What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
–By Les Brock–
You may be wondering what types of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. If your case went to trial and the jury found in your favor, the jury would be instructed to award a verdict for an amount that will fully and fairly compensate you for the damages you sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence. In determining an amount that is full and fair compensation, the jury would be allowed to consider any of the following factors:
- Bodily Injuries. Any bodily injuries you sustained and their effect on your health according to their degree and probable duration.
- Pain and Suffering. This includes compensation for past and future physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by your injuries.
- Disfigurement or Deformity. This includes loss of limbs, scars, as well as any associated humiliation or embarrassment.
- Inconvenience. This includes any past or future inconvenience caused by your injuries or associated medical care.
- Medical Expenses. This includes past and future medical expenses for medical treatment, hospitalization, rehabilitation, prescription medication, and any other expenses related to your injuries.
- Lost income. If the injuries caused you to miss work or be unable to work in the future or make the same amount, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or a reduction in your future earning capacity.
Some of these factors you can easy put a dollar figure on, such as the amount of your past medical bills or the amount of wages you missed when you were out of work. However, most of these factors you cannot put an exact price on, even though that is exactly what you are asking the jury to do. The jury would take all of these factors into consideration based on the evidence submitted and award a single sum that is meant to fully and fairly compensate you for your injuries. As is probably apparent, the amount of your award will depend significantly on how well these factors are presented to the jury.
If you are seeking to resolve your case through an out-of-court settlement, these same factors come into play when putting a dollar figure on your damages, but instead of trying to convince a neutral jury you are trying to convince the defendant’s insurance company. This can be an even more difficult task, since the insurance company is hardly neutral and will do its best to settle the case for as little money as possible. This is where a skilled negotiator and experienced trial lawyer can give you the advantage. The insurance company will look at the case from the standpoint of its risk – and its risk is how much money it could lose if the case went to trial. If the insurance company knows your lawyer is not afraid to go to trial, that weighs in your favor. If your attorney knows how to best present your case to the insurance company to maximize the insurance company’s potential risks of going to trial, that also weighs heavily in your favor.
Before we started Merrick Brock, we used to advise insurance company’s on the value of personal injury cases and whether to settle them or take them to trial. We have particular insights into the way insurance companies assess risks and negotiate settlements. We know what factors tend to scare them the most, and we know how to leverage that information in your favor. If they are not willing to settle, we are eager to take the case to trial.
Put our experience to work for you. If you or a family member have been injured in an accident, call Merrick Brock at 804-500-9796 to get a free-consultation and find out what factors might drive the value of your case.
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