How Much Is My Personal Injury Lawsuit Worth?
One of the most common questions that our experienced car accident attorneys are asked is: how much is my lawsuit worth? Other than this question, we understand that there may be several other thoughts that run through your mind after an accident, including: How much does an attorney cost? How will I be able to get compensation for my medical bills? Will I be compensated if I take time off work for my injuries?
Our top-rated accident attorneys have been representing accident victims for decades, and understand just how difficult and frustrating it may be to go through an accident. Not only will this affect you, but also your family and friends as they watch you suffer through your injuries. This can take an emotional toll on you, and recovering from these injuries may take weeks, oftentimes even months.
Whether your accident is a slip and fall accident, car accident, or workplace accident, our experienced and skilled attorneys will be on your side every step of the way to make sure that you get the compensation and justice that you need.
The amount that your lawsuit is worth depends on the circumstances of the accident. If the accident is severe, it most likely caused severe injuries that have resulted in thousands of dollars in medical bills. In order to determine how much your personal injury lawsuit is worth, our skilled attorneys take a look at all of the damages suffered. The damages determine how much a plaintiff, also known as the party that is filing the lawsuit, will receive.
What are damages?
Damages in a personal injury lawsuit is the compensation that is paid to the accident victim from the defendant. The defendant is a term used to refer to the party that a lawsuit is filed against. The defendant is responsible for the accident, and compensates the plaintiff for all that they have suffered. The compensation can be through a settlement amount or a judgment. A settlement is usually agreed upon by both parties in the majority of lawsuits. A settlement is done by negotiating with the defendant and the insurance company. Having an experienced attorney is crucial when dealing with insurance companies since insurance companies will often use several different types of tactics. A judgment is a trial order that is determined by taking the case to court. Damages could be agreed upon in the settlement, or can be ordered by a jury in trial.
What are compensatory damages?
The damages that you receive from a personal injury lawsuit are referred to as compensatory. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff, or the victim, for the damages suffered from the accident. Compensatory damages aim to make the plaintiff “whole” again after the accident. Compensatory damages are oftentimes very straightforward and easy to calculate. Examples of compensatory damages include:
- Medical bills: this refers to the medical care associated with the injuries caused by the accident. For example, this includes the doctor’s bills, emergency room care, prescription medication, physical therapy, at-home medical equipment, etc.
- Lost income: if you have taken time off work to heal from your injuries, you may be able to recover lost income. This refers to past lost income, along with loss of earning capacity if your injuries are permanent.
- Property damage: if you were involved in an accident, such as a car accident, you might have sustained some type of damage to your vehicle. This is referred to as property damage, and can be recoverable.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: if the accident caused you to suffer very severe injuries, you may be able to recover a loss of enjoyment damages.
- Loss of consortium: this refers to the relationship that the victim had with their spouse, and how the relationship changed after the accident.
- Emotional distress: the victim most likely suffered some type of pain and suffering caused by the injuries after the accident. Examples of emotional distress include anxiety, and depression. If you have suffered some type of psychological impact, you will be able to recover monetary damages for those injuries.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are rarely awarded in California, but when they do, it could result in millions of dollars. In personal injury lawsuits, punitive damages can be awarded if the defendant acted with some type of malice. Malice means the defendant knew that their actions were to cause specific results, yet still took part of those actions anyways. The court takes into account several different factors when determining punitive damages, such as the defendant’s income.
Will my personal injury damages be reduced?
If the defendant raises a successful defense, your damages may be reduced. For example, if the defendant raises the defense of comparative negligence, asserting that you were also liable for your own injuries, you may have your compensation reduced depending on your liability. If the defendant raises the assumption of risk defense successfully, and asserts that the plaintiff assumed the risk of those injuries, you may also have your damages reduced.
Is my personal injury lawsuit an average claim?
To see if your claim is average, our attorneys will need to look at the emotional damages, medical bills, and the potential punitive damages that may arise. Another big factor is the liability of the defendant. If the defendant is liable for all your injuries, you will be able to receive 100% of your damages incurred.
What is the difference between a settlement and a trial verdict?
In order to fully understand how much your personal injury lawsuit is worth, the plaintiff needs to get an idea as to the pros and cons of settling or going to trial. A settlement is the amount that a plaintiff and defendant may agree to outside of court before the case goes to trial. If you agree to a settlement amount, the case will not go to trial. The settlement amount is an amount that you are made known of.
If you do not end up settling with the other party, a trial is held in court. The jury determines the amount of damages you are entitled to, and no attorney will be able to give you an exact number as to how much you are to receive. The jury decides on an amount, and that amount will be the judgment of the court.
A negative factor to taking the case to trial is that you may receive a lesser amount than the one you would have in a settlement negotiation. There are also several costs that are associated with taking the case to trial. Before you decide whether to negotiate or to take the case to trial, we recommend that you speak to our skilled attorneys.
Contact our attorney Megeredchian Law
To determine specifically what your damages may be, and the amount of compensation that you could receive, contact our top-rated personal injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation. During this case evaluation, we will look into all the factors associated with your accident, along with any potential defenses that the defendant may raise in order to reduce the amount that you could receive. Contact our injury attorneys in California today to see how you can get the help you deserve.