What are Personal Injury Damages?

If you’ve been in an accident, skilled personal injury lawyers will negotiate for everything you’re entitled to. Every case has some or all of the following damage claims depending on the type of accident. In auto accidents your own insurance carrier may pay some of the damages.

Special Damages – monetary damages. These damages are quantifiable, meaning they can be directly reduced to a dollar figure.

  • Medical Bills
    • Hospital Bills
    • Doctor Bills
    • Pharmacy Bills
    • Medical Equipment
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity

General Damages

  • Pain and Suffering – emotional and physical pain

The factors lawyers use to maximize your recovery for pain and suffering are:

  • Liability – The more certain it is that the defendant caused the accident, the larger amount of pain and suffering
  • Visible damage to the vehicles – Sometimes, the amount to fix the car can be indicative of the severity of the injuries, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Severity of the injury – Broken bones get more money than soft tissue injuries. Damages that won’t ever heal get more than damages that do heal.
  • Time to recover – A two year recovery is a stronger claim than a two month recovery
  • Aggravating circumstances – reckless driving, drunk driving, a violation of a statute can often result in higher recoveries, sometimes resulting in punitive damages.

How is pain and suffering estimated by insurance companies and/or lawyers?

How can you possibly come to a dollar figure to account for what someone has been through as a result of an injury? Here are just a few factors that might be considered.

  • Past history of verdicts and settlements for similar injuries. There are databases that analyze North Carolina and Virginia cases by using verdict and settlement history.
  • Using a Multiple of the Special Damages. After figuring the special damages, the amount of special damages is multiplied by a number depending on the pain and suffering factors.
  • Using a Per Diem. A dollar figure is figured for each day it takes to recover.
  • Legal Argument – Skilled personal lawyers like Joe Miller can argue to a jury that your pain and suffering is severe by showing and persuading a jury that you can’t do things you did before and where and why it always hurts.
  • Breakdown of factors—each of the ways that the injury has affected your life, can be broken down into separate components, and a dollar value assigned to each. For instance, in a recent case, we argued that the client’s injuries, although now healed, prevented the victim from attending to her father’s illness during the last days of his life. That is something that can never be replaced or recovered, and which continued to cause anxiety and mental pain to our client, even now, and would likely do so for the rest of her life. The jury responded with a significant verdict.

How our firm can help

Anyone who has been in an accident because of someone’s carelessness who has received injuries needs to have legal help to get all the damages they’re entitled to. Contact Virginia and Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyer Joe Miller or call us at 888-694-1671 for more information on how to proceed, how to work with your doctors, and whether you might have significant recovery coming your way.