How Much Can You Get from a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury attorney is dedicated to making the personal injury claim process as smooth as possible and getting you the fair and just compensation you deserve.

You may be entitled to damages in a personal injury claim when you have been injured due to another person or entity’s negligence. Fresno Personal Injury Lawyers, who have been helping victims of accidents in northern California for decades, say you can recover compensation for your losses from your accident in a personal injury claim.

However, they also warn that there is a two-year statute of limitations on individual injury cases in California. After the statute of limitations has passed, you will not be entitled to any legal recourse no matter how intense the evidence is, so you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney soon if you want to recover the following damages.

Types of Damages

There are three types of damages: economic, noneconomic, and punitive. Although the last type, punitive damages, is much rarer, if you are successful in your injury claim, you could receive economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to make you financially whole after a personal injury. You have undoubtedly incurred hefty medical expenses due to the accident to treat your injuries. Economic damages include your medical expenses, including but not limited to your hospitalization, surgery, diagnostic testing, pain medications, follow-up doctors’ visits, and physical therapy. If you require assistive medical devices, such as a wheelchair, that will also be included in your medical expenses.

Your injuries may prevent you from returning to work or possibly returning to your career, depending on the severity of your injuries and what type of job you worked in. Lost wages compensate you for the time you have missed from work. Future lost earning potential reimburses you if you cannot return to work shortly or cannot return to your industry at all. You will need to provide copies of your paystubs and wages to prove you have lost earnings.

Damages also include any out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred due to the accident. Many people find it challenging to take care of their children or get around if they have been involved in an accident. They rely on public transportation, grocery delivery, and childcare services while healing. These can be extremely expensive. You should provide receipts for these expenses to your attorney. You should also provide receipts for car repairs if a personal vehicle were damaged in the accident.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages compensate you for nonpecuniary losses such as the loss of feeling of safety, the loss of the use of an organ or a limb, the loss of your ability to walk, or the loss of one of your senses, such as the ability to see or hear. Post-traumatic stress disorder, mental anguish, and emotional distress are noneconomic damages.

Suppose your accident resulted in injuries that were so severe that you suffered internal bleeding, bruising to an organ, permanent or temporary paralysis, the inability to control your bowel movements or your bladder, facial disfigurement, or have severely hindered your cognitive abilities. In that case, your attorney will fight for you to get the most compensation possible for your noneconomic damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rarely awarded but can be successfully recovered in certain situations. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for egregiously reckless or negligent behavior, such as driving while drunk.

If the court awards you punitive damages, the defendant will be responsible for paying damages for their misconduct. Punitive damages are meant to deter others who may be thinking about engaging in the same type of behavior.

The Multiplier Method

Next, you must understand how your damages are calculated to determine the settlement amount. First, your attorney calculates the total of your economic damages, including your future medical expenses. Once they determine a number, the insurance company will multiply it by a factor between 1.5 and five.

The insurance adjuster will never tell you what multiplier they used, but the higher your suffering, the higher the multiplier. This is why you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who will help you maximize your settlement.

An accident that causes whiplash that does not lead to permanent injuries may have a multiplier of 1.5. An accident that requires the injured victim to have their leg amputated or results in paralysis or a coma may have a multiplier as high as five. Injuries that may be serious but are not life-threatening can have a multiplier of three or four.

For example, Marie is involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. She suffers multiple contusions on her internal organs and brain and has been in a coma for several weeks. When she woke up, she had a long recovery in front of her.

She was deeply disturbed by how much time she had missed and the skills and abilities she lacked before the injury. In this case, her multiplier was five, given how severe her injuries were and how much her life changed. If her damages totaled $100,000, her settlement would be $500,000.

Hire An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

When you hire a personal injury attorney, you are more likely to receive the settlement you deserve. A personal injury attorney is dedicated to making the personal injury claim process as smooth as possible and getting you the fair and just compensation you deserve.

An experienced personal injury attorney will talk to the insurance company for you but also knows the arguments they will try to make to reduce your settlement. Your attorney will fight back harder and be in your corner the entire time. You may feel overwhelmed, shocked, and frustrated due to your accident. Dealing with the insurance company could aggravate your anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.

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