If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re entitled to compensation. But how do you know if you have a personal injury claim? We’ll explain that in this article.
How Attorneys Evaluate Your Personal Injury Claim
To receive compensation for a personal injury claim, your attorney must:
- Establish the other party’s negligence.
- Prove their negligence caused your injuries
- Describe the damage your injuries caused
- Prepare a timely claim that follows all state procedures.
Making a mistake here could ruin the claim. This is why personal injury attorneys thoroughly investigate claims before filing lawsuits. They interview accident victims, review medical records and accident reports, and apply state law.
Calculating Economic Losses
Damages determine the value of a personal injury claim. They are the financial losses you incurred as a result of your injury. They might include:
- Bills for the hospital, ambulance, medication, and appointments.
- Loss of income or earnings potential.
- Property replacement or repair.
- Installing accessibility features.
Replacement service costs for things you can no longer do. To prove damages, your attorney at the Law Offices of Emroch & Kilduff needs copies of your medical bills and check stubs. Keep bills and receipts organized after an injury. When you put receipts and bills together, you’re less likely to forget to mention one to your lawyer.
Understanding Non-Economic Damages
In addition to economic damages, some states let you seek compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and inability to engage in favorite hobbies. They are harder to determine and prove than economic damages. Attorneys consider many factors when assessing non-economic damages. They might consider:
- Your injury severity and recovery prospects.
- Treatment type and duration.
- Duration of emotional distress and pain
- The extent of your injuries.
- How they affect your life.
Your lawyer will use these factors to calculate non-economic damages.
Finding Out if You are Eligible for Punitive Damages
An injury claim could result in punitive damages. Non-economic and economic damages compensate you for losses, but punitive damages punish malicious or reckless behavior on the defendant’s part. You can’t claim them in every case, but your attorney may consider them in a DUI or assault case. The maximum punitive damages in personal injury cases are $250,000, or three times the other damages.
Looking for Legal Issues that Weaken Your Claim
Certain issues may impact personal injury cases. Pure contributory negligence is very unfair to injured victims in some states. If you contributed to your injuries even a little bit, you can’t recover compensation. Different attorneys may have differing opinions about how contributory negligence and other defenses affect a claim.
Assessing the Insurance Policies Involved in Your Claim
If you can’t collect from the defendant or their insurance company, your claim is worthless. In personal injury cases, defendants don’t have enough money to pay for damages, so insurance usually pays. That is why lawyers always check your insurance policies. If you file a personal injury claim, the coverage limits of these policies determine your compensation.