New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Personal Injury Cases: Determining the Value of Your Injuries
Posted on May 25, 2016 in Personal Injury
When you suffer an injury anywhere throughout the greater New York metropolitan area, you may wish to pursue a case for compensation provided you can prove someone was to blame for your injuries. Cases can settle or can be pursued in court, but to determine whether or not you should accept a settlement you need to have some idea of how much your case should be worth.
New York City injury attorneys can provide you with insight into the value of your injury claim. Every case is different and many factors will affect the likely recovery of compensation after someone has hurt you. This is why it is so important to speak with a personal injury lawyer and to get personalized advice before you accept a settlement offer.
What is the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim?
When you make a personal injury claim, the value is determined by the actual extent of your financial loss as well as by the extent of pain you have experienced. Victims of a personal injury should be entitled to be “made whole” or fully compensated for losses and damages. This means a victim should be paid compensation for:
- Medical costs associated with treating the injury and complications
- Loss of wages resulting from time missed from work due to the injury
- Loss of ongoing earning potential if the injury permanently affects whether you can do your job
- Pain and discomfort experienced as a result of the injury
- Emotional distress if lasting mental damage occurred because of the injury
There can be substantial differences associated with the value of a claim based upon your personal situation, as well as where the injury happened. For example, your income can affect the amount of compensation you will receive because higher income earners may face more substantial financial loss if their career is ended because of an injury.
Slate reports the median income in Manhattan is $66,739; the median income in Brooklyn is $44,850; the median income in Queens is $54,373; and the median income in Staten Island is $70,295. The median income in the Bronx, on the other hand, is $50,306 according to Census.gov. However, people could make much more or much less than the median, so the amount that accident victims will receive is going to be determined based on their own personal situation.
The amount of insurance coverage available could also affect the value of a personal injury claim. An insurer pays for damages for an injured victim, up to policy limits. If another driver hurts you, for example, the driver may have the minimum coverage required in New York which is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in coverage.
If the driver had only the minimum coverage, the insurer would pay a maximum of $25,000 regardless of what your actual damages were. While you could go after the other driver personally if you sustained a larger amount of loss, this is only beneficial if the driver actually has income and assets to pay you personally. If the driver who hurt you does not have money or own any assets and you’ve been offered a settlement at the insurance limits, pursuing a further case may not net you much more money, if any. You would need to explore whether there were other parties liable for additional losses or whether your own optional underinsured motorist coverage could pay for additional losses if you purchased this type of coverage.
Because there are so many factors that go into determining the value of a personal injury claim, you need to get help from New York City injury attorneys both in valuing your case and in exploring ways to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive. For example, we recently won a case that resulted in an over $7 million award for an injured child, and obtained a $4 million award for an injured adult. While we cannot guarantee the same results in your case, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff as soon as possible after your accident to learn how we can help you and find out why one case may be valued higher than another.