The value of your personal injury claim will be based on the extent of your injuries, your medical expenses, your lost wages, and any other expenses, costs, and losses associated with your injuries. Estimating the exact value of your claim may be difficult, however, because there are intangible damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress to consider. The best way to get a fair idea of what your claim might be worth is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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Compensatory damages are those that compensate the losses associated with the injuries you’ve sustained. There are special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages.
Special Compensatory Damages
Special compensatory damages are easier to quantify because they are well documented and easy to gather evidence for. Medical costs, lost income, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Medical costs include emergency services, doctor’s appointments, surgical expenses, prescription costs, lab tests, and rehabilitation. These are proven through invoices, billing statements, and receipts. Lost income is demonstrated through pay stubs and tax returns. Property damages is determined by the fair market value of the property or the cost of repairs. Out-of-pocket expenses encompass all other injury-related expenses.
General damages are not as easy to calculate because their value is subjective. For example, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress are all difficult to quantify and value in terms of a personal injury claim for compensation.
Pain and suffering depends on the types of injuries, their duration, and the process of recovery, in addition to whether or not the injury will be long term or involve extensive future treatment. Pain and suffering is frequently claimed in personal injury cases that cause sleeplessness, depression, or loss of family engagement. Loss of consortium refers to lost companionship or sexual intimacy with your partner, resulting from the sustained injuries or a wrongful death. Emotional distress is a factor when psychological and emotional conditions arise from the injuries or accident.
Punitive damages apply to situations where an injury was caused by the gross negligence, recklessness, or willful endangerment on the part of the defendant, most commonly seen in drunk driving accident cases. The aim of punitive damages is to punish the behavior and prevent the behavior from being repeated. This increases the value of your claim, though you must demonstrate that the defendant behaved in an especially reckless and egregious way.
To get a better idea of what your claim might be worth, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss the details of the accident. It will be difficult to put an exact value on your claim, though an attorney with experience in personal injury cases may be able to compare the specifics of your case with the similar specifics of a past case to help you determine the potential value of the claim.