What factors will determine the amount of compensation for an injury?
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Have you been the victim of some type of accident? If so, you’re likely entitled to compensation. But how much compensation can you get?
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to get fair compensation that will cover all of their immediate needs after the accident, but this isn’t always the case. There are several factors that influence what the defendant will actually owe you.
We’re here to help you understand the factors that determine the amount of compensation you can get. Read on to learn more.
The severity of the injury
Naturally, the severity of the injury is going to have an impact on the payout. A minor injury isn’t going to require as much compensation as a serious injury that leaves someone bedridden or hospital-bound for a longer period of time.
If you want to prove the severity of the injury, you’re going to need to visit a doctor (even if you don’t think the injury is doctor-worthy). If you plan on working with a personal injury lawyer to pursue damages, records of your medical care will serve as evidence that you can use in court. Even evidence of an urgent care visit will be helpful if you’re seeking out a small amount of compensation for a minor injury.
In most cases, the higher your medical bills, the higher the compensation from your personal injury case will be. As long as it’s clear that the other party is at fault, it’s possible that the entirety of your medical bills will be covered.
Keep a clear record of all medical bills, tests, and doctor’s notes if possible to make sure you have proof of your injury.
Pain and suffering
It’s difficult to place a value on pain and suffering when it’s not accompanied by medical bills, but it will directly impact the compensation you receive from a personal injury case.
Pain and suffering come in various forms. A judge will take into consideration any physical injuries, lost wages, social harm caused by the injury, property damage, and even the death of another related party (as a result of the accident) when they’re making their decision. If you have a good lawyer on your team, they can find ways to increase your compensation due to pain and suffering.
Many people don’t consider the potential of lost wages immediately after an accident. For a small injury, there may be no lost wages. For a larger injury with a long recovery time, those lost wages can be immense. Some people find themselves unable to work at all after a serious accident and that can put them in serious financial distress.
The court takes this into consideration. They want the plaintiff to get reasonable compensation that will help cover some of their lost wages so they can afford to take care of themself.
Unfortunately, insurance may limit your compensation after a serious injury.
An insurance company isn’t going to offer a payout that’s over the policy limit. If that limit is lower than the medical costs and lost wages, there’s going to be a noticeable gap. In this case, a good lawyer will have to go directly after the offending party rather than their insurance company to make up the difference.
If the offending party has no money to offer, the plaintiff may never get the compensation they deserve.
In some cases, shared fault will impact the amount of compensation someone can get from an accident or personal injury. This varies depending on the state in which the accident happened.
Let’s say that someone got into a car accident in which they were hit by someone who ran a red light. The person who ran the red light was at fault, but if there’s evidence that the plaintiff was going over the speed limit when they were hit, they may be considered partially at fault for the accident.
This can happen with many types of personal injury cases. Note that the defendant’s legal team may work hard to prove shared fault even if the fault is clearly on the defendant alone. Having a good attorney on your team will help.
Things that could negatively impact your compensation
Even if you deserve a high payout from your personal injury case, there are things that lawyers can use against you. You want to be careful to avoid anything that could damage your case.
Here are a few things that could lower the amount of compensation you receive from your personal injury case.
Social media activity
You should always be careful about what you post on social media. It may come back to haunt you later.
If you’re posting about going on vacation, for example, the court may decide that your injuries aren’t as extreme as you claimed. Of course, you can still go on vacation while recovering from an injury, but it makes you look less reliable.
Similarly, if you post about going to work, but you’re trying to claim lost wages, this could be a problem.
Missed medical appointments
You should always go to your medical appointments after a serious injury, and not just for healing purposes. It will also help you ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
You may think that all of your follow-up appointments are unnecessary. Perhaps you don’t feel the need to go to physical therapy or you’re too busy to go to a check-up. These things can negatively impact your situation.
If the court sees that you’re not going to your appointments, they may determine that you don’t actually need as much compensation as you claim to need.
These factors determine your compensation after an accident
When you’re in the middle of a personal injury case, so many things influence the amount of compensation you can get from the defendant. A good attorney will help you keep track of all of the factors so you can get the compensation you deserve.
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