What is Fair Compensation for Personal Injury?
When it comes to personal injury, there can be a profound impact on you or your loved one’s physical and emotional well-being. A simple apology is not enough to make up for the injuries you have endured and the financial stress of missing work to spend another day at a doctor’s office. If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
It can be difficult, however, to understand what constitutes fair compensation in your personal injury case. These situations are often complex. Insurance companies will attempt to settle your claim for the minimum amount possible, using an index of well-practiced tactics to do so, leaving you struggling to pay for your medical expenses, emotional trauma, and other damages. To an insurance adjuster, you are simply just another file in their computer, and your pain is just data to them. They are only working to make their numbers work, never truly giving your issues the time of day, which is why hiring a personal injury attorney is so important.
In order to understand what you should seek in a personal injury case, you need to understand the concept of fair compensation for personal injury, as well as the factors that can impact the settlement amount. Below we offer tips for navigating the settlement process and ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
What is personal injury?
Personal injury law encompasses physical harm caused to an individual and includes cases such as defective products, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home abuse, and wrongful death. A personal injury lawyer is a trial lawyer who represents clients that have suffered harm due to intentional, accidental, or negligent actions or wrongdoings of other individuals. Wettermark Keith's personal injury lawyers have significant experience in various practice areas and are dedicated to advocating for clients who seek their services.
Personal Injury Settlement Amounts
Personal injury settlement amounts vary widely depending on several factors, which includes the severity of the injury, the extent of the damages, the liability of the parties involved, and the experience of the attorneys handling the case. It is likely that more severe injuries result in significant damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering; in turn, these will result in higher settlement amounts.
Additionally, in cases where the liability is clear and the responsible party has significant insurance coverage, then this may also result in higher settlements. But, there is no set formula for calculating the amount a victim will receive in a personal injury settlement. Each case is unique and every attorney handles cases differently. This is why it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney, like ours from Wettermark Keith, who can help you understand the details of your case and use that to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
What types of damages can you receive compensation for in a personal injury case?
There are two types of categories of damages you can receive in a personal injury case: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are financial losses that a victim has suffered due to their injury. These include:
This includes the cost of medical treatments, surgeries, rehab, and ongoing care.
This will pay for any time you have lost at work due to the injury.
If you had any property damage then you may be able to receive compensation to replace it.
Out of pocket expenses
This can include transportation to and from your appointments, home modifications needed for your injury, or other items.
Non-economic damages often compensate for pain and suffering, along with other intangible injuries. These damages include:
Pain and suffering
This includes any compensation for pain and emotional distress felt during or after the injury occurred.
Loss of enjoyment
This compensation is for the loss of ability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed, like hobbies and spending time with family.
Loss of consortium
This compensates you directly for the impact the injury had on your relationship with your spouse or partner.
It is essential to contact a personal injury lawyer from Wettermark Keith to fully understand all your options with your case.
How do personal injury settlements work?
Personal injury settlements are typically negotiated between the injured party’s attorneys and the at-fault party's insurance company or legal representatives. Overall, the process involves determining the amount of compensation the victim is entitled to for their injuries. These damages include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
To begin the settlement process, the injured party will contact a lawyer who will file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. The insurance company will then investigate the claim and may offer a settlement to the injured party. However, the initial settlement offer is often lower than what the injured party believes they are entitled to receive. If the injured party’s attorney rejects the initial offer, negotiations will typically continue between the two parties until an agreement is reached. This may involve additional documentation or evidence of the damages, such as medical records or receipts for expenses.
Once a settlement is agreed upon, the victim will sign a release form, which prevents them from pursuing any further legal action against the negligent party for the same injury. The settlement payment is normally made in a lump sum, but can also be arranged as a structured settlement, which provides regular payments over a set period of time. In order to have a successful outcome, you need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney from Wettermark Keith to help navigate the settlement process and ensure that the victim receives just compensation for their damages.
How are pain and suffering damages calculated?
When it comes to pain and suffering damages, many victims are often confused how this can be calculated into monetary compensation. Calculating pain and suffering is a complex process that involves a few factors. This includes the severity and extent of the injuries, the duration of the pain and suffering, the impact on the victim's daily life, the emotional distress caused by the injury, and the long-term effects of the injury. This will often be pulled together using evidence from medical reports, police reports, and victim and witness statements.
In some cases, the insurance company or the court may use a multiplier to calculate the pain and suffering damages. This involves multiplying the economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, by a certain number, usually between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injuries and the impact on the victim's life. For example, if the economic damages are $100,000 and the multiplier is 3, the pain and suffering damages would be $300,000. However, this method is not always accurate and the final amount is often calculated on a case-by-case basis.
