If you have suffered an injury after being in a car accident, experiencing a slip and fall, getting bitten by a dog or for any other reason, you might want to file a personal injury claim. In that situation, it’s fair to wonder what your case might be worth. Generally speaking, the specific monetary amount you might win if you are successful in your claim depends on your damages. In that regard, there are several factors that can determine what your case is worth.

Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Most of the damages in a personal injury case are considered compensatory, which means they are awarded to the injured plaintiff to help them to recover what was lost as a result of their injury. In other words, it is meant to make the person whole again financially. There are certain compensatory damages that can be claimed in a personal injury case, including the following:

  • Medical expenses: You are entitled to recover compensation for your medical expenses, including past and ongoing treatment you may need in the future.

  • Income: If your injuries render you unable to work or require you to work at a limited capacity, you can recover compensation for lost wages and future earnings capacity.

  • Property loss: If your car or any other property suffered damage as a result of the accident, you can receive compensation for repairing it or for the fair market value of that property.

  • Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is a compensatory damage that injured plaintiffs are entitled to if they experienced severe pain or discomfort during and after their accident.

  • Emotional distress: In serious accidents, plaintiffs can recover damages for emotional distress as a way to cover them for the emotional or psychological effects of their injury, such as fear, anxiety, loss of sleep and more.

  • Loss of enjoyment: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying everyday activities, you can recover these damages.

  • Loss of consortium: If your injuries are so severe that you are no longer able to maintain a physical relationship with your spouse, this is another type of damage you can recover.

Punitive Damages

If the defendant behaved in a particularly outrageous or careless manner, the plaintiff can receive punitive damages in addition to their compensatory damages settlement. This is meant to make the plaintiff whole and to punish the defendant for their actions.

How a Plaintiff’s Actions Can Affect Damages Awards

Sometimes, a plaintiff may be found to have contributed to the accident, which lowers the amount they are awarded for damages. There are three examples of this, which include the following:

  • Comparative negligence: If you are found to be partly at fault for the accident, that percentage is reduced from the total amount of compensation you are claiming.

  • Contributory negligence: In some states, if you are found to be at all to blame for the accident that caused your injury, you may not be able to recover compensation at all.

  • Failure to mitigate damages: After the accident, if you fail to mitigate damages, meaning that you did not minimize the financial effects of the aftermath of the incident, such as not getting medical treatment, you may recover compensation that is lower than you are requesting.

If you were injured in a car accident and want to file a personal injury claim, it’s wise to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. If you’re based in Coral Springs, Florida, Weinstein & Scharf, P.A. can help you maximize your compensation so you can focus on your recovery.

Contact our firm at (954) 482-4534 to learn about your options from an experienced car accident attorney.