Maximizing Damages in Personal Injury Claims: Types of Compensation and Factors Affecting Recovery

If you’ve suffered a significant personal injury, you know how life-changing it can be. Though no amount of money can mitigate the effect of chronic pain, debilitation, and grief, compensation from those responsible is the one avenue that is available to victims – and provides an answer to the economic impact of job loss, lost earnings capacity, and astronomical medical bills. It’s important that you understand both what damages are available to you via the legal system, as well as the best ways to maximize the compensation that you receive. Let’s look at both.

Categories of Compensation in Personal Injury Claims

  • Medical expenses – This is the easiest type of compensation to understand. It represents the out-of-pocket expenses that have been incurred for medical treatment related to the injury. This can include everything from emergency room services and ambulance rides to medication, from hospitalization costs and doctors’ fees to rehabilitation, therapy, and medical devices needed long-term. Even renovations required to your home, nursing home care, or adaptive mobility devices can be included in this category. These damages are easily proven through the bills that you have received.
  • Lost wages – If your injury keeps you from the job that you had at the time of the accident or prevents you from being able to perform the same tasks or earn the same compensation in the future, this falls into the category of lost wages. You can also include loss of earnings potential in this category, which can be calculated based on both earning statements from the past and calculations based on forensic accountants’ estimations for the future.
  • Pain and suffering – Though the compensation amounts in this category may be more difficult to calculate, the justice system has adopted various methods of quantifying the value of physical and emotional pain and grief based on the severity of the injury and its impact on quality of life.
  • Loss of consortium – This is a type of damage that is awarded to a spouse or family member based on the loss of the victim’s companionship, assistance, affection, and even sexual relations resulting from the injury.
  • Punitive damages – This type of compensation is meant to send a message to the defendant regarding the recklessness or maliciousness of the actions or decisions that they made. It is meant both to punish the defendant and to warn others not to act in the same way.

While maximizing the amount of compensation you receive in the categories that involve clear-cut economic damages (medical costs and lost wages) depends upon keeping good records and providing evidence of past earnings and how the victim’s abilities would have translated into future earnings, the less quantifiable damages require a compelling story told by an experienced attorney. To learn more about how we can help you get the highest compensation for your injury, contact us today.