If another party injures you, that party may be financially liable for your damages.
The facts of your case will determine how much your personal injury case is worth.
Understanding the types of damages available and the factors impacting a personal injury case in Bronx, NY can help you calculate the value of your case.
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Generally, damages are divided into economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are compensatory damages. They are also referred to as special damages. These damages represent the financial losses incurred by the accident victim.
Examples of economic damages include:
The value of economic damages is the actual cost of your expenses. You prove economic damages through invoices, receipts, bills, and statements.
If you sustain a permanent injury, you could receive future damages for reductions in earning potential, lost wages, long-term nursing care, and other damages. Generally, expert witnesses assist in valuing future economic damages.
Non-economic or general damages represent the pain and suffering an injured person experiences due to another party’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate. New York does not have a standard formula for valuing these damages. However, many insurance companies and courts use a multiplier method to calculate non-economic damages.
The amount of economic damages multiplied by a number between 1.5 and five equals the value of your non-economic damages. The multiplier depends on the facts of the case. Generally, as the severity of your injury increases, the multiplier used to calculate pain and suffering damages also increases.
Punitive damages do not compensate an injured person for damages. Instead, this type of damage “punishes” the at-fault party for gross negligence or willful, wanton conduct. Punitive damages are only awarded in a small number of personal injury cases.
Several factors may impact how much your personal injury case is worth in the Bronx, NY.
Some of those factors include:
Some states cap or limit the amount of money a person can receive for damages in a personal injury case. Fortunately, there are no damage caps in New York. Your settlement proceeds or a jury verdict is not subject to reduction due to statutory damage caps.
New York’s pure comparative negligence law reduces the value of your personal injury claim by the percentage of fault you share for causing your injury. In other words, if you are partially to blame for the cause of your injury, you cannot receive compensation for the entire amount of your damages.
For example, your damages for a car accident in the Bronx total $250,000. However, a jury finds that your actions contributed to the cause of the car accident by 20%. Your award for damages would be reduced by 20%, or $50,000. Therefore, you would receive $200,000 for your personal injury claim.
The severity of your injuries directly impacts the value of your personal injury claim. Catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities increase the value of damages.
For example, it costs more to treat catastrophic injuries. You also have future lost wages and require ongoing care for permanent impairments.
Also, your quality of life, emotional distress, mental anguish, and physical pain generally increase as the severity of your injuries increases. Therefore, you are entitled to a larger amount for damages.
Juries are unpredictable. You could have a strong case, but the jury awards a low amount for damages. A personal injury attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons of going to court. For example, it might be safer to accept a slightly lower settlement amount than risk going to trial in some cases.
The facts and circumstances of your personal injury case are unique.
Many factors can impact how much a case is worth, including but not limited to:
Seeking legal counsel before settling a personal injury case is in your best interest. The insurance company or at-fault party will seek to pay as little as possible to resolve the claim. Therefore, claims adjusters will not tell you the actual value of your damages.
Settling a claim means giving up the right to seek additional damages, even if you realize you have other injuries or causes of action. Therefore, make sure you know how much your personal injury case is worth before settling your case.