Here’s How Compensation Works in Personal Injury Cases
Personal injuries cases are civil lawsuits, meaning that the goal of any case is compensation for the victim. This compensation is almost always monetary. This is a nice reward that can come from being injured due to someone else’s negligence (e.g. an employee at a supermarket fails to place a “wet floor” sign on a freshly mopped floor, causing someone to slip and fall). However, compensation in personal injuries cases can be a tricky subject. It is important for people to understand exactly what they are getting themselves into. For more information on how to getting the most out of your case, how cases work, your entitlements, etc be sure to contact an experienced New York accident lawyer.
Items Considered in Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases can be worth a great deal, such as the in the case against Johnson & Johnson. In this case, the plaintiff was awarded $5.7 million, in both compensatory and punitive damages. Rewards like these exist because there are so many considerations in personal injury cases. Mainly, the categories considered in personal injury compensation are medical treatment expenses, income (work hours) lost due to the injury, property damage, mental health issues (ex. anxiety), and social issues (ex. the injury causes sexual problems between spouses). Dave Goguen, J.D. provides a guide on the factors in personal injury cases.
The more categories that an injury effects the higher the compensation will be. For example, someone working in construction who receives a broken arm will gain more compensation than someone working as a secretary who receives a broken arm, since the first condition would affect income and work ability.
Receiving The Most Compensation Possible
Compensation is higher when the injury affects more in a person’s life. Being able to explain, but not lie about, this to the court should result in higher compensation. For instance, many people will try to act tough and push through work despite their injury causing physical discomfort. Being honest about one’s inabilities due to an injury can often lead to higher compensation.
Another aspect to note about the case itself is the plaintiff’s conduct during proceedings. Honesty, calmness, and willingness to work with others on the case will lead to higher compensation. Defendants’ actions also determine money rewarded, as was in the Johnson & Johnson case, where the plaintiff was rewarded a significant amount more because the representatives of the company acted in a less than polite manor throughout the case.
Conditions That Will Reduce Payment
The plaintiff’s actions when the injury occurs are just as important as a defendant’s. Most people hold the belief that the victim cannot be at fault in a personal injury case. This could not be farther from the truth. First of all, if the victim is even slightly at fault, then compensation will be lower. For example, although a wet floor sign is not put out, the floor of the supermarket is clearly soaked. Failure to avoid the area will be seen as the victim’s negligence. Furthermore, victims are expected to take reasonable steps after an injury to alleviate some of the damages (i.e. wearing a cast on a broken bone, allowing it to begin healing). Failure to do this will also result in lower compensation. Joseph Matthews, attorney and author of “How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim” explains how insurance companies value fault.
What to Expect in Any Case
Personal injury cases can be difficult for those without a legal background, which most average citizens do lack. Therefore, a victim should expect the case to be a challenge, but not impossible, expecially with the help of a New York accident lawyer.
Defendants will want to settle immediately on a price that may not match a case’s actual worth, in order to get rid of the issue quickly. Victims need to be aware of this and remember that they have options if they believe they are not getting what they deserve.
Documentation, research, and clarity are extremely important in proving one’s case. Victims should expect to be questioned many times and be prepared to clarify their case repeatedly.
It is rare that victims walk away with exactly what they were asking for at the beginning, but that is ok. The most important thing to remember is that victims are entitled to compensation if they are truly not at fault. Despite the difficulty of personal injury cases, they are usually worth it in the end.
Why Hire an Accident Lawyer in New York
Personal injury attorneys and accident lawyers in New York are always on hand to help. With years of experience, attorneys are highly qualified at what they do, not to mention compassionate for the people they work for. Furthermore, personal injury and accident lawyers only earn money if their client (the victim) receives compensation. So, victims can be sure that their attorneys are driven to win every case and will fight to the best of their ability.