Compensation for a personal injury is directly related to past/present and future medical bills, lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses.
Personal injury cases are civil actions not criminal and the injured victim gets justice by receiving compensation from the liable party.
When calculating loss amounts or damages, it is required that a price has to be established on things that don’t have a monetary value.
The financial and personal losses suffered by accident victims are collectively known as compensatory damages.
A Damages formula is used as a guideline to determine a start number and consists of the following:
- Special medical damages – this takes into account the medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury
- General Damages – gives consideration to the pain and suffering, physical disfigurement or disability that resulted from the accident.
Normally, the amount for special damages is multiplied by one-and-a-half to three times if the injuries are minor in nature and up to five times or more when the injuries are serious, painful or long lasting. Once this number is established then a loss of income number is determined. Both are added and this number becomes the starting point for negotiations.
After the starting point is reached, other factors about the accident and injuries are also taken into consideration.
Several factors determine which end of the damages formula to apply to the special damages assessment of a case:
- Higher end of formula is used for more painful types of injuries
- Length of time for medical care and treatments. If long-lasting, then the higher end of the formula is used
- If injuries are supported by medical evidence, the higher end of the formula is used
- The longer it takes to recover, the higher the formula
- Higher formula is used for more serious and visible permanent injuries.
The settlement is intended to restore loss. It is not considered an income and is therefore not taxable as income by the federal government or State.
It is best to consider hiring an compensation lawyer for legal representation and settlement negotiation, when a personal injury case involves moderate to serious injuries or has complicated legal or liability issues.
Compensation Lawyers will often conduct researches of injury verdicts of previous cases if similar facts. By reviewing how much compensation was awarded in these cases, the lawyer will have a better idea as to what a case is worth.
Personal injury compensation lawyers can increase chances of securing a higher settlement.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis. There are no upfront costs. Which gives little reason not to hire a compensation lawyer.