February 20, 2024 11:06 PM
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How Are Damages Calculated in Personal Injury Cases?

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How are damages calculated in personal injury cases

While it may seem like an abstract question, determining how much your damages are worth is an important step in bringing a personal injury case to a successful conclusion.

In most personal injury cases, damages are categorized into two broad categories. The first is called “economic” damages. These are damages that can be easily evaluated and monetarily compensated.

Special Damages

Special damages are monetary awards awarded to compensate you for your economic losses resulting from an accident or injury. These losses are usually calculated based on medical bills and receipts, as well as proof of travel expenses, claims for care and assistance, and loss of income.

Unlike general damages, which have no exact dollar value, special damages are easy to calculate. These losses can include out-of-pocket expenses, such as prescriptions, crutches and braces.

They are also based on direct costs incurred by you during and after the accident. Often, these expenses will include hospital bills, lost wages, and any legal fees or property damage incurred.

General Damages

General damages compensate you for things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and other intangible losses. These can include physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

Unlike special damages, which can be calculated with a receipt for expenses such as medical bills and lost wages, general damages are harder to quantify. They require human judgment and expert testimony, which can be challenging in personal injury cases.

General damages are typically estimated using one or more formulas. For example, insurance adjusters and attorneys often use a multiplier method that involves taking your total special damages and multiplying them by a number between 1.5 and 5. This multiplier is chosen based on the severity of your injuries and your ongoing treatment needs.

Punitive Damages

There are several different types of damages that can be awarded in personal injury cases. These include general, special and punitive damages.

These damages are calculated based on a combination of actual expenses and pain and suffering. Often, lawyers will use mathematical formulas to calculate the amount of compensation that a victim is entitled to.

Compensatory damages are also awarded in personal injury cases and cover monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. They are intended to reimburse victims for any physical and financial harm that they have experienced as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness.

Punitive damages, or “exemplary” damages, are not generally awarded in personal injury cases. However, they are sometimes awarded when a defendant’s actions are determined to be fraudulent or malicious.

Damages Calculation

When you file a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to know how to calculate your damages. This will help you determine how much money you deserve from the at-fault party or their insurance company.

Damages can be broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic. The latter covers pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and a diminished quality of life due to the accident.

Economic damages are easy to calculate because they can be based on receipts and bills. These damages can include medical bills and lost wages.

The most common way to calculate economic damages is by using a multiplier method. This means that you multiply your actual losses by a figure between 1.5 and 5.

Once your adjuster has a total of your special damages, they will try to place a value on general damages. These are the effects that are difficult to assign a dollar amount to such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and a diminished quality of life.

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