6 Factors Affecting Value of Personal Injury Claims - AA Law

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What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

March 25, 2024 Alan Ahdoot
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If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s only natural to be curious about the different parts of the legal process of an accident claim. In particular, you might want to know how much a personal injury case is worth.

In this article, we’ll provide valuable guidance on how to beat insurance companies to ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries.

6 Factors Affecting Compensation for Personal Injury Claims

The following factors affect the value of your personal injury claim.

1. Severity of Injuries

The severity of injuries plays a significant role in determining compensation amounts. More severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or internal damage, often result in higher compensation due to increased medical costs, lost wages, and emotional distress. 

These injuries may also lead to disabilities and a diminished quality of life. Conversely, superficial injuries may only necessitate a single doctor’s visit and have less impact on the victim’s life. Therefore, courts take the nature and extent of the injury into account when calculating compensation.

2. Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are a crucial factor in personal injury claims as they directly reflect the financial strain on the victim caused by the accident. For instance, medical receipts detail the total amount spent on treating injuries, serving as concrete evidence of the accident’s impact. 

Courts consider past, present, and anticipated future medical costs when determining compensation. This includes assessing potential rehabilitation expenses and reviewing previous payments made by the victim to healthcare providers.

3. Lost Wages

Similar to medical expenses, lost wages represent a tangible financial loss for the victim. This encompasses not only salary but also bonuses and benefits that would have been earned if not for the injury. 

Compensation for lost wages seeks to alleviate the financial burden on the victim. However, to claim this compensation, you must provide evidence such as pay stubs and employment contracts to substantiate the amount lost.

4. Property Damage

Courts also take into account property damage resulting from accidents or defective products. For example, in a road accident, you may seek compensation for the repair costs of your vehicle’s damaged side panel. 

Similarly, damage to home interiors caused by malfunctioning home appliances is eligible for consideration. However, to substantiate your claim, you must provide evidence such as photographs, repair estimates, and expert assessments.

5. Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering encompass emotional trauma, discomfort, inconvenience, and a decline in quality of life. Unlike medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, pain and suffering are more challenging to quantify. 

However, courts evaluate the severity and duration of the victim’s suffering when considering compensation. To support your claim for pain and suffering, it’s essential to provide documentation from healthcare professionals and psychologists.

Additionally, maintaining a journal that outlines your daily struggles resulting from the incident can strengthen your case.

6. Comparative Negligence

Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, fault for an accident is allocated among all involved parties based on their degrees of responsibility. 

In California, which follows a pure comparative negligence system, even if a plaintiff is found to be 99% at fault, they can still seek compensation from the defendant. 

However, the settlement amount awarded is adjusted proportionally to the plaintiff’s degree of fault. Therefore, the comparative negligence principle directly impacts the compensation received, with the settlement reduced according to the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.

Judge's gavel over the U.S. flag after ruling on how much the victim's personal injury case is worth
The severity of injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and comparative negligence affect the value of your personal injury case.

The Different Kinds of Compensation

The following are the types of compensation in a personal injury claim.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to financial losses suffered by the injured party due to the incident. It includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other quantifiable financial losses directly resulting from the injury.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages pertain to intangible losses suffered by the injured party. Its examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are also called exemplary damages. They are additional compensation awarded to the injured party to punish the defendant for intentional or grossly negligent acts. 

Moreover, they aim to deter similar behavior in the future. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, courts impose punitive damages to punish the liable party rather than compensate for the victim’s losses.

How to Beat Insurance Companies

You can overcome insurers’ strategies by considering the following tips.

Consult a Doctor Immediately

Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident ensures proper documentation of injuries. Prompt medical consultation establishes a clear link between the accident and injuries, strengthening your case. 

For instance, presenting a document showing a timely diagnosis from a physician can persuade the jury and court of the severity of your injuries.

Gather and Compile Evidence

To prove liability, you must substantiate the extent of damages. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in collecting the following evidence:

  • Medical records
  • Accident reports
  • Journal entries
  • Witness statements
  • Photographs and videos
  • Employment contracts
  • Pay stubs
  • Receipts for repairs

These pieces of evidence enhance the credibility of your claim. Without sufficient evidence, the insurer may dispute or undervalue your claim.

Be Careful With Your Statements

While providing truthful statements, be cautious not to impact your case negatively. Courts rely on honesty to assess the validity of claims and determine compensation. 

Any inconsistency or falsehood may undermine your claim’s integrity. Consulting an attorney can guide you on appropriate statements during the case.

Refrain From Posting on Social Media

The other party may use your social media activity against you to dispute the severity of injuries or undermine your credibility. 

Even seemingly innocent posts can be misinterpreted. Avoiding social media activity can reduce the risk of compromising your case and ensure fair compensation.

Speak to a California Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury attorney can assist you in evaluating rightful compensation and collecting evidence to strengthen your case. Their expertise can help you navigate insurance companies effectively. They will help you know how much a personal injury case is worth.

At Adamson Ahdoot, our reliable personal injury lawyers in California offer consultations in English and Spanish to assist anyone harmed by another person’s negligence. 

With a combined 100 years of legal experience, our civil litigation law firm can help you win your claim. Contact us at (800) 310-1606 or visit our website for a free consultation.

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