Important Things To Learn About Personal Injury Compensation
In the aftermath of an accident that results in personal injury, it’s crucial to understand the various types of compensation you may be entitled to, and how to navigate the ensuing legal process.
Personal injury cases can be both emotionally and financially taxing. They typically involve accidents, negligence, and wrongdoing that result in injury to an individual. The damages incurred can be physical, emotional, and financial, and can significantly impact a person’s life.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation
Compensation in personal injury cases, also known as “damages”, falls under two broad categories: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the injured party for losses associated with their injuries. These damages are further divided into special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages.
Special Compensatory Damages
Special compensatory damages are designed to compensate for the monetary losses caused by the injury. These losses include:
- Medical Expenses: Medical treatment costs, which include hospital stays, surgeries, X-rays, physical therapy, and other relevant medical expenses. These also cover future medical expenses that are expected to be incurred after the case is settled.
- Lost Income: Lost income due to the inability to work during recovery. This also covers any future income lost due to the injury.
General Compensatory Damages
General compensatory damages are designed to compensate for non-monetary consequences of the injury. These include:
- Physical Pain & Suffering: This refers to the pain and suffering resulting from the injury. It is subjective and determined based on several factors such as the type of injury, type of medication prescribed, length of recovery, and permanence of the injury.
- Emotional Distress: Emotional distress or mental anguish resulting from the injury can also be compensated.
- Loss of Consortium: In cases where the injured party is married, the spouse may be entitled to compensation for loss of companionship.
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were malicious or intentional. They are designed to punish the defendant and deter similar future conduct.
Calculating Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Estimating damages in personal injury cases involves a specific formula. Special damages are multiplied by a number between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of the injury, and lost income is added to this. However, this is just a starting point and the final settlement amount can vary based on a number of factors.
The Role of Comparative and Contributory Fault
In some cases, the injured party may also bear some responsibility for the accident. The theory of comparative and contributory fault comes into play here. Under this theory, the amount of damages recoverable is reduced by a percentage that reflects the injured party’s degree of fault.
The injured party is also generally required to take reasonable steps to minimize their damages after the accident. Failing to do so may result in a reduction of the damage award.
Navigating the Legal Battle
After an accident, it’s essential to hire a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney will guide you through the legal process, which includes filing a personal injury case, discovery, post-discovery, and trial. If you lose the personal injury claim, there are still options to explore, such as requesting a new trial or appealing the decision.
Paying a Lawyer and Court Costs
Many personal injury lawyers operate on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis, meaning you won’t have to pay your lawyer unless you win the case or get a settlement. However, after losing a personal injury case, you may have to bear the court costs and legal expenses of the opposing party. For more information on this, please visit injury-attorneys.com and talk to a professional.
Dealing with Medical Bills
Paying for medical bills can be daunting, especially after losing a personal injury claim. However, there are several options available, such as filing a health insurance claim, setting up a payment plan with your medical provider, or filing for bankruptcy.
Utilizing ATE Insurance
‘After the Event’ (ATE) insurance can be a handy tool to protect against paying your defendant’s legal costs. It covers all costs claimed by the opposing party and is available for purchase at the start of legal proceedings.
Losing a personal injury claim is certainly a daunting prospect. However, with the right knowledge and legal support, you can navigate the process and potentially minimize the financial impact.
Injury cases are complex and require expertise in personal injury law. It’s always recommended to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.