much income you will lose.
Future Medical Treatment
Whether or not your injuries require long-term medical treatment is also another factor that goes into consideration. Make sure you understand that the extent or magnitude of the injury doesn't necessarily determine the length of treatment. Consider whiplash, for example. On the surface, whiplash doesn't appear to be a life-threatening injury and generally results in minor symptoms like headaches, stiff neck and jaw pain.
However, it's not uncommon for whiplash sufferers to still be experiencing difficulty ten years later, and some even experience symptoms for the rest of their lives. The longer you will have to undergo treatment, the greater the value.
Physical injuries are just the surface when it comes to an accident. Injuries can also have an effect on your mental and emotional state as well. In a court of law, general damages are generally referred to as pain and suffering. While the majority of cases that include general damages are associated with victims who have extensive physical injuries that affect their psychological health, they aren't limited to this scenario.
An individual without any physical injuries may still be awarded general damages. For example, someone with a professionally diagnosed significant fear of riding in a vehicle after an accident might be awarded general damages. Since this factor is often left to the discretion of a judge, its application is varied.
For more information, contact Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake LLP or a similar firm.