The value of your personal injury claim is important to your future. You need assurance that you will recover enough money to pay off your medical debts and replace lost wages after a devastating accident. Understanding the value of your personal injury claim can give you and your family greater peace of mind. It can also prevent you from accepting a settlement from an insurance company that is inadequate for your injuries and losses.
How to Calculate the Value of Your Case
It can be difficult to accurately estimate the value of your personal injury claim without assistance from an attorney. There is no average personal injury settlement amount since no two personal injury cases are alike. You or your lawyer will need to calculate your case’s value by analyzing your specific losses, or damages.
The courts in New Mexico allow plaintiffs to seek financial compensation for two main types of damages:
- Economic damages. Your economic damages refer to your financial losses, including medical bills, lost wages, property repairs, travel costs and legal fees. Calculate the value of your economic damages by adding up all of your bills and receipts related to the accident. Don’t forget to estimate future economic damages based on your current expenses and future needs, as well.
- Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages refer to your intangible losses, such as physical pain and suffering, immobility, lost quality of life, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. It is more difficult to calculate noneconomic damages, as you will not have any bills or receipts with hard numbers. One way is to multiply the total amount of your economic damages by a number from one to five that accurately represents the severity of your injuries.
It is generally up to a jury to determine a fair amount in pain and suffering damages. The jury will listen to your story and determine a fair amount based on how significantly the accident and injury impacted your life. For this reason, severe to catastrophic injuries often result in greater pain and suffering damages than minor injuries. However, a jury can use any calculation method or no method at all to determine the value of your pain and suffering. This is why it is difficult to estimate this damage award.
Factors That May Affect Your Settlement or Jury Verdict
An accurate estimate of the value of your personal injury claim must analyze many different factors that are unique to you and your case. This is why there is no average settlement amount that will accurately represent what you could earn – each client is unique. Common factors that could affect the final value of your payout include:
- Injury severity
- The amount of medical care you require
- The number of defendants
- The insurance coverage available
- Comparative negligence (your partial blame for an accident)
- Your age and income
It is common for an insurance company to devalue a personal injury claim to save itself money on the payout. If you believe that your case is worth more based on the severity of your injuries and other factors than the insurance company is offering, take it to a personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque for assistance. The insurance company may be handling your claim in bad faith.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you can significantly improve the outcome of your case. A lawyer will have the experience and past case results to accurately determine the value of your claim. Your lawyer can go up against an insurance claims adjuster to demand fair and full financial compensation for your past and future losses. A lawyer will prevent an insurance company from using bad-faith insurance tactics that could otherwise result in you accepting less than you deserve. You can focus fully on healing while knowing that a lawyer is pursuing the best possible results on your behalf. For more information, contact The Fine Law Firm today.