Individuals injured in car accidents must understand the different aspects that contribute to the value of a personal injury claim. Part 1 of our blog series covered the issue of liability and whether you have a claim. In Part 2 of our blog series, The Top Ten Questions Injured People Ask After an Accident, we will dig deeper into another frequently asked question: "What is the value of my claim?"
A detailed examination of both economic and non-economic damages is required to determine the worth of a personal injury claim. Non-economic damages compensate for intangible losses, whereas economic damages refer to the financial costs associated with the accident.
Let us begin by looking at the economic consequences. Medical expenses account for a sizable portion of economic losses in car accident instances. According to Missouri Department of Transportation data, the expenses of accident-related medical treatment in Missouri alone were more than $134 million in 2019 and grow higher each year. These costs include medical treatment in urgent care and hospitals, continuous physical therapy, drugs, and any future medical care required as a result of the accident. All medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, including bills, receipts, and invoices, must be carefully documented.
Lost wages are also important in determining the value of a claim. If the victim's injuries prevent them from working, they may be eligible for compensation for wages lost throughout their rehabilitation time. Whether the inability to work is temporary or permanent, it is critical to document the impact and seek appropriate compensation.
Let us now turn our attention to non-economic losses. These damages are more difficult to quantify since they are subjective in nature, such as pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Following an accident, personal injury victims may experience physical pain as well as emotional distress. Not only might this entail physical injuries but also psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression. These disorders can have a substantial impact on a person's quality of life, leading to a loss of enjoyment in previously beloved activities.
Aside from pain and suffering, another non-economic damage that may be considered in some situations is loss of consortium. The impact of an accident on the victim's relationship with their spouse or family members is referred to as loss of consortium. Loss of consortium refers to the detrimental influence that an accident has on the victim's connection with their spouse or family members. It includes the accident-related loss of companionship, support, affection, and intimacy. Loss of consortium, while difficult to quantify, recognizes the emotional and relational toll taken by both the victim and their loved ones.
It is critical to stress that the true worth of a personal injury claim is highly individualized. Each case has unique circumstances that necessitate a careful investigation by knowledgeable personal injury attorneys. They will take into account all relevant elements, such as the severity of the injuries, the long-term consequences, and the overall impact on the victim's life. Understanding the exact value of your personal injury claim is critical because it includes damages other than medical expenses and lost wages. In addition to the economic and non-economic losses outlined previously, there are other potential damages in a car injury case that have significant worth that are not necessarily reflected in the amount of medical bills.
Physical deformity or scarring is one type of injury. Victims of some accidents may sustain severe burns or disfiguring injuries that leave visible scars. These scars can have long-term consequences for one's physical appearance and self-esteem. While the medical expenditures for treating these injuries may be minimal, the emotional and psychological toll they impose on the individual can be enormous. Compensation for disfigurement and scarring considers the victim's long-term quality of life and self-image.
Another example of damages that may not be readily quantified in terms of medical expenses but have substantial worth is loss of vision or hearing. The loss or impairment of these senses can have a significant influence on an individual's ability to do daily chores, engage in particular professions, and fully enjoy life. Proper compensation should take into account the long-term consequences of such losses as well as any necessary modifications and lifestyle changes.
In addition to physical damage, there is a likelihood of property loss or damage. Vehicles sometimes receive considerable damage in car accidents, necessitating costly repairs or possibly totaling the vehicle. The cost of replacing or repairing the car can add up. Proper compensation should account for the vehicle's fair market value.
Keep in mind that the worth of your personal injury claim goes beyond the immediate cash expenditures. Physical disfigurement, loss of eyesight or hearing, property destruction, and loss of consortium are real losses. By retaining legal counsel, you boost your chances of securing fair and comprehensive compensation for all of your damages.
It is critical to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that all potential damages are correctly examined and included in your claim. They will use their knowledge and resources to establish a compelling case on your behalf, maximizing the compensation you are entitled to.
Aaron Sachs & Associates understands the nuances of personal injury claims resulting from traffic accidents in Missouri. Our experienced legal team has years of experience handling such issues and is committed to fighting for your rights. We provide a free consultation to review the specifics of your accident, evaluate the potential worth of your claim, and advise you on the best course of action.
Keep an eye out for the next episode of our blog series, in which we will go over other important components of personal injury claims in Missouri vehicle accidents.