Calculating lawsuit amounts
People who have suffered personal injury in a car accident or other type of mishap such as a slip and fall can bring a lawsuit against the negligent party to recover medical and other costs. Calculating how much money to sue for is a multi-step process and is subject to a number of factors. The first step is to total up special damages which are set economic costs like medical bills and missed work. Additionally, there are general damages which are non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering, to consider.
In the case of a car accident, the special damages may include personal injuries that require medical treatment, property damage to your vehicle, and lost wages. General damages may include future pain and suffering, mental anxiety and stress, and a reduction in quality of life.
To calculate a dollar amount for the non-economic damages, the insurance company will establish a number against which they will multiply the economic damages to come up with the additional settlement. The multiplier, generally a number between one and five, is arrived at by taking into account the severity of your injuries as well as whether or not you are responsible, in part, for the negligence that caused the accident.
Legally and ethically
When considering a vehicular accident, you’ll need to establish which driver is at fault when you determine how much to sue for. If you share in the fault, the number will be less than if the accident was caused solely by the other driver. The insurance adjustor will also look at the amount lost which includes damages to your vehicle, the contents of your vehicle, and any medical bills you incur. While those costs are easy to arrive at, it’s more difficult to determine potential long term effects.
A personal injury suffered as a result of another type of negligence like a wet floor in a grocery store is subject to a similar process of assessing damages. There are the costs of treating the injuries you receive at the time as well as those that can be foreseen in the future. For example, say the fall caused you to suffer a herniated disk in your back that resulted in surgery. Back surgeries aren’t always successful, and you may be left with chronic pain that limits your ability to perform your job.
The value of your case
The reality of calculating lawsuit amounts is that the process can be confusing which is why it’s best to speak with an attorney who is well versed in this area of the law.
Gregory A. Yates, a personal injury attorney in Encino, has more than three decades of experience successfully settling personal injury cases. If you or someone you love has been the victim of an accident, call today for a free consultation. Having a highly experienced attorney on your side can help you ensure that your future is secure.