A personal injury lawyer seeks to secure both justice and financial compensation for a client who sustained an injury. To be successful, the attorney will perform an analysis on the case to determine if it is winnable. If the lawyer feels a client has a good case, work begins on gathering information, speaking to witnesses, and conducting a number of other actions to formulate the strongest case possible.
Rather than pick an arbitrary number, a personal injury lawyer is required to use a very specific formula to determine the exact compensation. The monetary figure comes down to the type and level of damages sustained, whether physical or psychological. Monetary damages are awarded to the client by the individual, company, or government agency found to be legally responsible.
A settlement may be negotiated without going to trial, which means that all parties involved agreed on a set amount of money. However, if after negotiations a settlement cannot be reached, the case goes to trial.
For a personal injury case, damages are typically “compensatory,” which means the client is compensated for loss associated with the incident. For this, the focus is on bringing the client to a position of being whole after experiencing loss. While compensatory damages are relatively easy to calculate, pain and suffering tends to be somewhat challenging since some injuries have long-term effects that do not appear for years.
Some examples of compensatory damages commonly awarded in a personal injury case include:
- Medical Treatment
- Loss of Income
- Loss of Property
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Enjoyment
In addition to compensatory damages, a personal injury lawyer may be able to secure punitive damages, which involves cases where the defendant’s conduct is considered extremely outrageous or egregious. Rather than bring the client to a place of being whole, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for displayed conduct.
The Bottom Line
For the value and compensation of a case to be determined, a qualified personal injury lawyer will first reach a figure by multiplying special damages, followed by taking other facts about the incident into consideration. The more painful the injury, the longer lasting and more invasive the medical treatment, and the more obvious the medical evidence, the higher the compensation.