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How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2021 | Personal Injury

If you get injured in an accident, you may be faced with mounting medical bills and expensive property repair costs. It is normal to wonder about the worth of your claim as an injured victim. Obtaining an estimate of your personal injury claim’s value could give you greater peace of mind about your financial future. As the answer to this question is subject to the details of your individual case, the best way to obtain an accurate estimate is by consulting with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta.

Types of Damages Available

Personal injury claim values can vary significantly from case to case. Some victims receive $10,000 or less for their injuries, while others recover millions. One way to get an idea of what your case might be worth is by understanding the types of damages, or financial compensation, available for the average lawsuit. Personal injury law has three main categories of damages:

  • Economic. Economic damages are the financial costs of an accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, travel costs and property damage.
  • Noneconomic. Noneconomic damages are the intangible or general losses suffered by the victim, such as physical pain, emotional distress and mental anguish.
  • Punitive. Punitive damages are awarded only in cases involving gross negligence or malice. They serve to punish the defendant rather than reimburse the victim.
  • Create a list of all of the losses that you can think of that are associated with your accident. You may need assistance from an attorney to create a full and comprehensive list. Then, use receipts and pay stubs to calculate your economic damages – how much the accident has and will continue to cost you financially. Do not forget to include your latent costs. Economic damages are the easiest category to estimate, as they are based on hard figures. It is more difficult to calculate noneconomic damages.

    How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?

    Noneconomic damages, also known as pain and suffering, is a type of damage award that is calculated at the jury’s discretion. However, the jury may use one of two common equations to calculate pain and suffering:

    • The Multiplier Method. The Multiplier Method multiplies your total economic damages by a number that is appropriate for the severity of your injuries. This equation is more common for catastrophic or permanent injuries.
    • The Per Diem Method. The Per Diem Method multiplies a daily amount (often equivalent to your daily wage) by the number of days that you will foreseeably have the injury. This is more common for nonpermanent injuries.

    Keep in mind that a jury does not have to use either of these equations, or any equation at all, to calculate pain and suffering. This is why it is difficult to estimate the value of your noneconomic damages as a plaintiff without help from a professional.

    Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim

    Once you have a full list of your damages, you may be able to get a rough idea of how much your personal injury claim is worth. However, the final value of your case will depend on many factors, including:

    • Injury severity
    • Medical prognosis
    • Emotional impact
    • Age and overall health
    • Income
    • Number of liable parties
    • Insurance coverage limits
    • Defendant’s actions

    It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta about the potential value of your case for an accurate estimate. An attorney will have the experience and knowledge you need for this complicated type of calculation.

    Don’t Rush Into a Settlement – Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney

    If an insurance company offers you a settlement to resolve your personal injury case, contact an attorney before you accept. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing claims to boost their own profits. A personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will want you to succeed and can work hard on your behalf to maximize your financial recovery. Discuss how much your personal injury claim could be worth with an attorney at Hilley & Frieder, P.C. today for more information.