Most people who suffer a serious injury due to the negligence of another party want to know how much compensation they can seek. Or, in other terminology, they want to know what their case is worth. The answer to that question is not straightforward, though, and every case will have a different worth than the next, even when the circumstances leading to the accident seem quite similar.
In California, there are two main categories of damages you can seek in an injury claim:
- Economic or special damages: In your claim, you can seek damages for all past and future medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repairs, if applicable. The value of your case will go up if you require extensive medical attention, missed a lengthy amount of time at work, and if your vehicle was totaled, such as in a bad car accident. On the other hand, the value of your case decreases, comparatively, if you only require physical therapy, did not miss much work, and your car was not damaged too much.
- Noneconomic or general damages: You can also seek damages for pain, suffering, disfigurement, emotional and mental distress, and the general loss of enjoyment of life after an accident. This is kind of damage is more abstract, as there is no receipt or bill that shows how much you should be given for noneconomic damages. However, it is generally assumed that you will be owed less noneconomic damages if your medical and property repair costs are also low. The idea being that the less violent or destructive an accident, the less traumatic it would be perceived by the average person.
To get the “worth” of your claim, you will need to add up all of your economic damages. Afterwards, you need to add in the value of your noneconomic damages. If your case goes to court or through other legal channels, a judge, jury, arbitrator, or mediator will decide what is deemed a “fair amount” of noneconomic damages for your case. If your case is settled outside of court, it is possible that your noneconomic damage amount will be proposed by a representative from the responding insurance company. Be warned: insurance companies are not friend, even if they are your own, and they will likely offer lowballed settlement amounts at first.
For more information about the worth of a personal injury claim, you can click here to view a YouTube video presented by Attorney Muammar Reed of Reed & Garcia Law, PC. If you need legal representation for your claim, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Our personal injury lawyers in Culver City would be happy to explain your rights and options during a free consultation. Just call (310) 242-8933 to begin.