Valuing Personal Injury Cases
It may feel insensitive or callous to assign a monetary value to a personal injury, pain, or suffering. But when it comes to preparing to bring a personal injury claim, it may be necessary to at least build a general picture of what kinds of damages and in what amounts can be expected to ensure that the claim is worth bringing and to predict whether and how the responsible party will pay as ordered. Two large categories of damages types in personal injury cases are compensatory damages and punitive damages:
Compensatory damages are the most common form of damages in personal injury cases, designed to compensate the claimant for whatever was lost due to someone else’s actions.
- Medical Treatment
This type of compensatory damages is often the easiest to quantify. Parties responsible for someone’s personal injury are often liable for medical bills and costs associated with medical treatment.
- Lost Wages
Parties responsible for someone’s personal injury are also often liable for both for wages already lost and for wages that will be lost in the future due to an inability to work or reduced hours.
- Lost Property
Property loss is also one of the easier types of damages to value. Damage to cars or other vehicles is some of the most common form of property damage compensated for in personal injury cases. Claimants who are successful are entitled to compensation for repairs or for the fair market value of the lost property.
- Pain and Suffering
Claimants receive compensation for serious pain or suffering incurred during or as a result of the personal injury. It can be difficult to assign a dollar value to pain and suffering, and juries in cases in which it is involved are often not given much instruction on how to calculate a reasonable sum to compensate for pain and suffering. Some jurisdictions use “multipliers” to make this calculation, in which pain and suffering is calculated based on compensatory damages given.
- Loss of Enjoyment
Damages for loss of enjoyment are different than those for pain and suffering. Loss of enjoyment damages are given when a claimant is prevented by their injury from participating in desired life activities, for instance, due to permanent disability. Loss of enjoyment, like damages for pain and suffering, is difficult to value. In jurisdictions with these damages, juries often evaluate it similarly to damages for pain and suffering.
- Loss of consortium
Damages for loss of consortium are also difficult to calculate and are evaluated and valued similarly to damages for loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering.
Clearly, if you have been injured by someone else’s conduct, there are many forms of damages that may be applicable and available to you. The first step in exploring how and whether you would like to file a claim is to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. At Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, our skilled Tampa lawyers with years of experience with personal injury cases are ready to evaluate your claim. Call toll-free at 1 (800) 227-2275 for a consultation today.