Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury advertisements are ubiquitous. Everyone has seen ads on TV or billboards showing victims with personal injury lawsuits touting how much money their attorney won for them. The idea that a personal injury claim is worth money is intuitive—if someone else injures you, they should have to pay you money. Anyone who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, workplace injury, or another kind of personal injury situation probably wonders the same thing: is my case worth money?
The answer is often yes; however, there are some important qualifications to having a viable personal injury case. For starters, someone has to be at fault, and that person can’t be you. If you are in a motor vehicle accident, you may have a claim for a personal injury lawsuit, provided that you didn’t cause the accident. Similarly, you have to have someone—be it an individual, organization, or business—who is to blame for your injuries. Even if you have injuries, your claim may not be viable if no one was negligent. But what if you have a viable personal injury claim—how much is it actually worth?
Every claim is different, and its value is determined by a number of independent factors, but most personal injury cases boil down to damages: how much your injuries have cost you. Whether you have had to pay out of pocket or have lost the ability to do something, most damages in personal injury cases are “compensatory.” Compensatory damages are meant to restore what was lost as a result of an accident or injury, to compensate the injured party for losses caused by the at-fault party. This requires the ability to put a monetary value on the consequences of an injury. The easiest kind of compensatory damages to quantify are things that already have a dollar figure attached to them—things like car repairs or medical bills. Having bills or out-of-pocket expenses is an easy way to calculate damages. Lost income is also a common and usually straightforward kind of compensatory damages. If you have missed work or, in the worst-case scenarios, are unable to work, you and quantify the value of lost income by calculating how much you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured. Property damage, too, can be an easy way to have damages. If an accident damaged your personal possessions beyond repair or lowered their economic value, you can add up the value of those items and add it to the list of your compensatory damages. But what about other kinds of losses, things like pain and suffering, that are harder to quantify?
Intangible damages, such as pain and suffering, can often be included as part of your compensatory damages. While it is not always easy to calculate, there is value to the physical pain and discomfort suffered as a result of a serious accident or injury. Emotional damages, such as stress, anxiety, and sleep loss, can also add value to your personal injury claim. You may also have compensatory damages, called loss of enjoyment damages, if your injuries and resulting pain prevent you from living and enjoying your life. And in certain states, like Texas, your compensatory damages can include compensation for what is known as “loss of consortium.” Loss of consortium involves the impact that an accident or injury can have on your ability to maintain a relationship, including sex.
All personal injury cases are unique and determining the full value of any case requires expertise, which is why a personal injury lawyer in Arlington, TX is an invaluable resource when pursuing a personal injury claim.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and how much your case is worth.