How Much is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

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If you were hurt in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to get compensation. By filing a personal injury claim, you can recover a range of damages including medical expenses and lost wages. Calculating these losses can be difficult if you don’t know how personal injury law works or how insurance companies operate. Since estimating the value of a claim can be complex, it’s best to seek help from a local Indianapolis personal injury lawyer.

Each case is different. Some personal injuries arise from vehicular accidents while others are due to dog bites or slips and falls. Some victims suffer only short-term injuries. Others are permanently disabled and dependent on their relatives or spouses for help with daily activities. It’s, therefore, impossible to say what an average settlement would be.

Depending on the nature of your losses, it could be a few thousand dollars or millions of dollars. The severity of your injuries, your age, your income, and your role in the accident all play a role. In some cases, injured people can also seek punitive damages as part of their personal injury lawsuit. This can increase their award significantly. Let’s look at some of the most common categories of damages in personal injury cases.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses usually account for the largest portion of damages. You may be able to recover compensation for doctor’s visits, therapy, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation. Victims can claim for past, current and future medical expenses related to the accident. You will need to work with your Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to ensure future potential costs are included in your settlement. When you agree to a settlement, you can’t ask for more money later if you incur additional losses or expenses.

Lost Wages

Many people who suffer injuries have to take time off work. It could be for a few weeks or a few months. Some people with serious injuries are never able to work again. When you can’t work, you’ll lose out on wages. You can seek compensation for wages you’ve already lost because of your injuries as well as lost future earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Unlike medical expenses and lost wages, pain and suffering doesn’t have an obvious economic value. However, your attorney can help you to assign a dollar figure to your anguish. They may work with experts like doctors, counselors and pain management professionals to come up with a figure.

Property Damage

Many accidents that cause injuries also result in property damage. After a car accident, your vehicle may require thousands of dollars in repairs. It may even be totaled. If you suffered injuries in a defective product case, your home and other personal property may be damaged. Your attorney will advise you to include these losses in your claim for compensation.

Negotiating a Settlement for Your Losses

When you and your attorney have come up with an appropriate amount to claim, you will file your documents. An insurance adjuster will then assess the validity of your claim. If your claim is deemed valid, you will be offered a settlement amount. This is likely to be less than you asked for. However, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If the two sides can’t reach a compromise, you will have to take your claim to court.

How Indiana’s Comparative Negligence Rule May Affect Your Case

One of the factors that will determine how much you can recover is your share of blame in the accident. Indiana has a modified comparative negligence system. In order to recover damages, you must be less than 51 percent at fault for your injuries. This means you can still seek compensation if you were partially responsible. However, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of responsibility. Let’s say a jury awarded you $10, 000 in damages.  If they determined you were 25 percent responsible, you would only get $7,500. If you were 50 percent liable, you would get $5,000. If you were more than 50 percent responsible, you won’t be able to get compensation.

Call Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim

It’s often difficult to get the compensation you deserve in a personal injury case. However, when you work with a personal injury law office in Indianapolis, you’ll have an easier time. At Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers, we handle all the paperwork and legal issues while clients focus on their recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you recover your losses.

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