Prevention is better than cure, they say. But no amount of prevention can prepare you for the carelessness of people. You may be the person who follows all the rules on the tee. You’ll still be injured because someone thought arguing over the phone when driving was more important than focusing on the road.
So what do you do in such situations?
You reach out to expert law firms, like The Flood Law Firm, LLC. They have the expertise required to make sure you get fair compensation for all your losses and damages.
Additionally, a lawyer is also useful when it comes to calculating the amount you receive as compensation. This is because victims often miss out on certain elements when preparing an estimate. This leads to them requesting a compensation amount that is far less than what they deserve.
Given below are some elements that have a major role to play when determining the value of a personal injury claim.
- The severity of your injuries
- Your role in the accident
- Recklessness or gross negligence
- The non-tangible damages you have suffered
- Whether the case goes to court
We’ll discuss each factor in the sections below.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Your injuries and their severity have a major role in the compensation you get. The impact of minor injuries is comparatively less than that of major ones. A cut or a bruise is going to heal much faster than a fracture or a burn injury. The treatment required for both sets of injuries is also vastly different. This will be reflected in the compensation you get.
Your Role in the Accident
This is not applicable in cases where the at-fault party takes full blame for the accident.
There are cases where the victim was partly responsible for the accident. In such scenarios, comparative and contributory negligence rules are used.
Some states use comparative negligence rules, while others use contributory negligence rules.
According to contributory negligence, you lose the right to seek compensation if you were responsible for the accident, no matter how small that role may be.
As for comparative negligence rules, you can claim compensation no matter what your role was in the accident. This means that if you were 80% responsible for the accident, you can still seek compensation for 20% of the damages.
It helps to be open with your lawyer and reveal all that happened at the time of the accident to prevent surprises down the line.
Recklessness or Gross Negligence
Recklessness, or gross negligence, is different from ordinary negligence.
Negligence is the failure of an individual to act with the level of care that is expected from a reasonable individual.
Gross negligence, or recklessness, is considered an extreme form of negligence. It is defined as the willful or wanton disregard for the life or property of another person.
Recklessness or gross negligence also forms the basis of punitive damages, considerably increasing the total compensation you will get.
The Non-Tangible Damages You Have Suffered
Most people concentrate so much on physical injuries that they forget about the emotional or pain-related consequences. Accident victims are prone to:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
The impact of these damages lasts even after physical injuries have healed. As a result, they make a major contribution to the overall compensation you receive.
Whether the Case Goes to Court
There are two ways a case might end. Either
- The at-fault party’s insurance company agrees to an out-of-settlement
- The case moves to court, where it is presented before the judge and jury
Both of these options have a say in the compensation you get. Out-of-court settlements are quick and hassle-free. Court trials, on the other hand, are long and tedious, but you have an increased chance of getting a higher settlement. A court is also the only way you can claim punitive damages.
You just read about the numerous factors you must take into consideration when preparing an estimate for your losses. One way to make things easier is to hire a lawyer. They will take care of all the difficulties involved in a personal injury case and also make sure you receive fair compensation for your losses.