After suffering an injury due to someone else’s carelessness, you have to deal with how you will recover and the cost. Naturally, the question arises about how an insurer or court will determine the value of your claim and if it’s worth the time and energy to fight for compensation.
If the losses you suffered are considerable, fighting for justice is often worth the effort. With the help of a qualified attorney from Cellino Law, you can get a clearer understanding of what your case is worth and how to proceed.
The Types of Damages You Can Claim
The compensation you can receive falls into three categories. Payouts can cover specific bills, address your pain and suffering or punish the defendant.
Economic damages are the actual expenses you incurred due to the injury. These costs include medical bills, lost income from missed work and the cost to repair or replace damaged property. Professionals might also refer to these losses as “special damages.”
Non Economic Losses
Non Economic losses refer to the injuries you suffer that do not have a specific expense. This type of harm includes your pain, suffering, loss of companionship and post-traumatic stress.
However, these consequences of the incident still have a negative effect on your life, and the State permits you to receive compensation for these types of losses. “General damages” is another name for noneconomic damages.
In rare instances, a court could also award you punitive damages to penalize the defendant for gross negligence. This payout intends to prevent similar behavior in the future from the defendant or other parties.
A plaintiff usually has to request punitive damages in a case. If you were to make such a claim, you would also have to prove that the defendant acted with willful disregard for others’ safety or acted with malice toward you.
Methods for Tabulating Damages
Before considering a trial, you and your legal team will likely entertain offers from the insurance firms of the responsible parties. These companies use various methods for calculating the value of your personal injury case.
1. Calculation Method
For economic damages, an adjuster will typically use a straight calculation method to determine the value of your claim. This approach is straightforward and ideal for those expenses for which you can show invoices for specific dollar amounts.
These values should not vary greatly. However, you need to be sure you present all receipts that relate to the incident and be ready to prove how they connect to the injury you suffered. Your personal injury lawyer works with you to avoid missing any valid claims.
2. Daily Rate Method
Noneconomic damages lack concrete dollar values, so adjusters have to select a technique to calculate their value. The daily rate (or per diem) method is one the insurance company typically uses for temporary injuries.
With the daily rate, the insurance company pays you a specified amount for each day you have to live with the pain of your injuries. The insurer might use your daily earnings from before the accident for this value. Then, the company multiplies that amount by the number of days your recovery takes.
3. Multiplier Method
The multiplier method uses your economic losses to calculate the value of noneconomic damages. The adjuster takes the total cost of your expenses and multiplies that figure by a number between 1.5 and 5.
Cases in which the injuries are not severe will use a lower figure. However, if your injuries are catastrophic and leave you with long-term pain and suffering, you could possibly receive a multiplier of 4 or 5.
4. Court’s Discretion
For punitive damages, the amount depends on the discretion of the judge or jury deciding the case. No equation exists for how to determine appropriate punitive damages. The court selects an amount that reflects the punishment due for a defendant’s gross negligence.
Unlike other states, New York has no cap on punitive damages. Technically, only courts award punitive damages, but letting an insurer know that you will push for punitive damages could lead to a larger out-of-court settlement.
How Partial Fault Affects the Value of Your Case
A court or the insurance company might decide that you bear a portion of the responsibility for the event that led to your injury. Even in such cases, you have a right to pursue compensation for the level of fault of the other parties.
For example, if the court decides that the defendant only bears 80% of the blame for the incident, you can receive compensation for 80% of the total value of your losses.
Whether the Cost of Teaming Up With a Lawyer Is Worth It
You might wonder whether the cost of hiring a lawyer to assist you is worth the investment. Experience shows that professional help often benefits a claimant, whether the case settles out of court or goes to trial.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend any money out of pocket for an attorney’s help with your personal injury case. In fact, the initial consultation from Cellino Law is free.
From that point, your lawyer works on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay anything unless you win. Law firms provide services for a percentage of the winnings that range from 33 to 40%, depending on whether the case progresses to trial.
This investment in legal assistance could mean a considerable difference in your payout. For example, our firm worked with a West Seneca man who only received an offer of $7,500 to settle before trial. We were able to secure a payout of $400,000, making the fees well worth it.
Each case is different, so your results may vary. Still, the help of our team helps you avoid mistakes and to fight for every cent you’re due.
How Settlements With an Insurer Differ From Court Cases
As the previous example shows, it is usually beneficial to work with an attorney, even if the insurance company offers you what appears to be a large settlement. The lawyer helps you avoid missing details and pushes for damages that the insurer might conveniently overlook.
Settling out of court can be the least costly way to handle a claim. A trial may incur additional expenses and fees for a similar payout. A well-qualified lawyer can help you fight for full compensation without going to trial, getting you payment faster and allowing you to focus on recovery.
How the Statute of Limitations Affects the Amount of Compensation You Can Receive
Multiple parties might bear fault for your injuries. Depending on the entity, you have different time limits for filing your claims. For instance, while a car accident or premises liability claim has three years, medical malpractice cases have a deadline of two years and six months.
On the other hand, wrongful death cases on behalf of a loved one only have two years. Yet, a claim against a government entity requires you to file in 90 days.
In any case, you need to act quickly to avoid losing valuable evidence that can support your claim. Plus, the additional time helps you build a stronger case.
Call Cellino Law for Help in Determining the Value of Your Personal Injury Case
As this information shows, determining the value of your personal injury case quickly becomes an involved process. However, with competent legal assistance on your side, you can fight for every penny you are due.
Discuss your case with our team at Cellino Law. You’ll receive the personal attention you deserve to understand the value of your personal injury case.
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