Obviously, one of the most common concerns when a person is injured and
has consulted an attorney is the ultimate monetary worth of their case.
There are several factors which go into making a determination on the
worth of a case, which is why it's literally impossible to provide
a quick, simple answer to this question.
First of all, it depends on what type of injury or accident occurred. Certain
causes of action and their possible financial recovery may be limited
Second, depending upon who is legally responsible, the amount of the possible
recovery may be limited by their insurance coverage.
Third, the percentage of negligence or fault on the part of the injured party
may reduce the total amount that the liable party will be required to
pay to that injured party. So, as you can see, a lot of legalese and "it
depends" type answers will be laid out by your attorney when you
ask them that all-important question, "what is my case worth?"
if you are entitled to financial compensation, it will be for the following reasons. Compensatory damages are awarded in personal injury cases when losses
have been suffered by the injured party, such as
1) money to pay for medical expenses to treat the injuries sustained,
2) money to pay for property losses,
3) pain and suffering, as a court can put a dollar amount on this,
4) emotional distress such as fear, anxiety and sleep loss,
5) loss of enjoyment of day to day activities like hobbies and exercise, and
6) loss of consortium, or the loss of intimate relations with your partner.
Punitive damages can also be awarded if the defendant's conduct was
so outrageous that the court or the law of the state has the authority
to punish the defendant for their actions. Remember, that the plaintiff's
contributory negligence can diminish the amount of the final compensatory
award by the percentage of fault the defendant is assessed. For instance,
if the jury or a judge finds that the plaintiff was 20% negligent in the
accident or incident out of which the injuries arose, and the total damages
were $100,000, then the defendant would only have to pay the defendant $80,000.
So one can see how it is not an easy equation to solve when a client asks,
"How much is my case worth?" The best way to determine this
is to get with your lawyer that is handling your case, as it really depends
on the specific circumstances of your situation.
If you have any questions relating to personal injury matters please feel free to
contact us at any time. We would be happy to assist you in any way we can at Ward Smith, PLLC.