Oftentimes, injured individuals have questions about the value of their personal injury case. I’m often asked by a client what they can expect in the way of compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Usually, the answer is “it depends”. In determining the value of your case, most attorneys and insurance companies begin the process by looking at the extent of your injuries, your treatment, how much time you’ve lost at work and the impact the injuries have had and will have on your life. As the process includes the determination of non-economic damages—in addition to economic—calculating your injuries can be extremely complex.
As previously mentioned, the first type of damages considered are economic damages, which are those resulting in specific dollar amounts. This includes hospital bills, ambulance bills, MRI charges, and visits to the PCP or other treating physicians for treatment relating to the subject accident. These damages are generally easy to calculate as bills are provided for such services. Other economic damages include lost wages and lost future income.
Normally, clients are forced to take time off work or use vacation time when attending their auto related doctor appointments. Moreover, depending on the severity of the injuries and the line of work in which the client is involved, she may be unable to continue the same career or — in a worse case — be forced to discontinue employment altogether.
The second type of damages are non-economic damages. These are typically more difficult to calculate, as they require placing a monetary amount on a client’s physical and mental pain and suffering. Several factors are considered when determining pain and suffering, such as:
- Severity of the injury: Common physical injuries include bulging and herniated discs. As a general rule, herniated discs caused by a crash are worth more than bulging discs or a neck sprain.
- Length of recovery: Unless you undergo a recommended surgical procedure to correct the injury, it could be months, years, or even longer before the injury improves, preventing you from carrying out your usual daily activities. Recovery periods are usually noted in your physicians’ reports.
- Type of medical treatment required/received: In a severe case, a doctor may recommend surgical intervention. In such a situation, this recommendation and procedure may increase the value of your claim. On the other hand, if you fail to receive any recommended treatment — including chiropractic care, MRIs, physical therapy, injections or surgery – the value of your case will be much lower than if you had undergone the recommended treatment.
- The injury’s impact on your life: Someone who has worked in construction his whole life may likely recover more for a knee injury — preventing him from lifting heavy objects — than someone who works at a telephone call center.
If you have suffered injuries from the negligence of another, don’t settle for less than what your case is worth. Contact Personal Injury Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie to discuss the full value of your case and to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie is a personal injury attorney located in Safety Harbor, Florida. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or slip and fall accident, please call 727-501-3464 for a free consultation. You can also learn more about Attorney Lamie at www.chelsielamie.com.