How Are Damages Calculated in Personal Injury Cases?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, the amount of damages potentially available to you is a relevant consideration when deciding if you should pursue a lawsuit. Many personal injury cases feature a negligence claim against the person who caused the accident. In these cases, there are three categories of damages available to a plaintiff:
- Economic Damages: This category of damages includes past and future lost income, past and future medical expenses related to the accident, and property damage. Generally, economic damages are established through records of medical expenses and records of past income. Any recovery for future economic damages likely stems from testimony from a medical or vocational expert as to the cost of future medical care and your ability to maintain employment in light of your injuries.
- Noneconomic Damages: This category of damages includes past and future pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment in quality of life. Damages associated with noneconomic damages depend upon the unique circumstances of your accident and your injuries. In many cases, you need to “paint a picture” for a jury about your life before and after the accident. Powerful testimony for noneconomic damages is grounded in photographs, videos, and relevant writings from your life, as well as testimony from friends and family.
- Permanent Impairment: This category of damages relates to any injury or physical change in your body that will not improve in the future. An example of permanent impairment is a hand injury that results in the inability to utilize or move some of your fingers. In many cases, a medical, occupational, or vocational expert can testify as to the permanent nature of your injuries.
As you can see, there are many factors associated with the amount of damages you can pursue in a lawsuit stemming from an accident. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it’s imperative that you consult with a skilled attorney before pursuing a lawsuit in order to ensure you are employing the best possible strategy for your case. At Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C., our lawyers are well versed in the intricacies of personal injury cases, and we have a track record of obtaining fair compensation for accident victims both through settlement and jury trials. Contact us for a free consultation.