If you were recently injured in a
car accident, by a
defective product, by a dangerous prescription drug, on someone else’s property, or
due to medical malpractice, you are probably wondering, “How much is my
personal injury case worth?” How much your case is worth will come down to the damages
that you have suffered. Such damages include, but are not limited to the
- Your pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Any property damage (auto accidents)
- Your past and present medical bills
- Your future medical bills
- Your lost income
When an injured party (the plaintiff) files a personal injury claim, the
at-fault party compensates the plaintiff for their damages. Often, it’s
the legally liable party’s insurance company that handles the settlement
process. Insurance companies are involved in most types of claims, but
there are exceptions. For example, insurance companies are typically involved
in these types of cases:
The purpose of a personal injury settlement or jury award is to make the
plaintiff whole again from a financial perspective. In order to do this,
the plaintiff’s personal injury attorney and the at-fault party’s
insurance company will look at the effects of the accident and put a dollar
figure on the claim.
Some of the damages are easy to quantify; for example, replacing the plaintiff’s
vehicle and paying for their medical bills. Others, such as future surgeries,
future loss of income, pain and suffering, and a decreased quality of
life are not as easy to measure.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Occasionally, a defendant’s conduct will be so careless or so despicable
that the injured party is entitled to punitive damages, which are meant
to punish the at-fault party for their irresponsible conduct. For example,
let’s say a man had a vicious Pitbull as a pet and knowing that
he’s bitten people in the past, he allows the dog to run around
all day without being confined behind a fence or tied up, knowing that
small children play on his block.
If the vicious dog attacks a small child while roaming the neighborhood,
forever disfiguring the child’s face and making the child blind
in one eye, the child may be awarded punitive damages because the dog’s
owner’s conduct was particularly egregious. That’s an example
of how punitive damages can be awarded.
If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, a
Columbia personal injury attorney from our firm can help you better understand what your case is worth.
Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation!