Knowing how damages are assessed in a personal injury case can help you understand what losses you may be able to recover after an incident. If you were harmed due to the negligent actions of another person, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses. An attorney can review the merits of your claim and explain your rights and legal options.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC have helped clients in Washington for over 50 years. We know the tactics used by insurance companies to reduce the value of injury claims, and we work diligently to recover the maximum compensation for our clients.
Calculating Damages in a Personal Injury Case
In personal injury law, the term “damages” refers to the financial award the at-fault party owes to the injured party for causing them harm. To calculate the value of these damages, a personal injury lawyer will add up the economic and non-economic losses the injured party sustained because of the injury.
Damages are determined based on certain factors related to the case, such as:
- The cause of the accident and who was at fault
- The severity of the injuries, both physical and mental,
- If the victim suffered a permanent disability
- If a fatality was involved
- The pain and suffering endured by the victim
- How the victim’s job and future earnings were impacted
- Other factors
Assigning an appropriate value to all of these factors is not easy, and requires the skill and knowledge of an experienced lawyer. Experienced attorney Marya Fuller is a specialist in accident and injury law. She understands the complexities of determining damages and is committed to obtaining the maximum compensation for her clients.
Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Economic damages are the monetary costs of an injury. These may include:
Medical bills that directly result from an accident may be compensable. Additionally, future medical costs, therapy, and rehabilitation expenses related to the injury may be recoverable.
These types of bills can include:
- Emergency response and urgent care costs
- Specialist care
- Hospital stays
- Doctors visits
- Medications and prescriptions
- Physical therapy
- X-rays and diagnostic tests
- Medical equipment
- Lab work
- Travel costs for medical appointments
Keeping accurate records of medical bills is important for substantiating your current and future expenses, and for protecting your credit while the case is going on. Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC, will maintain an up-to-date file of your medical statements, diagnostic reports, prescription and treatment receipts, and travel expenses. These documents can be used as evidence to prove your claim for economic damages.
If your injuries cause you to miss work, you may be able to recover your lost income. This can include wages, overtime, commissions, and bonuses. You may also be able to recover lost vacation time or paid sick time you used because of your injuries. Your attorney will work with you to gather the proof you need to prove your lost income.
Diminished Earning Capacity
Not only can a severe injury prevent you from returning to the job, but it can also prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity as you did before the injury. In these situations, you may be able to pursue compensation for your lost earning capacity. A personal injury attorney will review the full scope of your losses, gather the necessary documentary proof, and seek damages for your lost future income, if appropriate.
Significant lifestyle changes are often necessary after a serious injury. These changes can include:
- Needing help around the home to perform household duties and help with personal care
- Installation of home modifications, such as wheelchair ramps
- Transportation for the injured person or others in the household who depend on them
These expenses can add up, especially in cases of permanent or long-term injuries. An attorney can help you seek the compensation you need to cover these costs and more.
The consequences of a severe injury go beyond financial loss. Injuries can significantly impact a person’s overall quality of life. Non-economic damages are designed to compensate the person for their reduced enjoyment of life as a result of an injury. Non-economic damages can include:
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages compensate personal injury victims for the immediate and long-term physical discomfort and psychological strain that are often endured as a result of their injuries.
Scarring and Disfigurement
If an injury victim experiences scarring or lasting physical changes due to an injury or treatment, they may be eligible for additional compensation for the emotional trauma caused.
Loss of Companionship, Consortium, and Society
A severe injury can have a significant effect on relationships with loved ones such as spouses or children. A personal injury lawyer can pursue compensation for these devastating losses.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life and Emotional Distress
The physical and psychological effects of a severe injury can make it difficult to enjoy life at the level an injury victim once did. When this happens, the plaintiff has the right to pursue compensation.
Don’t face your injuries alone. The personal injury lawyers at Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC can help you pursue the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled under Washington law.
Contact us today online or at (800) 570-4878 for a FREE case review. We serve clients in Olympia, Tacoma, and other areas in Washington.