New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Valuing Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Posted on May 30, 2014 in Legal Terminology
On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP
You might be wondering what your case is worth, if you are planning on filing a person injury lawsuit. There are many factors to this, but ultimately you can find out what your personal injury is worth by figuring out how much your injuries have cost you, physical, monetarily, and mentally. These are called damages. Monetary damages are paid to an injured person in a personal injury case by the party that is found to be responsible for causing the damages. Here are some factors to find out how much your personal injury is worth.
Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuit
Compensatory damages constitute most personal injury cases as they compensate the injured person for something that was lost at the time of the injury or accident. These damages have a monetary element attached to them. It is easier to quantify some compensatory damages than others. For instance, you can easily put a price on medical bills or property damages, but putting a price on suffering and pain is a bit more difficult. Here are some most common types of compensatory damages:
- Medical treatment – The cost of medical care associated with the accident is almost always included in a personal injury damages award. It also includes compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you might need in the future due to the accident and reimbursement for the treatment you have already received.
- Property loss – You may be entitled for compensation for the fair market value or reimbursement for repairs if any clothing, vehicles, or other items were damaged due to the accident.
- Pain and suffering – You might be able to secure a solid settlement for any serious discomfort or pain that you may have suffered at the time of the accident and immediately after it. You can also receive compensation for any pain you might be experiencing continuously that you might be able to attribute to the accident.
- Emotional distress –. These damages work towards compensating a person for any psychological impact an injury may have caused such as anxiety, fear, and sleep loss. Emotional distress are considered by some states to be part of any “pain and suffering” damages that might be awarded to a personal injury plaintiff.
Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury plaintiff may also be awarded punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages in the event that the conduct of the defendant was proven to be careless or reckless. These damages are quite different from compensatory damages.
While these damages are also awarded to a personal injury plaintiff, the intent with which they are awarded might be to punish the defendant for their misconduct so that the punishment acts as a deterrent. There are a few states who have set a sort of cap on punitive damage awards in personal injury cases, since these damages have been known to be in the millions of dollars some times which some people believe most of the time a knee jerk reaction and not rational―hence a cap.
Even with that said, in some cases, a serious victory can be won though without an astronomical figure tied to it but a hefty sum nonetheless.