How to Calculate Personal Injury Compensation
As a leading personal injury law firm, one of the most common questions the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC receives is, “What is my case worth?” However, this is not a simple question to answer because every claim is different. Determining the exact amount of compensation for which you may be eligible can be difficult. An attorney can explain how to calculate personal injury damages and the factors that may affect the value of your claim.
How Are Personal Injury Claims Calculated?
This is generally how personal injury compensation is calculated:
Add all of your damages together. This may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Future anticipated losses
Subtract amounts that you have already received for the claim and any damages you were responsible for.
The difference between these two figures is roughly the amount of personal injury compensation you could receive.
Factors in Determining Compensations
Many factors can make your claim more or less valuable, including:
The Severity of Your Injury
Generally, the more severe your injury is, the more valuable your claim will be. This is because you are more likely to incur more expensive medical expenses, more extensive pain and suffering, and more lost wages.
Lost wages include pay you lost if you were unable to work because of your injuries, including:
- Hourly pay
- Employment benefits
Incurred Medical Bills
Your compensation should include the costs you incurred for medical treatment related to your injuries. Medical expenses you may have incurred include:
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospital stays
- Ambulance charges
- Follow-up treatment
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Mental health service costs
- Prescription medication and medical devices
In addition to those expenses you already incurred, anticipated medical expenses you might incur in the future should also be considered.
Texas uses a modified comparative negligence system if you contributed to the accident. This means that as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you can still seek compensation for your injuries. However, your accident injury compensation is reduced by your degree of fault. For example, if you were hurt in an accident and suffered $100,000 in damages but were found 25 percent at fault, your damages would be reduced by $25,000.
Steps Used to Calculate Compensation
The following steps are involved in your injury claim calculation:
- Establish liability – You must be able to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care and breached it. For example, another driver may have driven carelessly and caused a car accident that harmed you.
- Gather evidence – The more evidence you can gather to establish your claim, the better positioned you will be to recover maximum compensation. Valuable evidence may include accident reports, witness statements, medical records, photos or videos of the accident scene, repair bills, and wage reports.
- Add up your losses – List and add up all of your accident-related losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, estimated future lost income, and property damage. A lawyer may be able to give you a better idea about how much your pain and suffering damages may be worth.
- Subtract shared damages – Subtract your amount of shared damages, if any.
Work with an experienced lawyer – Your lawyer can use their intimate knowledge of personal injury claims to give you a better idea about the potential value of your claim and a fair settlement figure.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney for Help
If you would like a personalized estimate of your claim’s value, the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC can help. We have been in business since 1987. We can help you understand how Texas law applies to your case and the factors that can affect its value. Contact us today for a free case review.
Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1983 with a bachelor of business administration, majoring in accounting. He received his juris doctorate degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio. Michael has successfully handled countless cases of medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, and nursing home negligence. He enjoys helping people “get their lives back in order” by providing high-quality legal representation and compassionate customer service.