How does the insurance company determine the value of your injuries during a settlement?
Overall, insurance companies use various factors to determine the value of the injuries during a settlement. The more severe the injury, the higher the compensation is likely to be, and the cost of medical treatment and any future medical expenses related to the injury will be taken into consideration. Also, the recovery time and any ongoing disability resulting from the injury will be factored in. When it comes to life after the accident, the extent to which the injury has affected the claimant's daily life, including their ability to work and participate in activities, will be considered.
However, it is important to note that the first offer is made by you and your attorney, which is normally an overshoot of your desired amount. The adjuster often places your evidence, or the data, into a program that spits out the range their company is willing to negotiate between; then, this adjuster works to negotiate the claim with your attorney. This makes your case just another file in the insurance adjuster’s computer, which is what often makes hiring an attorney so important.
If the victim is found to be even partially at fault for the accident that caused the injury, the compensation may be reduced proportionately. Another thing to note is that, the laws and legal precedents of the jurisdiction in which the claim is made may also play a role in determining the value of the injuries.
As mentioned when discussing pain and suffering, the insurance company may use a formula or software to calculate the settlement value based on relevant information. Yet, this calculation may not always result in a fair or adequate settlement for the victims, and it may be necessary for a personal injury attorney to negotiate or litigate to achieve a more favorable outcome. Insurance companies are well versed in the tactics necessary to minimize your settlement, which is their goal as a company– paying you the lowest settlement possible.
After receiving a positive result in your case, who pays out the personal injury settlement?
In many cases, the negligent person's insurance company will be responsible for paying the settlement. The victim's attorney will then take their percentage of the settlement amount, transferring the rest to the victim. Your personal injury attorney can help you understand the specifics of your case and explain how the insurance company will be responsible for paying the settlement.
Wettermark Keith: Personal Injury Attorneys
Wettermark Keith, with offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee and Florida, has an excellent reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. Wettermark Keith’s reach is not only regional, but it also includes a diverse range of practice areas, including personal injury cases. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing out of pocket. Any legal fees and associated costs will be collected from your winnings at the conclusion of the case. If your attorney is not able to obtain a verdict or settlement for your injury, you will not be charged any legal fees for their efforts.
At Wettermark Keith, we believe in taking cases personally. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion - to tell our clients’ stories and make their voices heard. We do this by building strong relationships based on constant communication and an unwavering dedication to truth and trust. Winning cases isn’t our goal - caring for you is. Winning is just how we show it. It's more to us, it’s personal.
No Recovery, No Fee!
At Wettermark Keith, we recognize the financial struggles that come with an injury caused by another person's negligence. Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. We don’t charge any upfront costs. You will only pay us if we win your case, guaranteed. Our goal is for you to have the most successful outcome possible - let our lawyers take care of the rest!
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common personal injury claims typically involve car accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace injuries, and medical malpractice. These all can result in a wide range of injuries, including whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and medication errors.
Other common types of personal injury claims include product liability, premises liability, and wrongful death. The most common types of personal injury claims can vary depending on the jurisdiction, as well as factors such as the time of year and weather conditions. If you have been injured, you must consult with an experienced attorney from Wettermark Keith to get the compensation you deserve.
The three types of personal injury damages are:
- Economic damages: These are damages that can be quantified and are meant to compensate the injured person for financial losses resulting from the injury. These include medical expenses, lost wages or income, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages: These are damages that are more subjective and are meant to compensate the injured person for non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages: These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for their behavior and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
The chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the strength of the evidence, the credibility of witnesses, the severity of the injuries, the skill of the attorneys involved, and the laws and regulations of the state where the case is occurring. Ultimately, the best way to determine the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit is to consult with a qualified attorney from Wettermark Keith who can provide an idea based on the details of your case.
Injury compensation is calculated by considering various factors such as medical bills, lost income, and the severity of the injury. The compensation amount is usually determined by negotiation or through a court settlement. Several factors such as the strength of evidence, the skill of the legal team, and the insurance coverage of the responsible party can affect the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. If you want the best chance of receiving the maximum amount of compensation, you need to hire an attorney from Wettermark Keith to handle your case.
There is no set amount for personal injury settlements as each case is unique and the settlement amount will depend on various factors such as the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim's life, and the amount of damages incurred. Settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars, depending on the specifics of the case. Contacting an attorney from Wettermark Keith will help you understand this answer in regard to the details of your case most efficiently.
HERE'S WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.