Damages in a personal injury case refer to the financial compensation available. New Mexico’s civil justice system permits an injured accident victim to seek compensation from the negligent party that caused the injury. If someone else’s negligence injures you, you have the power to seek both past and future damages. Future damages are a tricky category to estimate and may require assistance from a personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque.
Examples of Future Damages
Future damages in a personal injury case refer to the expenses a victim will foreseeably have in the future due to a wrongdoing committed against him or her. An act of negligence, such as texting and driving, can have more than just immediate repercussions for a victim. A serious accident could impact a victim for weeks or months to come. In New Mexico, a victim will have the right to pursue compensation for both past and future damages.
- Future property depreciation due to damage.
- Future health care expenses, including surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation and live-in care.
- Vehicle and home disability accommodations.
- Medical equipment, devices and medications.
- Lost future wages until the victim can return to work.
- Permanent lost capacity to earn a living due to a disability.
- Loss of a loved one’s companionship, care and support.
- Future physical pain and emotional suffering.
- Future lost quality or enjoyment of life.
These are examples of common future damages a victim can claim during a personal injury case in New Mexico. Future damages will add to the overall value of a claim. Rather than only seeking monetary damages for past and current expenses, a victim can also estimate his or her future losses and request an amount of money for these. Unlike existing damages, however, future damages do not have bills or receipts to help with price estimates.
How Are Future Damages Calculated in a Personal Injury Case?
Accurately calculating the value of your future damages in a personal injury case takes a combination of adding up existing costs and estimating future foreseeable expenses. Looking at how much your injury has already cost you in medical expenses and lost wages can give you an idea of what to expect in the future. One of the most important tools at your disposal while trying to prove future damages is testimony from an expert.
It is wise to hire an expert to testify on your behalf if you plan on seeking future damages in a personal injury claim. An expert can help you establish a reasonable amount of future damages by explaining to a judge or jury how long your injury will foreseeably impact your life. If you have a permanent injury, such as paralysis from a spinal cord injury, a medical expert can attest to the fact that you will need lifelong care and have high related medical costs. This can set a baseline for the number of years for which you can seek future damages.
You can also use your pay stubs from before your injury to establish how much you will lose in future lost earnings. If a disability impacted your capacity to earn, use your pay stubs to calculate an average lost wage amount. Then, multiply this by the number of years the injury will prevent you from returning to work. If a medical expert establishes that you cannot return to your job for the rest of your life, you can seek a lifetime of lost wages.
Finally, an expert can help you establish future pain and suffering. A physician or therapist can prove that the pain you suffer and will continue to suffer matches the amount of damages you are requesting. An insurance company or jury may use a multiplier to determine future pain and suffering damages. It will multiply the amount of your actual damages by a multiplier to determine future pain and suffering. It can be difficult to accurately estimate future damages. Work with a personal injury attorney for assistance proving your case.