Any sort of accident can lead to devastating injuries that can ruin a person’s quality of life. You could have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, a car wreck, a boating accident, or any other kind of accident caused by someone else’s negligence. For many people, one of the first questions they will ask when talking to a lawyer will be, “How much money will I receive?”
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the answer to that question. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we have a team of personal injury attorneys who are experts in not only calculating damages, but also fighting for our clients’ rights. When you work with us, you’ll be working with a law firm that knows how to get results.
How Severe is Your Injury?
This is probably the most important factor that will affect the value of your case. In a nutshell, the worse your injury, the more money you will likely get if you win.
Not only can you seek damages for your current medical treatment, but also any treatment you may need in the future. If you have an injury that will have permanent results – such as long-term debilitation, or severe disfigurement or scarring, the value of your claim will be higher than someone who had a relatively minor injury.
Someone who suffers severe spinal cord damage in a car accident, for instance, will very likely obtain more compensation than someone who has a broken arm. This isn’t meant to minimize the impact a broken bone can have on an accident victim by any means. However, that break will probably heal in a couple of months at most. Severe spinal cord injuries typically lead to a lifetime of disability.
How Much Will Your Injury Affect Your Day-to-Day Life?
Say someone is involved in an automobile wreck because they had to try and swerve suddenly to avoid some debris negligently left in the road. They suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result. A TBI could make it almost impossible to perform basic tasks, because the victim’s cognitive abilities are so badly compromised.
But there could also be quality-of-life issues that can affect not just day-to-day life, but quality of life overall. Suppose the victim mentioned above suffered a terrible neck injury instead of a TBI. They can maybe handle basic everyday tasks, such as preparing meals and some light cleaning. But they can no longer pursue activities they once loved, such as water skiing or playing tennis.
In both instances, the victims will probably be eligible for more money since their lives have changed so dramatically.
How Much Time Have You Missed from Work?
Lost wages will also have a significant impact on your case. If you have a very bad injury, you’ll probably be out of work for a very long time. Your PTO (personal time off) days, vacation days and sick days can only go so far. Eventually, you’re going to lose money – potentially a great deal of money. The more you lose, the more you may be able to obtain through a personal injury lawsuit.
It’s fairly easy to prove damages for lost wages. Your attorney will simply obtain your pay stubs, do some basic calculations, and determine how much you’re losing. But what if you’re in a sales job that only pays commissions? What if you’re self-employed? This is where things can get more complicated. However, an experienced attorney will be able to take those complexities into account when calculating your lost wages.
Will You Be Able to Return to Work?
Hopefully, you’ll eventually recover enough so that you can get back to work. But if you can’t return to your previous position due to physical or cognitive limitations, you might be making less of a salary. You deserve compensation for that reduced wage as well – your legal representative will fight to make sure you get it.
How Much was Your Medical Care?
Getting medical attention, of course, is the first thing you should do if you’re involved in an automobile collision, or you’re hurt in any other type of accident. As you learned earlier, the more severe your injury, the more compensation you’ll receive. That’s because your medical bills will be more substantial.
Will You Require Future Medical Care for Your Injury?
When someone is severely hurt in an especially dangerous accident, such as a motorcycle wreck, they will often need medical treatment for several months or years. They may require medical attention the rest of their life. This, of course, means seeing doctors, and possibly going to hospitals for further procedures.
If you’re in this unfortunate category, you’ll likely obtain more compensation than someone who would “only” need to see professionals such as chiropractors. Basically, the more expensive your long-term care, the more you will be able to pursue through a personal injury lawsuit.
Other Minor Factors in Determining Your Claim’s Value
There are other factors that can play a role in how much your personal injury case is worth. This is just a brief look at each.
- Property damage. If you’re in an automobile accident and your car was totaled, you’ll get more money than if the car only had relatively minor damage.
- The defendant’s actions. Suppose you were injured in a fall because a broken handrail gave way. The property owner was repeatedly warned about that handrail, but ignored those warnings. You’ll probably obtain more money in that case than if the handrail was previously working fine and no warnings were issued.
- The case venue. There are some instances where juries in one area of the state will tend to award more money than juries in other areas. Your attorney will take that into consideration when determining how much money to demand on your behalf.
Contact KMW Today to Set up a Free Case Evaluation
A personal injury attorney with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh will know how much money your case is worth, and work hard to help you obtain every penny you deserve. Schedule a free case review by using our online contact form or calling (561) 295-5825.