One of the biggest questions many injured people have after a car crash, slip and fall, or other accident is, “how much is my case worth?” Understanding how an insurance company or court might answer this question can help you see what the injury has actually cost you – and help you make better decisions as you pursue compensation.
In a personal injury case, how much the case is worth is expressed in terms of money damages. If another person or party is found to be liable for your injury, they will likely owe you damages to compensate you for losses caused by the injury.
Damages typically fall into one of three categories: compensatory (or economic), non-compensatory (or non-economic), and punitive.
Compensatory damages commonly cover medical bills, lost wages, repair or replacement costs for damaged property, and similar items – anything you can show you paid or lost with a bill or receipt. Non-compensatory damages cover losses that are less easily calculated, like the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident.
Punitive damages are not available in every personal injury case. They may, however, be paid in a case where the conduct that injured you was egregiously reckless or intentional. Punitive damages are paid not to compensate you for your losses, but to send a message to the party that harmed you and to society that egregious behavior will not be tolerated.
In addition, your own behavior during and after the accident may be discussed in the case. Under rules of comparative negligence, if you are found to be partly at fault for your own losses, any damages award you receive may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. Since comparative fault arguments can be complex, it’s important to talk to an experienced lawyer when seeking damages in a personal injury claim.
Calculating a damages amount that compensates you fairly for all your accident-related losses can be complicated, but a lawyer’s advice can help. Talk to the experienced personal injury trial attorneys at Calcagno & Associates to learn more. Contact us today at 800.722.0383 for a confidential consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.