What’s My Injury Worth?
If you’ve been injured from an accident and are subsequently considering filing a lawsuit, you’re likely wondering what your injury is really worth. Unsurprisingly, there is no straightforward answer – no simple equation that can provide an exact dollar sum. That being said, a better understanding of the terminology and variables involved may help you determine if your injury, and the circumstances surrounding it’s occurrence, are substantial enough to warrant further action.
Compensatory Damages: the idea here is that the plaintiff can be provided a monetary amount that will essentially revert the damage or “make them whole” again. Such funds are strictly designed to replace what was lost. Common personal injury compensatory damages include:
- Cost for medical treatment
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (negative impact on relationship with spouse)
- Property loss
Punitive Damages: in such cases, the defendant’s actions are viewed as overtly dangerous or careless and, consequently, they can be forced to provide additional monetary gain to the plaintiff as a means of punishment. Punitive damages go above and beyond compensatory damages, although New York, Vermont and Massachusetts all have caps in place for such actions.
It’s important to remember that if you’ve experienced a serious injury and feel that a lawsuit may be appropriate, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling your injury.
Just as doctors warn against self-diagnosing, we also caution against deciding your potential eligibility for damages without consultation. When potential plaintiffs do so, they frequently ignore their own role in the situation. They may also engage in post-accident behavior that further reduces their award potential. By deferring to a professional, the injured party can more effectively determine the best possibility for compensation.