Before getting into details you should know that establishing a personal injury claim value is not an exact science and that outcomes may vary from case to case depending on a multitude of factors, with human nature being one of the most important.
Here are some of the most common references that will be taken into consideration by the legal court when establishing any personal injury compensation value:
1. Liability: It’s very important to know who was the culprit of the incident which led to the injuries. For example, in the vast majority of car accidents, there is a clear and unambiguous culprit which will have to answer in front of the law for his or her deeds. In case of an accident with questionable liabilities and evidence, with a lack of culpability, it’s very difficult if not impossible for anybody to succeed in obtaining any settlement value.
2. Injury Type: In case that you sustained severe injuries it is highly advisable to look for a good personal injury lawyer who can offer judicial assistance in order for you to get a just compensation for your claims. However, you sustained only minor injuries as a result of the accident (whiplash, bruise, strains, bump etc.) you can handle the legal complaint by yourself.
3. Your age: Usually, the younger you are, the more you stand to receive a compensation payment. The best settlement results are obtained by personal injury victims under the age of 12 due to their obvious innocence and by persons over 60 years of age who usually benefit from a greater sympathy from the court members during lawsuits.
4. Your gender: In normal situations, personal injury claim values are the same for both men and women. However there could be exceptions from this rule, like for example in the case of visible scars caused by the accident. In this case, it would be considered that a woman would endure more hardships than a man from visible scarring and therefore she would be awarded a greater compensation amount.
5. What kind of person you are: Here you have to be totally honest with yourself and see if your past could be a potential drag for obtaining a good settlement amount. If you have a history of law problems, a criminal record or if you were in prison for a while, then you’re more likely to get a smaller amount than an average beneficiary who did not have any legislative troubles in the past.
6. What kind of person the culprit is: If the person who caused the accident is known to have has issues with the law in the past and has had a series of lawsuits being under accusation, then you stand to earn more from a potential legal settlement in court. However, if he’s known to be spotless and on top of that he’s one of the community’s most notable philanthropies, then your case is not so solid anymore.
7. Damage types: When establishing your personal injury claim value, you should take into account the several damage types that your attorney can invoke in court: medical special damage (cost of ambulance, x-rays, diagnostics, emergency room, drugs, therapy, etc.), evidence of non medical special damage (lost wages and profits, child care costs during disability, lost vacation days, etc.) and/or property damage (car repair costs, damaged clothing, real-estate devaluation etc.). Depending on the nature of the accident, there can be only one of them, several, or all three.
In case of any lost wages it is important for you to know that this is one area that could have a great impact on your final personal injury claim value. This is mostly because it’s one of the situations that you have the most control over. For example, you can earn a great deal more if you were doing commissions and overtime work. Here, a letter from your employer stating the amount of your overtime hours would weigh heavily in your favor during the personal injury lawsuit and would ensure that you are entitled to just compensation.
You should also know that you are entitled to monetary compensations for your lost wages even if you have no actual loss of income! It can be that your company pays you the normal wage during recovery or that you take some sick days, thus you would be getting your normal wage. Regardless of that, the court could decide that you’d get compensation for lost time and earnings.
If, following the accident you can no longer work in the same environment and you are forced to get a lesser paid job or to work half time at your previous rate, you should know that you are entitled to compensatory amounts but make sure that your employer documents all the changes that take place.
It is important to remember to always correctly record and present (to your lawyer and to the court) all of your costs caused by the accident, all of your lost wages and earnings because they could all greatly increase your personal injury claim value in the end.