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What Is the Compensation for Personal Injury?

by Busines Newswire
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If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligent or careless acts, the law allows you to pursue a personal injury case. When you make a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, property damage, and more.

This will all depend on the circumstances and severity of your injuries. Compensation for personal injury will generally include your economic and non-economic damages. In extremely rare circumstances, compensation could also include exemplary damages.

What Are Economic Damages?

In a personal injury case, economic damages are the direct financial losses that you’ve incurred as a result of the accident. Medical expenses tend to be a part of these, though there are other types of economic damages that may apply in your situation.

Medical Expenses

All the medical bills you’ve accumulated due to your injury can be included in your medical expenses when seeking compensation. The costs will ultimately depend on the type and severity of your injuries. Often, medical expenses will include your emergency medical care when you were rushed to the hospital, your hospital stay, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, mobility equipment, physical therapy, and prescriptions.

You can also seek compensation for your future anticipated medical expenses. For example, if your injuries are extensive and will require years of physical therapy or future surgeries, you can present your medical records and testimony from your doctors to prove that you should be compensated for those expenses.

Loss of Income

Many of the serious injuries suffered by personal injury victims cause them to miss work. In some cases, you may be out for a few weeks while a broken leg heals. In other cases, you may require long-term care or be unable to return to work at all. You can seek compensation for your lost wages and for any loss of future earning capacity caused by your severe injuries.

Property Damage

If you were in a car accident, you can recover compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle. You may be able to include the costs of items that were in your car that were damaged in the accident, such as your laptop or phone.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

One thing that many people do not realize when they file a personal injury claim is that they can also recover out-of-pocket expenses related to their injuries. For example, if you have broken both legs, you are unable to complete housework or care for your small children. You would then need to hire someone to do those tasks for you, which could be factored into your compensation.

Most economic damages are easy to calculate through bills, receipts, invoices, pay stubs, or tax returns. Determining the anticipated cost of future economic damages will generally require expert testimony from your doctor and other experts.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are always a little more challenging to prove in a personal injury case because they are intangible. How do you put a price on someone’s level of pain and suffering?

With the help of a McAllen personal injury lawyer, you may be able to prove how your personal and emotional losses have impacted your life since your injuries. Pain and suffering are common non-economic damages that include the physical pain and emotional suffering experienced by accident victims. You may have endured surgeries and other procedures that left you in pain and have a long road ahead until you fully heal.

In some situations, injury victims are left with permanent reminders of the accident. Scars, disabilities, and permanent impairments such as being rendered deaf or blind can also be figured into your settlement request.

If your injuries are severe enough to alter your life, you may no longer get to do the things that once brought you joy. Perhaps you participated in a sports league after work, you took dance classes, or you have always run around with your children in the yard. With life-changing injuries, these things may now be impossible, which is why you may be able to list their loss in your non-economic damages.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages in Your Personal Injury Compensation

When determining the value of non-economic damages, it is based mostly on the severity of your pain and suffering. Damages may be calculated using the multiplier method which involves assigning a number between 1 and 5 to the level of severity, with 5 being the most severe. To calculate the right amount, this number is multiplied by the total of your economic damages.

Another method for calculating non-economic damages is the per diem method. This assigns a daily value to your pain and suffering. This value is then multiplied by the number of days you experience these losses to get the value of your damages.

What Are Exemplary Damages?

Also known as punitive damages, exemplary damages are rare as they are reserved for extreme recklessness or willful conduct. It is not intended to compensate you as the victim but to punish the defendant and deter any similar types of behavior in the future. It is less likely you will be awarded these types of damages, but your attorney will advise you if they think they will be a factor in your compensation.

Proving Your Personal Injury Case

In personal injury cases, the injury victim needs to prove that the other party was negligent to hold them liable for their damages. Establishing negligence starts with showing that the at-fault party had a duty of care to uphold to the victim.

After that duty has been proven, it must be shown that the defendant breached that duty, and that this breach caused the accident. The accident must also have caused you injuries and damages.

It takes evidence, witness statements, and expert witnesses to prove the existence of negligence in a personal injury case. After a car crash, slip and fall, or other type of accident, working with an attorney can greatly improve your chances of showing verifiable proof that allows you to claim your compensation.