Mark Roman | May 2, 2017 | Personal Injury
Personal injury claims provide victims who are injured by negligence with the opportunity to make a financial recovery of their damages. These damages are tangible and nontangible losses that directly result from an accident and injuries. Commonly, they include things like medical expenses, lost work wages, and a victim’s pain and suffering. While all victims have the right to recover damages when another party can be held at fault and liable, not all will recover the same type of compensation or be compensated for the same reasons. After all, every accident and injury is unique.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our Clearwater personal injury attorneys have helped thousands of local Floridians protect their rights after being harmed in preventable accidents, including car accidents, truck accidents, and incidents that result in catastrophic injuries. Over the years, we continually field the same types of questions from our clients. Who can be held at fault? Am I entitled to compensation? One of the most common questions we receive, however, are those about the value of a case.
Unfortunately, especially at the outset of a case, it is difficult to estimate how much a case may be worth. This is because the value of any personal injury case is a matter dependent on numerous unique facts, as well as what is discovered about the nature of injuries and their impact on a victim’s life. Ultimately, we tell our clients that it depends.
Because “it depends” doesn’t provide the type of solace victims need when they are suffering from injuries that have complicated their financial, personal, and professional lives, we always may sure to explain how compensation works in personal injury cases. Generally, we explain that victims harmed by negligence have the right to recover the following types of damages:
- Economic damages – Economic damages are straightforward in that they are the monetary losses victims incur as a result of an accident. Medical expenses, property damage, rehabilitation, psychological services, and lost work wages are all common examples of economic damages, and they can be easily tabulated when it comes time to secure compensation.
- Non economic damages – Unlike economic damages, there are no receipts or price tags associated with a victim’s non-economic damages or the intangible losses they incur after an accident. Commonly, these include things like a victim’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of quality and enjoyment of life, and other emotional injuries. These may be difficult to equate into monetary sums, but because unforeseen accidents and injuries can greatly impact the emotional well-being of a victim, noneconomic damages are critical to compensating victims for the full extent of their losses.
- Punitive damages – Economic and non-economic damages are common in most personal injury cases, but there are also punitive damages which may be awarded under certain circumstances. Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are awarded against defendants who commit egregious acts of negligence or wrongful conduct, and serve to punish wrongdoers and set an example that deters others from committing the same dangerous actions. For example, they may be awarded in a truck accident case where a trucking company negligently employed a driver with a long and verifiable history of violations and misconduct. Punitive damages are not awarded in the majority of personal injury cases, however.
Aside from understand the available damages in personal injury cases, the value of your claim will depend on factors unique to you, your accident, your injuries, and how they have affected your life. Among other factors, we take the following into account:
- Your injuries and their impact – One of the main reasons why it is difficult to estimate the value of a case is because the nature and full scope of your injuries must be understood. Victims may seek medical evaluations for their injuries to better understand their severity, treatment options, and prognosis, or what can be expected of their recovery. Treatment, including surgeries, can also have a profound impact on a victim’s life, and lead to the accumulation of other damages, including lost wages. Loss of limbs or impairment can also have a profound impact on one’s life and ability to work or enjoy normal activities. Evaluating the full scope of your injuries and how they affect your life is critical to recovering full compensation, but it often takes time to know just how they do.
- Medical treatment – The value of your case is also highly dependent on your medical treatment. You would not want to settle for compensation while you are still treating, as this would leave you on the hook for the rest of your treatment. This is why victims should treat their injuries until they are fully healed, or until they are as well as they can be expected to get. Sometimes, certain treatments may be ineffective at resolving an underlying issue, and more invasive approaches will be taken. These are factors that can’t always be predicted, but they will impact the value of your case.
- Family impact – In addition to considering how an accident an injury affects a victim, the value of a case can also be impacted when victims’ families endure suffering and damages as well. This is common in cases involving catastrophic injuries, where a victim’s loved one may need to provide care to their family member. It can also include their emotional injuries, including the suffering they experience when their loved one has suffered serious harm, and loss of companionship, consortium, and support provides by a victim who has been left with injuries or disabilities that affect their relationships or ability to provide.
- Future needs – Another critical factor behind the value of a case may be the needs victims will have in the future. This is often related to future medical needs, including the expected costs of future medical care relating to their injuries, accommodations for disabilities, and more. Over the course of treatment, doctors and medical experts can provide the evidence needed to support future needs, which can factor into case value.
Personal injury cases take time, and during this time the focus should always be on your health and well-being. Our attorneys stress this, and work to educate clients about what they can expect when it comes to compensation. Ultimately, we know that there are numerous factors with can affect the value of a case, and we work to highlight all of these factors in order to maximize our clients recoveries. This approach, combined with the extensive experience, resources and expertise of our Board Certified attorneys (Board Certified Civil Trial Experts in Civil Trial Law by The Florida Bar) has enabled our firm to recover millions of dollars in compensation for the injured and the wronged.
Contact the Clearwater Personal Injury Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655