One of the most frequently asked questions of personal injury lawyers is, “How much is my accident worth?” This amount is based on types of damages. Damages are things like expenses like medical bills, physical therapy bills, ongoing rehabilitation services, property damage, pain and suffering and more.
This is especially true of car accidents, where a plaintiff needs compensation for immediate medical bills, ongoing medical expenses, loss of wages, and possibly job retraining cost, as well as the physical loss of your car or vehicle. It’s inaccurate to declare that a case is worth a set amount because there’s no way to know what the plaintiff will need in the long run.
Every accident is different, so there isn’t a quick formula to calculate a rounded figure. Multiple factors make up the final figure, but your attorney won’t have all the information needed in the initial consultation. Your settlement figure will be comprised of three basic types of damages from which your attorney will calculate. These will include all the expenses from the accident as well as other types of compensation.
- Economic Damages
These are the most common losses that most people suffer from an accident:
- Medical expenses
- Current, such as ambulance, surgery, and emergency room visits (there may be more than one)
- Future, such as prescriptions, additional surgeries, physical therapy, and other necessary ongoing medical treatment
- Lost wages and benefits
- Lost earning abilities
- Disability (if you’re unable to return to work permanently)
- Property damage, such as your car, and any property inside, such as a smartphone, laptop, etc.
- Additional costs of your accident, such as home or vehicle modifications, home health care, transportation costs, and other related expenses.
This covers the direct financial losses suffered in any type of accident.
- Non-Economic Damages
These are damages that don’t necessarily have a specific dollar amount and compensate you for other types of losses. Under Texas law, those damages may include:
- Pain and suffering (physical)
- Mental/emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium (meaning the inability to continue an intimate relationship, usually with a spouse)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
These damages are considered compensation for the impact of your injury that lead to consequences that affect your everyday life.
- Punitive or Exemplary Damages
These are considered “punishment” damages. They are not commonly given but are in some extreme cases where a plaintiff suffers harm from fraudulent, malicious, or grossly negligent behavior, such as a drunk-driving defendant. The intent is to punish the defendant and make an example of them to deter others from engaging in the same type of behavior.
Adding Them Up
Your attorney will use your invoices and receipts from your economic losses to determine that figure alone. Medical records and other evidence will comprise the rest of the information needed to begin determining a total figure for the insurance company to consider for your settlement. More serious injuries require more medical care, possibly for life.
A personal injury attorney understands how to determine that figure, and how to negotiate on your behalf for the maximum compensation available that’s appropriate for your case.
Houston Personal Injury Attorney
Contact Paxton Law Firm today at 281-978-2244, and we’ll review your case and advise you of your possible compensation claim. The Paxton Law Firm and attorneys Richard Paxton and Michael Mendoza believe in taking on your legal battles and turning a negative situation into your best possible outcome. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay our fees until we recover for you. Espanol INICIO and CONTÁCTENOS EN