When it comes to estimating a dollar amount for the damages a personal injury victim should receive, there are various ways insurance companies and personal injury attorneys calculate this number.
However, most of them are have similar factors in their formulas, including lost income, medical expenses, property damages, etc. Generally speaking, this is the premise on which your compensation is calculated:
Understanding Special Damages
In the context of personal injury, special damages can be defined as the provable expenses that came as a direct result of a personal injury caused by negligence.
There are several categories that are included in special damages, including:
- Lost Wages: If you’ve been injured to the point where you cannot work or make a living wage, you may be eligible for compensation for lost wages. Additionally, if your injuries are going to cause you to miss even more time from work in the future to recover, that amount of money you would have made is factored in as well. This is number is calculated after getting an estimated recovery date from your doctor. Learn more about how to get lost wages after a car accident.
Medical Expenses: Anything you’ve had to pay in medical expenses as a result of your injury is factored in as well. Future medical expenses (including ongoing physical therapy, future surgeries required, pain management medication, etc.) are also included in this number.
Property Damages: Any damage to property (such as the victim’s vehicle in a car accident) can be factored into the total special damages amount as well.
Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Any general expense you have to pay out of pocket due to your injuries (including in-home care, transportation services, etc.) can be factored into this number too.
Understanding Your General Damages Multiplier
Your general damages multiplier is a number between 1.5 and 5 that’s used to multiply your special damages based on the level of pain you experienced or are still experiencing since the accident. The more pain experienced, the higher the general damages multiplier is.
How an Attorney Can Help Identify Your Damages
Now that you understand the pieces that make up this calculation, you can see how complicated it can get. From documenting medical expenses and calculating your lost wages, to understanding your out-of-pocket expenses and more, there’s a lot to consider before accepting an initial settlement offer from an insurance adjuster. It’s in your best interest to seek legal council to ensure a fair amount of recovery money.
An experienced, trusted attorney can not only help you identify all the damages you’ve experienced due to your injury, they can also guide you along the way and provide support during this traumatic time for you and your family.
At The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen, we’re committed to fighting for your case and getting you the most money possible. If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury and would like to speak to an attorney, contact us today to set up your free evaluation.