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Factors That Impact Your Claim Value

By Butler Prather LLP on October 12, 2020

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an incident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another party, whether a car accident, a slip and fall incident, or some other accident, you should be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, there are various factors that can influence the value of your injury claim. Most personal injury cases are resolved through insurance settlements, but some end up going to trial. Regardless of the method of resolving a personal injury case, you need to be aware of the factors that can affect the value of the claim.

Factors that impact your personal injury claim

When discussing the value of a personal injury claim, we need to distinguish between economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages

Economic damages are those that can be calculated using bills and receipts that are easily obtainable. These types of damages include things such as:

  • Medical expenses, including emergency room visits, follow up doctor visits, physical therapy and rehabilitation costs, etc.
  • Lost income if a victim is unable to work while they recover
  • Any household out-of-pocket expenses a victim incurs due to their injury
  • Property damage expenses

Any attorney will help calculate total economic damages by gathering medical bills, tax returns, pay stubs, property damage estimates, and other receipts. Economic damages are typically not very difficult to calculate. The main factors that affect the amount of economic damages that are obtainable include the severity of the injury a victim sustains, the amount of time the victim is unable to work, and how much their out-of-pocket costs amount to.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages are those that are harder to calculate because they do not typically come with bills or receipts that are easily obtainable. The most common non-economic damages include the following:

  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Mental anguish or emotional distress damages
  • Loss of consortium for spouses

Properly calculating non-economic damages is typically going to be done using a multiplier method. This involves adding up all of the economic damages and then using a certain number as a multiplier to arrive at the approximate value for the non-economic damages. Most multipliers range from 1.5 to 5, with the actual number hovering somewhere in the middle. Typically, the more severe and long-lasting the victim’s injuries are, the higher the multiplier.

For an example of how this works, suppose an injury victim sustains $100,000 worth of economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses). The injury victim’s attorney may take that number and use a multiplier of 3 to arrive at $300,000 for non-economic damages. Thus, the attorney will ask for $400,000 in total compensation for their client.

Speak to a personal injury attorney about your claim today

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by another party’s careless or negligent actions, you need to work with an attorney to ensure you are fairly compensated for your losses. An attorney will be aware of all of the factors that impact the value of your claim and will be ready to counter any aggressive insurance carrier or at-fault party. Do not hesitate to seek assistance from an attorney who will stand up for your rights.

Posted in: Personal Injury

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