The concept behind a personal injury lawsuit is to make a negligent party compensate the victim for the harms suffered. One of the most important parts in putting together a personal injury case is determining what types of damages you have sustained and arriving at an estimate of the total value of your claim.
The key to ensuring that you are compensated for all of your damages is knowing exactly how state law defines the elements of a personal injury case (including the definition of negligence), as well as the types of damages that New York allows personal injury victims to claim. Generally speaking, you may recover both economic and non-economic losses, including:
- Medical expenses, such as hospital, treatment, and medication costs. (Future medical costs will also be considered when calculating compensatory damages if there is a long-term injury that will require on-going treatment.)
- Lost income as a result of time off from work and diminished work expectancy. (You can also claim lost wages if you need to be absent from work to receive continued treatments.)
- Other economic losses such as disability accommodation expenses and repair or replacement of damaged property. (Usually, property damages are limited to the fair market value of the property prior to the loss.)
- Non-economic losses, including pain and suffering. (If you sustained serious injuries that are typically painful, then this will add value to the claim. However, if you suffered a minor injury that healed up quickly, there most likely will not be much in the way of pain and suffering that can be included in your personal injury claim.)
These are only a few examples of the types of compensatory damages that may affect recovery in your case. If the defendant’s conduct that caused your injury was especially careless, you may be entitled to punitive
damages as well.
Typically, personal injury cases are settled out of court, but there is no absolute rule or calculator for determining the total value of your claim. Ultimately, a settlement amount will be determined based on an evaluation of all of your economic and non-economic losses-not a mathematical formula.
It is important that you contact an attorney to help receive the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies will do their best to minimize your settlement.