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Only a personal injury lawyer can tell if you have a case at all if you receive injuries in some accident because the situation and circumstances of the event must meet the necessary criteria to make a case for claiming compensation. Even if you have a case, how much it will be worth pursuing is what the lawyers at Hershey Law LA who specialize in personal injury claims can tell you. Although it is not possible to predict the outcome, personal injury lawyers use their experience and knowledge to foresee the chances of a favorable outcome and advise clients accordingly. To claim compensation, you must prove that the injury was the result of negligence on someone else’s part and work out the financial impact of damages by working out the kinds of damages undergone and duly supported by evidence. A lot depends on how the lawyer builds up the case.
Ascertaining the fiscal impact of damages from accidents involves investigation and takes time. You or your lawyer must talk to several individuals along with the physicians and therapists who have treated you to understand how the accident is likely to affect your life in the long run. The process is not only time consuming but expensive too and might take several months. For complex cases, it might even take years. To handle the tasks efficiently, you must hire an experienced injury lawyer well conversant with the laws to give you the correct picture of what you can expect from it and ensure the best possible outcome.
Assessing damages and working out the claim amount for compensation are some of the major tasks of lawyers for which it needs a good understanding of the method of determining damages. Clients too must have some idea about it so that they can set the right expectations under the guidance of a personal injury lawyer.
Why lawyers are essential
Most personal injury cases result from slip and fall and motor vehicle accidents. In such cases, the offending parties who are legally responsible for causing the accident and injuries must compensate the victim. The insurance claim settlers of the offending party pay the compensation, but here also you need assistance from a personal injury lawyer to ensure a fair settlement of the claim. If you are happy with the settlement, then there is no need to file a lawsuit and seek a trial. In case you want higher compensation, then there is no other way but to file a lawsuit for a personal injury compensation claim.
Damage assessment – factors that contribute
The lawyer considers several factors to arrive at the monetary value of the damages. By looking at the course of events, the lawyer would first establish how the accident happened and what are the causes of injuries. In addition, they would determine the severity of injuries and try to find out how exactly the injuries will affect your future life. To asses how your life might change due to the injuries, the lawyer would consider all aspects covering your career and income as also the personal chores you undergo and even take into account your leisure activities.
After reviewing the medical records, your personal injury lawyer will be able to give you some idea about the nature of the settlement that you can expect. To estimate the settlement amount, the lawyer would compare your case with some previously decided case.
Understanding compensatory damages
Compensatory damages constitute the monetary losses undergone as a result of the injuries which include loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, property loss and home maintenance/ housekeeping.
Let us now look at the details of these elements to understand what it means.
All necessary and reasonable costs incurred by you towards the treatment of injuries resulting from the accident constitute medical expenses. Even if the defendant’s insurance or your insurance paid for a part of the treatment, you could still claim the medical expenses. The amount takes care of all out of pocket expenses already paid by you and even the expenses towards your future care that you may need to recover from the injuries.
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering are a crucial component of personal injury claim, and from a legal perspective, it constitutes of both physical and mental suffering and pain.
- Pain and suffering – Physical – The actual injuries of the plaintiff are part of the physical pain and suffering. In addition to the pain and discomfort that the plaintiff undergoes due to the injuries, it also includes the future suffering that can happen from it.
- Pain and suffering- Mental – besides the bodily injuries the plaintiff undergoes mental trauma from the accident that constitutes mental pain and suffering. The mental anguish and emotional distress together with anger, fear, shock, humiliation, and anxiety that the victim suffers as a result of going through the physical pain and suffering are all part of mental distress and pain.
Loss of income
When an accident affects your capacity to work or hinders income, you become entitled to claim for the loss of income incurred during the period of recovering from injuries. In the process, you can recover the value of lost income from the time of the accident until the date of your retirement, depending on the situation.
If the accident causes damage to your property, you can include the monetary value for the loss in the claim for compensation. To work out the value, you can include the expenses incurred in repairing the item and even the total market value of the item in case the item is so much damaged that it is beyond repair.
If the injuries prevent you from performing the required home maintenance and housekeeping tasks, you must hire some agency to get the work done. You can include such expenses as part of personal injury claim.
To protect your rights for personal injury, you must pursue your case only when there is enough merit to claim compensation that justifies the time and money that you spend on it.