How Much Can You Get From a Personal Injury Claim?
Damages are meant to compensate you for the losses you suffered as a result of someone else’s recklessness or negligence that caused the accident. It’s not your fault that you are now facing a mountain of medical debt during a time when you can’t work. You can recover compensation under your state’s personal injury laws with the help of an attorney. Jacksonville personal injury lawyers advise, however, that the best way to know how much your case is worth is to talk to a personal injury attorney.
First, let’s take a look at what is used to calculate how much money you will receive in your settlement. As mentioned, you can receive financial compensation for your losses stemming from the accident. There are different types of economic damages.
Being treated for accident injuries is very expensive. Every cost from the ambulance ride to your emergency room visit, your follow-up visits and prescription medications can be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit.
Lost wages compensate you if you were too injured to work or if you are too injured to return to work. If you can’t earn a living, then you can recover the salary or wages you would have made from the negligent party.
You can also be compensated for your physical pain and suffering. Although non-economic damages are much harder to quantify, they are still meaningful and have an impact on an injured victim’s life.
How much will I get in my settlement?
Now that you have an understanding of the different types of damages, it’s time to understand how these damages are calculated to create a settlement amount. One of the most popular methods is the multiplier method. To be clear, this is just a general background on how settlement amounts are calculated. The insurance adjuster will never tell you what formula they used, and this method is not precise. However, it is one of the most popular methods used to come up with an amount.
First, your attorney will add up all of your economic damages since they are the easiest to calculate based on your bills and receipts. For the sake of example, let’s say that your total economic damages came to $20,000. That number reflects your time in the hospital and the few weeks of work that you missed. Next, your attorney will argue for you to receive the maximum amount possible in pain and suffering, with more extensive injuries receiving a higher amount. When using the multiplier method, the total amount that you receive in your settlement is based on your total economic damages multiplied by a factor between 1.5 and five, with the higher factor used in more egregious cases.
Let’s say that after your accident you do not suffer life-threatening injuries nor do you have to change careers, but you still suffered intensely and needed several weeks to heal. The insurance company may use a factor of three to multiply your economic damages, coming to a total of $60,000. However, when a victim suffers a loss of the use of an organ or a limb, or the accident led to the death of a victim, then the multiplier can be as high as five or even higher.