Factors That Impact the Value of a Personal Injury Case
Posted in Personal Injury on November 25, 2020
Personal injury claims allow you to collect funds for the economic, or financial, losses you suffered, as well as the physical and emotional pain you endured. When you file this type of claim, you may wonder how much compensation you can expect to receive at the conclusion of your case. Every case is different, and multiple factors play a role in placing a dollar value on a personal injury claim.
#1: The Severity of Your Injury
All of the compensation you collect in a personal injury claim must be directly related to the injuries you sustained in the accident. Naturally, if you suffer very severe injuries such as broken bones or permanent brain damage, the value of your settlement will be higher than if you sustained a less severe injury, such as soft tissue damage.
With more severe injuries, you will require more medical care and you will likely need ongoing treatment for months or even years following your case. You may need lengthy recovery time, which will keep you away from work for longer periods and increase the lost wages portion of your settlement. The physical pain and suffering from a severe injury is higher than a minor injury, and this factor may also increase your award. After an accident, it’s important to speak with a McAllen personal injury lawyer to discuss the specifics of your accident and how much compensation you could recover.
#2: Psychological Trauma
If you developed emotional and mental pain following the accident, your settlement award will likely increase. Non-economic damages compensate you for not only the physical pain you suffered, but your psychological trauma as well. A diagnosis for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other forms of psychological damage can increase your emotional pain and suffering award.
#3: Medical Treatment
This factor is related to the severity of your injuries, but it is important to remember that the bulk of your settlement will go toward your medical treatment. The more medical care you receive, the higher your settlement award.
You may need to spend significant amounts of time in the hospital, attend follow-up appointments and physical therapy, and undergo specialized surgical procedures. If your injuries are severe or involve damage to a certain body part or organ, such as your spinal cord, you will likely need to receive treatment from specialists. Long-term care can also increase your settlement, especially if you require live-in caregivers, disability accommodations, or specialized mobility equipment.
#4: Certainty of Liability
In order to receive compensation in your claim, you must prove that the at-fault party’s negligent actions directly cause your injury. The more certain the court is that the defendant in your claim is liable for your injuries, the less likely your case will be subject to Texas’s modified comparative negligence rule. This legal theory can decrease your award if you share a percentage of the liability. If you are 51% or more responsible for the accident, you will not receive compensation for your injuries.
#5: Gross Negligence, Fraud, or Malice
In some cases, the at-fault party acts in such a way that the court may assign punitive damages in addition to the economic and non-economic losses you claim. The purpose of these damages is to deter the defendant from committing the same actions again.
Under Texas law, courts assign punitive damages in cases where the defendant acts in a way that demonstrates fraud, malice, or gross negligence. If these factors are present in your case, you may be eligible for additional damages.
If you are suffering from a personal injury in Texas, do not hesitate to seek help. Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident to discuss your legal options and take your first steps toward compensation.