If you have been injured in an accident, you may be wondering what your personal injury case is worth.
There is no “one size fits all” case, and the value of yours depends on many factors, including the facts of the accident, your injuries, any long-standing prior conditions and the damages caused to you.
The idea behind damages is that an injured person should be compensated for the burden caused by anther’s negligence. It is nearly impossible to know the full amount of you damages right off the bat. In fact, only a jury can make this decision. Sure, many attorneys can give you an estimate based upon similar cases he or she has handled in the past. However, each case is unique, and your damages can be vastly different compared to someone else’s because there are many different types of damages and no person suffers the same damages as another.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
Your damages are unique to you. The amount of damages you are entitled to will depend largely on the injuries you suffered, along with what are called economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are monetary amounts that can be calculated and measured. For example, if you went to the hospital following an accident, you have likely incurred medical bills as a result. If you missed time from work, you have lost wages as a result. Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as prescription medications, property damage, and chiropractic visits, are all examples of economic damages.
Non-economic damages are a little trickier. Non-economic damages can only be recovered if it is determined that your injury is permanent in nature. Noneconomic damages cannot be measured or calculated. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, disfigurement and inconvenience. These are damages that are personal to you and how the injuries caused by your accident have affected you individually.
What Will A Jury Think?
There is no hard and fast rule on how to calculate non-economic damages. In fact, a jury is told there is no standard to calculating non-economic damages.
Instead, the jury is asked to use their common sense and consider all the evidence they have heard. As such, there are many factors that will come into play when determining the value of your non-economic damages.
Some factors include whether the jury finds you credible; whether your testimony regarding your pain is consistent with your medical records; whether you have long-standing pre-existing conditions similar to the injuries caused by the accident; whether the insurance company has obtained surveillance footage of you acting in a manner that is inconsistent with your injuries; whether your doctor’s testimony supports your testimony or whether your diagnosis and injuries makes sense to the jury.
Your Case, Your Damages
When you have been injured because of another person’s negligence, you have the right to seek reimbursement for the damages that person caused you as a result of the accident. As you can see, the value of your damages will depend largely on your injuries and how a jury perceives you.
A trial attorney can guide you from start to finish to ensure the jury is well-informed and that their ver- dict reflects what you deserve. For over 40 years, Alpizar Law, LLC has been fighting in the courtroom to ensure our clients are compensated fully and fairly for the damages they have suffered.