About three million people are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Crash-related injuries can also be costly, with the CDC estimating medical care cost and productivity losses related to injuries and deaths from motor vehicle crashes surpassed 75 billion in 2017.
After an injury, you may rightfully decide to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. At this point, the critical thing to know is how much compensation you will get from your claim. In this piece, we will look at how personal injury compensation is calculated and the types of damages covered by your claim:
How Car Accident Compensation is Calculated
Ideally, the amount of car accident compensation is determined by the extent of injury that you have suffered. As such, the more severe your injury, the higher the amount of compensation you will expect to receive. For example, tissue damage may not attract the same level of compensation as severe brain damage. Notably, personal injury compensation is made up of two different types of damages:
- General damages– awarded for pain, suffering, and loss of amenity. General damages are calculated based on the type of injury or illness and severity.
- Special damages– awarded for any financial losses or costs you have incurred due to an accident. The injury compensation claim calculation will include loss of earnings, medical treatment cost, and any other expenses incurred due to the accident.
Types Of Damages
As a rule of thumb, don’t accept settlement offers before finding out how much your claims might be worth. The following are common types of damages that may be included when you’re injured in a car accident and receive compensation:
Medical expenses are the largest part of a car accident claim. The medical expenses include all the costs that you incur due to the accident and the estimated costs of future medical treatment and care.
Medical expense damage covers compensation for ambulance costs, hospital stay, prosthetic devices, medication, needed home services, surgery, rehabilitation costs, and cognitive therapy in case of brain injuries. Calculating damages based on medical expenses is fairly straightforward. When calculating compensation, your personal injury lawyer may seek a medical expert’s services to determine the amount of medical expenses that you will incur.
If you are left unable to work either temporarily or permanently due to a car accident, you may recover damages for your income losses. Calculating income amounts lost is also a fairly straightforward process. However, if you are left permanently disabled, the calculations for future expected income losses become a bit complex.
It may require the use of life expectancy formulas to arrive at fair compensation. Your personal injury lawyer may use the services of experts to calculate complex future wage and earning losses.
Pain and suffering
The law allows you to recover damages for the pain and suffering that you experienced following a car accident and the resultant injuries. Calculating pain and suffering can be a challenge. In most cases, the value of your pain and suffering damages is calculated by multiplying the per diem by the number of days it took you to recover.
Loss of consortium
If an accident results in a disabling condition that makes it impossible for you to enjoy the normal relationship with your spouse, you can file a damages claim for loss of consortium. However, you need to prove a valid and lawful marriage and that your spouse suffered the said damages. Since the loss of consortium is non-economic damage, your claim’s value will be decided at the discretion of the judge or jury.
Some accidents can leave you scarred or permanently disfigured. You may recover damages in an injury claim if you endure disfigurements following a car accident. These damages are typically calculated based on the severity of your injuries.
What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering in legal circles describe both the physical and emotional injuries suffered by a victim after a crash. Any substantial mental anguish or physical pain that a victim suffers following an accident can qualify as pain and suffering, eligible for settlement.
How Long Will It Take For Me To Receive Pain and Suffering Settlement?
Most injured victims receive their settlement funds within six weeks from the end of negotiations. However, delays can happen depending on the severity of injuries suffered and the complexity of the claim.
Our highly experienced injury attorneys can help you recover losses resulting from a motor vehicle car accident. We care about our clients and provide exceptional help so that you focus on recovery.