When a negligent person or business causes a serious personal injury, it is natural for the victim to ask: What is my case worth? If you have suffered a personal injury, no one can value your claim without first thoroughly examining the circumstances of your accident, but here are some of the factors that come into play.
How has this injury affected your finances?
Among the most important elements of a personal injury claim are economic damages. The purpose of these damages is to make you whole financially after a serious accident injury. Economic damages may include:
- Compensation for medical bills, including doctor visits, medication, surgeries and hospitalization
- Lost wages, past and future
- Property damage
In handling a personal injury claim, your lawyer must not only determine how much this will cost you in the short term but also quantify the long-term economic damages. If you require ongoing medical treatment, home health care, adapted living quarters and other medical needs, this is your once chance to obtain the compensation that you will need for a lifetime of treatment and care.
How has this changed your life?
Compensation in a personal injury claim goes beyond economic damages. Non-economic damages compensate you for the many ways this injury will change your life and lifestyle going forward. Such damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life.
In calculating non-economic damages, an attorney must examine how this injury will affect all aspects of your life. Will you be able to enjoy the same hobbies and activities you once did? Will you suffer pain on a daily basis? Your compensation depends upon a thorough assessment of these factors.
Was the at-fault party merely negligent?
If the person who caused your injury was not merely negligent but acted with malice in injuring you, you may be entitled to additional compensation in the form of punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish wrongdoing and deter others from engaging in the same destructive behavior. Punitive damages are quite rare in Maryland, but if you are the victim of a malicious or illegal act, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand if you may qualify.
The outcome of this legal matter will affect you for the rest of your life, which is why it is important to pursue maximum compensation for all of the losses you have suffered.