How Damages Are Calculated In A Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury sustained for whatever reason is a traumatic experience for you. It becomes even more traumatic when your injury is caused by someone else’s fault. You could have sustained the injury from an accident on the road as a pedestrian or as a rider on a vehicle or a slip and fall or in a fight or scuffle with someone else or even a signboard falling on you or something falling on you from an apartment above. 

When you are injured because of someone else’s fault or negligence, the law provides that you can seek compensation from the negligent party for economic damages (also known as special damages) as well as non-economic damages (also known as general damages) suffered by you.

Special damages

Special damages can be classified as tangible costs incurred such as the cost of current and future medical treatment and lost pay for having missed attendance at work and future loss of pay. They could also be costs of replacement and repair of damaged property and loss of items that cannot be replaced. You or anyone can calculate these costs readily because there are documents to prove the value. Typically, these damages are almost always paid in compensation suits.
Calculation of special damages
Typically, you can calculate special damages because the elements involved in the calculation are quantifiable. You know the value of a property damaged and the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged property. Likewise, if a property cannot be replaced you can quantify the value of that property based on its purchase value. Similarly, you know the number of days you are absent from work and how much of wages you have lost. Further, you have the medical bills to prove the cost of medical treatment. There would be an element of subjective assessment in respect of calculating the cost of future medical treatment and future loss of pay. Nevertheless, calculating special damages is reasonably quantifiable. 
General damages

General damages can be classified as intangible costs such as physical pain and suffering, disfigurement and impairment. These could also include mental anguish and inferior quality of life. In the case of fatalities, other things could also be added such as loss of a family member’s presence. As you can see it is difficult to put a monetary value on these damages. However, in a lawsuit the jury can consider the cost of medical treatment, the future cost of medical treatment, and lost wages and loss of future wages, and other factors that contribute to pain and suffering. Besides, they can qualitatively determine the level of pain and distress caused by the negligent act of the person causing the accident. Based on these factors the jury could grant a monetary award for general damages.

Calculation of general damages

Calculating general damages is trickier because it has more qualitative elements than quantitative elements. Here, the circumstances of the individual become important. For instance, if you are a young person and the injury has caused severe impairment which would diminish your chances of earning promotions then you would be expected to be compensated for an opportunity lost. If, on the other hand, you are an older person on the verge of retirement then your future earning potential is severely limited. Thus, this person would be compensated much less as compared to a younger person with similar injuries. The same goes for pain and suffering. Apart from all these, the nature of the accident, its severity, and its effect on the mental framework of the injured person will also play an important role in arriving at a value for general damages.   

It is clear that getting personally injured in an event that is not your fault is always traumatic. However, the law provides a means of compensation through a personal injury claim against the person who was at fault or negligent. You should consult a team of lawyers and the best way is to look for reliable personal injury attorneys in Zachary to advise you on the merits of your case so that the persons at fault can compensate you for their negligence appropriately. These lawyers are experts when it comes to injury cases.   


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