Following a work-related injury, calculating how much your claim is worth is a critical aspect of any personal injury case. Depending on the type of injury, the insurance company would usually pay medical care and related expenses. They would also pay for permanent physical disability or disfiguring, loss of a family member, lost vacations, missed school time or special training, indirect cost such as lost wages or income, lost educational experiences or social outings, any special events, emotional stress, embarrassment or depression. Also, strains on family relationships can also be paid for. These include inability to care for children, anxiety, or reduced sexual abilities.
However, it’s difficult to put a fee over the most indirect cost of care (pain and suffering or on missed experiences and lost opportunities) following a personal injury. The total medical expenses related to the injury are usually added at the beginning of the personal injury settlement negotiation process. These expenses also called the medical special damages is used to calculate how much to pay the injured person for pain, suffering, and other non-monetary losses, which are called “general” damages. Minor injuries require that the number of special damages is multiplied by 1.5 or 2. However, for injuries that are extremely painful, serious, or long-lasting, the adjuster would multiply the number of special damages by about 5 or more. This value can get to 10 in extreme cases. It is interesting to note that this is not the final compensation value, but the baseline number where negotiations begin.
The value always depends on an individuals’ peculiar circumstances, but there are key factors used in determining the value of a claim. They include the following;
- For very painful injuries suffered, a higher end of the formula would be used.
- A more invasive and longer-lasting medical treatment would incur the higher end of the formula.
- The more obvious the medical evidence of your injury, the higher the formula.
- When it takes a longer time for one to recover from injuries, the higher the formula.
- Serious and visible effects of the injury that are permanent result in a higher formula.
Type of Injury: Minor injuries such as bruises, strains, whiplash, sprains, or bumps may attract a reduced sum for workers’ compensation while severe injuries like musculoskeletal injuries and fall-related spinal cord injuries may attract a higher sum because of the long stay in hospital and funding for rehabilitation.
Individuals’ past record: This may also become a challenge as one attempts to calculate the value of his/her personal injury. An individual with a bad criminal record or a history of a misdemeanor may find it difficult to file a successful claim. It is important to take those facts into consideration when forming expectations regarding the true worth of your case.
Guidance of an experienced claimant’s attorney can never be over-emphasized in placing the right value to your injury claim by gathering the right medical records and accident reports, preparing an effective demand letter, countering insurance company delay, and other common tactics and negotiating your way to a full and fair settlement.
Contact Franks & Rechenberg. P.C. Attorneys at Law to help with your personal injury case.