What you can expect at the end of a personal injury claim depends on a lot of different factors, but the general gist of it is that you should receive a sum of money equal to the damages you have received, paid out by the responsible party. This means it should take into account the wages you missed while out of work due to the injury, the cost of your medical bills, and an added bonus for the pain and suffering you endured while injured.
These are referred to as “compensatory damages” which are designed to compensate you for any loss of income or funds that may have resulted from the event and injury in question. There are a lot of different kinds of compensatory damages but the most common ones are listed above. You can also receive compensatory damages for things like losing property, the injury having a negative impact on your interpersonal relationships and hobbies, and how the injury affects your mental state.
That said, not every claim goes perfectly so it is entirely possible that you will not receive the money you deserve, which is why you should seek out legal counsel when pursuing your claim, usually in the form of a personal injury lawyer or car accident attorneys or any other legal professional depending on the situation you find yourself in and what relates best to your claim.
There is also the matter of punitive damages. Punitive damages are some kind of punishment, usually a monetary value, that the responsible party must pay purely to punish them for what they did wrong in the situation. This usually is only applied to a case if the responsible party has dome something outrageously awful or neglectful which was the cause of the injury, but if punitive damages are applied then they may soon find themselves paying absolutely gargantuan amounts of money to the victimized party.
What caused the injury?
The cause of the injury you have received plays a large part in determining exactly how much money you can expect to receive by pursuing your claim. If the cause of the injury was environmental and not really any one person or organization’s fault, then you will probably only see a small payout to help you deal with the consequences of the injury.
This is because the larger payouts for injury claims come from punitive damages, and if there isn’t anyone directly at fault for the injury, there isn’t anyone to levy punitive damages against.
On the other hand, if there is a person or organization that is directly responsible for your pain and suffering whether through neglect or direct action then you can likely expect punitive damages to be applied which means the payout for your claim will be much larger.
If the directly responsible party is a wealthy organization it could even be in the realm of 7 figures or more which will make it a much higher profile case and even more important that you have legal counsel available. Having an injury lawyer or accident lawyer available to help you navigate a case of this nature will usually result in a higher payout and an easier time handling the case in general.
This makes it especially important that you gather evidence efficiently and thoroughly when the event in question happens. Document the results of the event, including any injuries received and the cause of those injuries so that you have an easier time proving your case and getting the monetary compensation that you deserve.
Ultimately there is no way to predict the outcome of a case with any accuracy or certainty as the decision will always lay in the hands of human beings, who tend to let their decision-making be influenced by sources other than logic and reasoning. That said, you can significantly increase your chances of winning a case by gathering good evidence and having it readily available for perusal by the judging party.
Did you miss work?
If the injury you received as a consequence of the event was bad enough to cause you to miss out on work then you can expect that you will receive a payout for your claim that is roughly equal to the wages you are missing out on while you aren’t available for work due to the injury with the addition of whatever other compensatory and punitive damages apply to your situation.
This is a fairly common payout and can generally be expected as long as you have enough evidence to support your case and show exactly how much money you will be missing out on while you recover from the injury. This kind of evidence usually takes the form of pay stubs and is especially easy to calculate if you have a regular working schedule.
As part of this process you will also have to prove that the injury you received was severe enough and of a type to prevent you from working. If you received a broken arm on your non-dominant hand, and you worked at a call center, you probably wouldn’t receive compensatory damages for your loss of work unless you could prove that you specifically need the use of your non-dominant hand for the work you do there, which would be very difficult.
On the other hand, if you work in construction and ended up breaking both of your legs in the accident, it would be very easy to acquire compensatory damages for your missed work and likely wouldn’t even require proof as it is a fairly obvious circumstance.
This kind of proof shouldn’t be difficult to acquire and can usually consist of something like a copy of your job description and documentation regarding the injury in question. Then, once the two are compared, it should be simple to prove one way or the other if your injury should have kept you out of work and if that is the case then you should be fairly confident in the payout at least covering your lost wages and probably more since that lends credibility to your case.
Do you have outstanding medical bills?
If the injury is severe enough to generate large medical bills then you should document that information because it is very likely that you will receive further compensatory damages to help cover those costs. As long as you can prove that the injury was caused by the accident or a specific party involved with the event at the time then you are almost certain to be awarded compensatory damages for the cost of your medical treatment.
If you will continue to need further medical assistance in the future because of the injury then it is likely that you will also receive a further award to assist you in covering those bills in the future as well. An estimate will be made on how long it will take for you to recover from the damage and how much the medical assistance will cost for that time.
This lends further credence to the point that you should be especially thorough when documenting the event and gathering evidence to support your claims. You should absolutely see a medical professional after any accident and get copies of the cost of any treatment options that are recommended to you so you can ensure that you will be awarded an amount that will cover those options in the future.
So How Much is My Claim Worth ?
Unfortunately, there are too many variables involved to truly tell you exactly how much your personal claim is worth in a single article, but most legal professionals will give you a free consultation to discuss your claims and gather an estimate on how much they are worth.
As long as you have the evidence available to back up your claims then your case should be solid enough that any legal professional would be happy to work with you. In Philadelphia, PA you can find the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky which is well known for being extremely reasonable about their fees and placing very little risk on you, the client.
They only demand payment for their services if they win your case for you, which means you don’t actually have any risk involved at all. If you lose the case then you are no better or worse off than before you decided to pursue your claim, but if you win then you are immediately better off and should have an easier time taking care of yourself in the future while you heal from your injuries.
This payment style is called a contingency fee payment method and is very popular for the reasons outlined above.
If you were instead going to pay a lawyer hourly for the work they do while attempting to win your case, you would likely end up paying more money to the lawyers to win your case than you would win in the award at the end of it unless you are experiencing an absolutely massive payout.