Personal injury victims may seek monetary compensation according to the events that caused the injuries. For example, in an auto accident, injuries sustained and caused by the at-fault driver present the victims with a viable claim against the accountable driver. Consumer-related injuries caused by using a product places the manufacturer in legally actionable territory.
The event that caused the claimant’s injuries defines what legal actions are possible and shows what damages are available to the injured party. Personal injury laws provide legal actions to help victims, but the claimants must take action before the statute of limitations passes. Calculating how much the personal injury claim is worth shows the claimant would they could expect if they win.
How Were You Injured?
How the victim was injured defines what personal injury claim they file. It could also define if the victim has access to punitive damages. Personal injury cases that involve physical injuries resulting from medical procedures entitle the individuals to punitive damages through a medical malpractice case. Punitive damages are available if the claimant wins their case against a doctor as a form of financial punishment for the doctor.
Personal injury cases involving auto accidents, dog attacks, product liabilities, and premises liabilities present monetary awards, but they do not include punitive damages. Physical injuries apply in these cases, and the financial losses incurred by the victim determine how much the victim may receive as an award.
Non-physical personal injuries such as defamation of character, slander, or libel are defined by the financial losses incurred by the defendant’s actions. Physical injuries and records for such injuries are unnecessary in these cases, and the claimant must substantiate how they sustained a financial loss or damage to their company or person based on the unlawful actions. Claimants can explore their options and identify the correct legal claim by contacting a law firm such as Orin Cohen Law now.
How Much Property Damage was Sustained?
The attorney calculates the financial losses related to property damage the victim sustained. In an auto accident claim, the victim needs at least three estimates for auto repairs, and they submit the estimates with their legal claim. If the defendant’s auto insurance policies provided coverage, the victim must show that the property damage exceeded the limitations of the defendant’s coverage to have a viable claim for product damage.
Residential or commercial property owners who sustained property damage because of the auto accident might have a viable claim, too. The owner must complete a police report for the damage when the auto accident is investigated. This could include collision with fencing, fixtures on the property, and even the property itself. When filing a legal claim against the at-fault driver, the property owners need estimates from contractors to show the cost of the property repairs. Images of the damage and eyewitness accounts of the accident helps the property owner substantiate their claim.
How Much are the Victim’s Medical Expenses?
Invoices for all the victim’s medical expenses supports claims for these expenses. The individual needs invoices that include the cost of all treatments for their injuries. The claim must include invoices from every doctor that treated them. If their injuries require ongoing treatments or therapies, the doctor could provide an estimate for these costs according to how long the patient needs the supplemental treatments, surgeries, or other treatment requirements for their injuries.
Victims involved in personal injury claims must collect these invoices from the hospital emergency room on the day of the accident, too. Collecting invoices and placing them in a secure place prevents the victim from cutting themselves short in their legal claim. The court needs all invoices, and the victim must avoid duplicate invoices, as this could lead to unnecessary complications.
Receipts for any medical devices the victim needs for treatment or medications prescribed by the doctor or they should include doctors in the claim. This shows what medical expenses the victim covered themselves. However, medical records must show that each of the receipts is linked to the personal injuries identified in the claim. The claimant must ensure that they don’t include any medical costs related to existing conditions or any injuries that weren’t sustained in the event listed in the legal claim.
Did the Victim Sustain Permanent or Life-Altering Injuries?
Permanent or life-altering injuries present the victim with the potential for a higher payout if they win their legal claim. Traumatic brain injuries, loss of a limb, loss of organ function, and disabilities that prevent the victim from working take precedence in personal injury cases. The law provides more substantial monetary awards for these injuries.
If the individual must be admitted to a full-time care facility, the family could seek further damages. Victims who were supporting a family, and circumstances where the victim was the primary means of financial support, could sway the court to increase the monetary award. When it comes to personal injury cases, there is no guarantee that the victim will win the case. If they seek high monetary awards for permanent or life-altering injuries, the claimant or their family must have clear and profound evidentiary support. They cannot leave any room for error in any documentation for the injuries, and the victim must play no role in causing their injuries under comparative fault rulings.
Read More: The Most Common Personal Injury Claims
Pain and Suffering or the Emotional Impact of the Injuries
Tort laws provide a legal avenue to seek monetary damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. First, the state where the claim is filed must provide this option. Some states impose restrictions or limitations on tort awards, and these regions may require residents to purchase auto insurance that provides the right to use tort allegations for damages. Proving tort allegations is not an easy feat, and the attorney must prepare the claimant to face questions that could make them uncomfortable.
For example, with claims for loss of companionship or financial support, the victim’s family must show that the victim was the primary means of financial support. The defense could ask questions pertaining to why the claimant isn’t working or providing financial support. They must be prepared for the unexpected because, in personal injury claims, defense attorneys could use any opportunity to discredit the claim.
Calculating Lost Wages
Monetary awards for lost wages reflect the exact about of pay the victim lost. The calculations start on the day of the accident or event that caused their injuries, and they range up to the day the victim returned to work. The victim needs a financial statement from their employer that shows the total days they were out of work because of their injuries, and the statement should provide their pay rate or salary with the total number of hours they would have worked.
The court may require a signed affidavit from the employer. If the employer provides inaccurate information, they could face perjury charges. All information presented to the court is evaluated and checked for accuracy. The court can compare the documentation for financial losses to other documentation. Inconsistencies could reflect poorly on the claimant and cause them to lose a portion or all of their monetary award for their personal injuries.
If the victim sustained permanent or life-altering injuries, or they developed a disability, the monetary award for lost wages could increase significantly. When calculating lost and future wages, the court considered how much the claimant could have earned if they weren’t injured. Sometimes, this could equate to lifetime earnings for the victim. The attorney and courts calculate lifetime earnings according to the victim’s health prior to the injuries, life expectancy, and their wages. However, the type of claim defines if lifetime wages are included in the economy damages.
Did the Victim Die from Their Injuries?
Understanding wrongful death litigation helps families seek compensation when the victim died because of their injuries. First, the claimant must prove that the injuries were avoidable. Wrongful death shows that an action or change in the event could have prevented the victim’s death. For example, in a medical malpractice lawsuit, if the hospital failed to provide a high standard of care, this failure presents evidence of a negligent act. In the case, the hospital may have left the patients under the care of an intern or physician that didn’t possess proper training to perform a surgical procedure. These circumstances identify avoidable circumstances that could have prevented the fatality.
Families filing a wrongful death lawsuit may include more than one defendant. Each party that played a role in the individual’s death could be held accountable. In a civil lawsuit, the family must prove a negligence and show the court that the death wasn’t caused by an unfortunate accident. Personal injury laws protect individuals when they sustain physical injuries because of a medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, auto accident, dog attack, or a criminal act. Claims for non-physical personal injuries include defamation of character, slander, and libel. Understanding the individual’s legal rights helps them prepare for their case and educates them about what evidentiary support is required.