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Personal Injury Claim: What Can You Get Compensated For?

What Exactly Can You Get Compensated for in a Personal Injury Claim?

A common question asked by many accident victims is “how much is my case worth?”  The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. A monetary value of a personal injury lawsuit includes a combination of economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic type damages include lost wages and medical bills. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and emotional distress. Following are an example of damages that may be recovered at a successful trial or settlement of your lawsuit.

Medical Expenses

Accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills arising from medical care they received as a result of an accident.  This includes but is not limited to any and all bills for visits to an emergency room, bills related to physical therapy sessions, bills for diagnostic tests and the cost of medication and/or equipment an injured individual may utilize. If your injury was caused due to a motor vehicle accident you may also be entitled to No-Fault insurance coverage as well.

Lost Wages

An accident victim may also be entitled to compensation for lost earnings and wages that would have earned if you were not injured.  These include wages not covered by No-Fault, Disability or Workers’ Compensation benefits. An accident victim may receive compensation for past and future lost wages.

Household  Services

There are times that an individual that has been injured in an accident becomes incapacitated and as a result must hire someone to care for them on a daily basis and/or maintain their household. In many cases the cost of household services will be calculated in a settlement or jury award.

Pain and Suffering

The term “pain and suffering” is the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused from an injury and refers to compensation an injured party may receive for issues such as:

•  Mental anguish and emotional distress

•  Loss of enjoyment of life

•  The physical pain and suffering they experience as a result of the accident

•  Permanent disability

•  Disfigurement

This is a non economic recovery and is arrived at by subjective analysis by a jury or during settlement negotiations. This is different from your loss of wages and cost of medical bills which can be calculated from records and documents.

Punitive Damages

The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for causing the accident. Punitive damages are typically awarded where the defendant’s conduct was outrageous.  For example, punitive damages are sometimes awarded where a defendant causes an auto accident while driving under the influence of alcohol. Punitive damages are rarely awarded at trial.

In New York State, an accident victim may pursue compensation from the negligent party that caused their injury. As you can see there are a number of factors that must be considered when determining the value of a personal injury case.

If you’d like an opinion on the value of your potential personal injury case, give us a call and we will gladly assist you.

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