There are numerous reasons why you may be preparing, or have already filed a personal injury claim. You may have been injured in a car accident, by a faulty product or when you slipped and fell on a wet floor in a business. As long as you were injured and someone else is responsible for those injuries, you can file a personal injury claim. When you file a claim, one of the questions you will likely have is in regards to the value of your claim. All claims are worth a different amount. Learning what factors affect the value of your personal injury settlement will help you understand why some claims are worth others and what factors may influence whether you get a higher or lower amount.
How Much Fault You Had in the Accident
One of the factors that has the biggest impact on the amount you can receive for your personal injury settlement is how much fault, if any, you had in the accident. In some cases, you and the other party may share fault. For example, if you were a pedestrian who was hit by a car while crossing the street out of the crosswalk, some fault may be assigned to you for the accident because you were not in the crosswalk. If you had 40 percent fault in the accident, and the driver had 60 percent fault, any settlement you may be entitled to will be reduced by 40 percent, as that is the amount of fault you had. Having no fault in the accident allows you to recoup the maximum amount of money you are owed.
Your Injuries and Needed Medical Treatment
Another factor that has a big affect on the amount you may be entitled to for a personal injury settlement is what type of injuries you had and the medical treatment you needed to heal. Hard injuries, such as broken bones, joint injuries or nerve damage receive more money than soft injuries, such as strains, sprains and bruises. Those who have a long recovery period, rather than a short one, receive a higher settlement. And those who have a permanent injury, such as scars, loss of mobility, or continual pain receive more money than those who have no residual injuries left over from the accident.
Unfortunately, the amount of money you may be entitled to based on your medical treatment is hard to predict or value until you actually complete treatments. This is because some injuries take longer to heal than expected, need more treatment than expected or complications can arise. Because of this, it is very hard for a personal injury lawyer to tell you exactly what your case is worth when you first meet with them. They may be able to tell you that clients with similar injuries have settled for this amount, or they expect you should receive at least this amount. But until you are healed, or have reached a place where you will no longer heal, determining the value of this portion of your claim is challenging.
Your Economic Damages
The last factor that affects how much your personal injury settlement is worth is the value of the economic damages you sustained as a result of the accident. Economic damages refers to any money you lose as a result of the accident. The most common economic damage is lost wages. If you couldn't work due to the accident, you didn't receive a paycheck. As such, you are entitled to the money you lost out on while you couldn't work. Lesser-known economic damages include house cleaner and lawn care services that had to be hired due to your inability to do these actions, or any expenses for medical appointments or equipment you had to pay yourself.
There are many factors that affect the value of a personal injury claim. Learning about these factors will help you determine why it is hard for a personal injury attorney to tell you the exact amount of money you may be entitled to. It will also help you understand why someone with similar injuries as you may be getting less or more money than you.