Anyone who suffers an injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual should be compensated for any losses incurred. This includes coverage for potential medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses and losses caused by emotional pain and suffering. Ideally, if you or someone you love has been injured at the hands of another, one of the first things you should do is contact an experienced, knowledgeable, reputable personal injury attorney.
Below, our expert team at Duque Law has detailed several important factors that could potentially affect the amount of compensation you might receive should you win your personal injury claim. Keep in mind that this is meant to be a general guide.
There are many contributing factors that could affect the value of your personal injury settlement. Perhaps you have seen two personal injury cases where the damages seem almost identical, but the insurance settlements were very different.
Damages are the legal term for the compensation awarded to reimburse victims for the impact a personal injury accident has had on their lives. The more financial losses and accident-related expenses you have had, the higher the value of your claim. For example:
Severity of Injuries
While there are a variety of formulas used to determine the value of a personal injury claim, many of them revolve around the nature and extent of the injuries and the amount of medical treatment that will be needed to recover from them. The reality is that medical care can be costly, and it is crucial that no personal injury settlement be finalized until after an individual reaches what their doctor considers maximum medical improvement.
Those who sustained significant injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord trauma, will be much more likely to receive significant compensation amounts because their medical bills will likely reach into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The extent of your pain and suffering can significantly impact your settlement. The insurance company will consider:
Causation is a significant factor because if you cannot prove it, you cannot hold the at-fault party liable. Causation is the direct link between the at-fault party’s actions (causing the accident) and your injuries. In other words, your injuries would not have occurred if not for the at-fault party’s negligence. If there are any gaps in your medical treatment after the incident and up until your case is resolved, the insurance company can argue that your injuries did not occur as a result of the accident involving their policyholder or those they are not as severe as you claim.
Not every case is clear cut as to who was at fault. In fact, in most instances, there can be blame assessed to more than one individual. There can be other contributing factors like road conditions in a vehicle accident and whether someone has a history of similar legal infractions or crimes.
If one party has admitted fault, especially if it was documented on the police report, it becomes significantly easier to assign blame. Certain states have specific laws involving shared fault. In some states, even if you are partially to blame for an incident/accident that caused your injuries, you may still be able to seek and recover compensation.
It is more difficult to prove damages for a condition that has worsened than for a new injury. For instance, if arthritis was already present, it is hard to show that the pain would not have occurred naturally without the injury. Whether the doctors’ orders, advice, and treatment plan were followed can also be a contributing factor. That would include looking at missed appointments and whether home therapy was followed.
When meeting with medical professionals or legal teams after a personal injury accident, it is important for the accident victim to be honest and disclose prior injuries and any current ones you have been dealing with. Full disclosure increases the chance a victim receives both proper treatment and a fair settlement.
Insurance Policy Limits
The at-fault party’s insurance policy’s limits play an important role when it comes time for determining how much financial compensation their insurer will offer. If your damages exceed the maximum benefit amounts, the insurance company does not have to pay the difference. In these situations, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover more compensation.
If you have suffered a substantial injury as the result of another party’s negligence, the laws of the state of California allow you to seek damages to recover from your injuries. And you should. Often, people underestimate the impact an injury will have on their lives. Or perhaps they just don’t think it will be worth the trouble of making a claim.
Our legal team at Duque Law Group is comprised of award-winning and nationally recognized trial lawyers who collaborate with nurses, doctors and medical experts regularly. Though we understand the nature of injuries, we are not physicians, and always encourage victims to seek treatment as soon after an accident as possible, and to follow up and heed their doctors’ advice.
Call us now at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.
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