You’ve been injured, but what does this mean from a legal standpoint. How does our legal machinery handle compensation for your injury, loss, and pain and suffering? In short, what does winning in a personal injury lawsuit mean financially to you? The short answer is, it’s complicated and there is no straight path in any case that an honest lawyer can say to you that your case is worth $X. We can provide context and describe the process but we have to work the process through to get some idea of what your case might mean to you financially.
One of the first considerations in a personal injury lawsuit is what type of damages are you impacted by? There are three primary types of damages, 1.) Physical, 2.) Mental/Emotional, and 3.) Punitive. These further break down in to areas such as lost income or the inability to work, costs of medical treatment, and costs to replace property lost. These can be reasonably quantifiable as wages, property and medical expenses tend to add up. There are other classifications in a personal injury lawsuit however such as emotional, pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment from life which are not so clear and are not factors that can be easily tabulated in an objective manner. For example, if you become terrified of traveling in a car, how do you monetize this? So, as you can see, in the physical and emotional components of a personal injury claim there are a lot of moving parts crossing objective and subjective lines of reasoning and calculus.
Now enter punitive damages which is an instrument in law that permits the courts to send a message, not just to the offending party in your case but to others who might perform a similar misdeed or act of carelessness and these tend to be pretty severe as the court wants the message to be loud. These are commonly applied in workplace situations where a corner was cut to make a little more money at the expense of an injured employee.
Punitive Damage has three scenarios:
- Comparative negligence which says there are degrees of responsibility and the situation is binary but has shades of grey.
- Contributory negligence which is only applied in a few states uses a dialed in approach to assigning part of the problem to both parties in the claim and,
- The aspect stating that the injured party, has a responsibility to lessen damages that can be avoided under his or her own control so that once injured you can do things to make matters worse.
The only logical conclusion with so many factors and nuisance is that the likelihood of a successful claim is very much connected to the quality of your representation.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and injured, you have our deepest concern and sympathy. Contact us at Accident Law Group to get a complete assessment of your case. We built our firm to help you build fight and win your case and make sure the rights you have under the law are protected.
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