It is often difficult to estimate the actual cost of a personal injury. This is because several factors determine what you are entitled to receive from a settlement.
Medical bills are one of the most significant expenses associated with a personal injury. These costs are often tens of thousands of dollars or more and can pile up quickly. This can lead to a lot of stress for injured victims, and it can be challenging to manage in the months following an accident.
However, medical bills are only one component of the actual cost of a personal injury. In addition to the medical expenses, you can claim lost wages, property damage, and other damages incurred due to your injuries.
For example, if you were injured in an auto accident that left you temporarily unable to work, you can claim your time away from the job as a wage loss. This is important because it can help you prove that your injuries have negatively affected your lifestyle and your ability to earn a living in the future.
Another way medical expenses can affect your settlement is through a practice known as balance billing. This happens when medical providers try to bill you directly for the amount they originally billed your health insurance company. This is a form of fraud that is increasingly being prosecuted in states across the country.
Suppose you lose your injury case and are awarded a settlement. In that case, the insurance company may try to deduct these medical expenses from your settlement as part of their argument for fault. This is why it’s critical to document your injuries and expenses right after an accident and to have them paid out of pocket as soon as possible.
A personal injury attorney can help you calculate your losses and recover the total value of these damages, including past medical bills and any future medical expenses. These damages can also include lost wages and other non-economic costs, such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Those are more challenging to calculate but are still essential to your overall compensation. It would help if you spoke with a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about how these damages can be calculated and awarded to you.
As you might imagine, missing work can severely affect your finances. When you cannot return to work because of an accident, this can mean that you cannot meet your financial obligations or pay off debts that may have built up as a result of the incident.
However, there are ways to recover lost wages after a personal injury. For example, if you earned sick leave or vacation time while on your break from work, you can seek compensation for those days in a settlement.
Alternatively, you can seek wage replacement benefits from your employer if your employer offers them. These benefits can be significant if your injuries impact your career or earning ability.
To get started, you need to provide proof of your loss. This can be through paystubs, W-2s, and tax returns from previous years. You can also include documents that show how much you would have earned if you were working when the accident occurred.
Another way to prove lost wages is by submitting your doctor’s statement detailing your injury and how it affected your ability to work. This statement should include the amount of time you missed, how long you were expected to miss, and any restrictions on your workdays.
If you are self-employed, you can submit invoices, receipts, profit-and-loss statements, and other forms of documentation that document how much you earned before the accident. This will help the insurance company determine how much you lost and can increase your final settlement.
Finally, if you are permanently disabled from the accident or have lost your job, you can claim lost future wages. This cannot be easy to determine, but it is worth pursuing.
In addition to medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering accompanying these, there are also property damages associated with a personal injury. These damages range from minor vehicle damage to the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged belongings.
In some cases, another party may destroy or damage a person’s property, such as if a tree falls on their house or someone trespasses on their land and damages it. The injured victim can claim compensation for the resulting property damage when this happens.
The first step in a property damage case is to prove that the defendant was negligent or otherwise caused the accident that resulted in the damage. You can use a variety of evidence to make this case, including police reports and witnesses.
Your attorney will then prepare a demand that includes all the economic and non-economic damages you suffered in your accident. Economic damages include out-of-pocket expenses such as doctor’s visits, medications, and transportation to and from medical appointments.
You can calculate future economic damages, such as lost earnings, using a multiplier, a mathematical equation that considers how much you would have earned had you not been injured. These numbers will be used to determine the maximum amount that you are entitled to receive.
While past medical bills and pay stubs can be easily proven, proving future medical costs and lost wages can be more difficult. If you have lost wages because of your injuries, it is important to document them and calculate them as soon as possible.
Aside from the physical damage you suffer, your injuries can also affect your social life and personal relationships. For example, you may miss time with your family or friends or become depressed because of the resulting emotional and physical pain.
Damages for Pain and Suffering
When you or someone close to you is injured in a personal injury accident, multiple damages can be associated with the case.
In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, pain and suffering are other critical damages. This includes the mental and emotional pain that a person might suffer from their injuries.
This is a crucial part of a personal injury lawsuit because it can help a jury understand that the victim has suffered significant losses due to the accident and that they deserve compensation for those losses.
A personal injury attorney can help clients calculate how much they should be awarded for pain and suffering damages. Two methods can be used to determine this type of damage: the multiplier and the per diem methods.
With the multiplier method, a court or jury will take the economic costs of the case and multiply them by a specific number, which can be between 1.5 and 5. For example, suppose a case has $10,000 in damages for medical bills and lost wages. In that case, a judge or jury may award an additional $5,000 in non-economic damages for pain and suffering.
The per diem method is more straightforward than the multiplier method in that it will pay a specific amount for each day the plaintiff cannot work due to their injuries. For example, if the plaintiff cannot return to work because of their spinal cord injury, the judge or jury may award them $500 for each day that they cannot work.
Your compensation for personal injury damages may be tax-deductible, depending on your unique circumstances. However, you should still consult an accountant to determine how these payouts affect your taxes.