Thursday, March 6, 2014

Determining the Amount of Your Personal Injury Compensation Claim

personal injury due to accidents
Accidents happen even if you try to practice safety all the time. There's really nothing you can do about it, except take everything in and find ways to recover. Dealing with a personal injury case, especially if you are the victim, is very stressful and never a positive experience. The best thing you can do is to learn from the experience and try to get the rightful amount of compensation in order to move on from the ordeal. That said however, there are a number of factors that determine the amount of monetary compensation that you will be able to receive, which include the following:

Compensation for medical bills and other expenses. Whenever accidents happen, whether minor or major, you need to be able to avail medical treatment for your injuries. Doing so is highly important, especially since courts will reduce your monetary award if you fail to mitigate the damages. This award is basically a reimbursement for the amount spent for medical treatment and for future expenses, including hospital confinement, medicine and other forms of treatment, like chiropractic (although you may need to discuss this with your lawyer).

Salary and income. Whenever accidents happen, it is inevitable that you will lose your ability to make a living temporarily – in severe cases, permanently. Losing your ability to earn is fatal, especially with the kind of economy that we have today which is why you need to be compensated for it if accidents do occur. Basically, this includes the amount of income you've already because of the injury and the ones you would also lose in the future. This is characterized as “loss of earning capacity” in legal terms. 

Property loss. Let's say that the accident is vehicular in nature (vehicular accidents actually dominate the personal injury claim landscape in the United States). You safely parked your car in the parking lot when another driver carelessly crashes unto your car. You hurriedly escape from the wreckage with only a few cuts and bruises but your car was somehow set ablaze, along with your possessions inside it. In this case, you will be able to file a compensation claim for your totaled car, and lost possessions, in full market value and possibly for the inconvenience that was caused because of losing them.

Emotional distress and pain. Let's use the same example again. You may have only suffered little external damage, but because of the incident, you are now having panic attacks, severely affecting your way of life. Adding to the burden, the bruises you suffered are causing severe pain, rendering you unable to enjoy the joys of life. In this case, you will be able to include this in your claim to increase your monetary award.

Punitive damages. Basically, this damage award can be added to the compensatory damages (which are all of the above mentioned facts) but is not meant to compensate the victim. Instead, it is slapped on the offender with the purpose of punishing him. Most states however, have punitive damages ceilings.

You never know when accidents happen, so it is highly important to take the necessary precautions and know what to do if it comes. When it does, remember to document everything and be sure to hire the best personal injury lawyers in order to help you out. 


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