Calculating What Your Personal Injury Claim Is Worth
If you recently sustained any sort of serious injury in an accident, such as a car accident or slip-and-fall, and you filed a claim, you might be wondering how much said claim is actually worth. If you are able to prove that your injuries are the fault of the defendant, the value of the claim will be evaluated according to “damages,” or what your injuries have cost you financially, physically, and mentally.
If you are successful in your pursuit of compensation, any money damages will be paid to you by the defendant or the defendant’s insurer. You, the defendant, his or her insurance company, and your attorney will work together to negotiate a damages award. If you are unable to come to an agreement during negotiations, your claim may go to trial, in which case, an award may be ordered by the judge or jury.
Every personal injury case is different, as damages in most cases are rarely the same. Though an experienced Miami personal injury attorney can help you accurately assess your damages and advise you on what to expect, it is understandable if you want to know what to expect before contacting an attorney. Below is an explanation of the types of damages you can reasonably expect to receive from your personal injury case.
In most personal injury cases, the damages received will be compensatory, meaning that they are meant to compensate any losses the plaintiff may have sustained. This sort of compensation places a dollar value on any consequences of the accident. Consequences such as medical bills or property damage are easily quantified, but the damages may also include intangible harms, such as missing out on family events or being unable to exercise as usual.
The types of compensatory damages a plaintiff may receive are as follows:
Medical Bills: The plaintiff may be entitled to reimbursement for the estimated cost of past and future medical care as a result of the accident. This will almost always be included in a personal injury case.
Income: The plaintiff may also receive compensation for any financial losses resulting from an inability to perform job duties both past and future.
Property Damage: The plaintiff may receive reimbursement at fair market value for any property that was lost or damaged as a result of the accident.
Pain and Suffering: If the plaintiff has sustained any extreme pain or discomfort resulting from the accident, including emotional distress, such as fear, anxiety, or loss of sleep, or pain and suffering, damages may be paid.
Loss of Enjoyment: In the case that injuries sustained have obstructed the plaintiff from enjoying his or her regular hobbies or recreational activities, he or she may be entitled to compensation.
Loss of Consortium: These types of damages are awarded should the plaintiff show an inability to maintain companionship or a physical relationship with a spouse. Some states may also consider an obstruction of a relationship between a parent and a child.
In some cases, when the defendant’s conduct is found to be careless or reckless, the plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages, which are meant to punish and deter the defendant rather than compensate the plaintiff, in addition to the compensatory damages. Similarly, if the plaintiff appears to have been even partially responsible for his/her injuries or has failed to seek proper medical treatment or has in some way worsened an injury, damages received may be greatly reduced or nonexistent.
Unlike most other states, there is no cap on pain and suffering damages. If your case stems from medical malpractice, however, damages are generally capped at $500,000. Any damages sustained as a result of an incident with the government are capped at $200,000 (Florida Statutes Title XLV. Torts § 768.28)
Work With a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer for the Best Possible Outcome
If you were injured in an accident of any kind, the best thing you can do to maximize the amount of compensation that you are awarded is to work with a skilled Miami personal injury attorney. Call Spencer Morgan Law today to schedule your free consultation.