Personal injury cases, such as car accidents or a slip and fall, have various factors go into them when determining the monetary value of a case. No equation exists that will give you an exact answer – but there are some common topics to consider.
The two types of damages in a personal injury case are special damages and general damages. Special damages are the straight forward amounts that can be calculated such as lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses, while general damages are much more complex.
For special damages to be calculated, be sure to keep every receipt and ask for a copy of every medical bill as it’s incurred.
General damages are the pain and suffering endured, and it takes severity and permanency into consideration – often thought of as a sliding scale. To gauge this, ask yourself a few questions:
- What level of severity were my injuries? This can range from minor bruising to broken bones, brain damage, etc.
- What is the permanency of my injuries?
- Will I walk with a limp forever, or will I be fully recovered after a number of weeks?
- Are the effects of the accident noticeable to the public?
- Do I have scarring in places typically shown with normal clothes such as on the face or hands?
All these questions will be considered by the insurance company when determining their offer(s).
We always caution personal injury clients who are considering not retaining counsel for their case – insurance companies tend to give much lower offers to victims who are representing themselves. The goal of the insurance representative is to settle the case before it has to go to court, with an attorney pressuring them by threatening to take the case to trial, attorneys will often get a higher offer than a victim without a lawyer.
Have you been injured or know someone injured in a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall? Give us a call today to discuss how we can make the system work for you!