At the heart of a personal injury case is liability. That means proving that someone’s negligence caused the accident in question and any resulting injuries. But there’s another aspect to a personal injury case that is just as important: your damages. If you don’t show any damages, then you’re not going to recover any compensation. Additionally, if you don’t adequately show the full extent of your damages, then any award you receive might be cut well short of what you need and deserve. So, before you engage in settlement negotiations and litigation you need to know what your case is worth.
Where to look to determine the value of your case
To best determine the value of your claim you have to look at each category of damages. We’ll touch on them briefly here.
- Lost wages: These damages sound easy enough to calculate when you look back at time missed from work, but lost wages can include expected lost wages as well as lost earnings capacity. Therefore, you’ll need to take your work performance, experience, education, and career prospects into account to try to come up with a reasonable and justifiable number.
- Medical expenses: The same thought process applies to medical expenses. Sure, your incurred expenses might be overwhelming, but they might pale in comparison to what is to come. You definitely don’t want to under estimate the costs of your future care and rehabilitation, which is why you need to have a firm grasp on your medical condition and prognosis.
- Noneconomic damages: This category includes things like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. These losses are difficult to put a number on, which means that they are often hotly contested. To demonstrate the extent of your noneconomic damages, though, you might want to think about portraying exactly how your injuries have affected your ability to live and enjoy your life. You might be able to paint a pretty vivid picture given that accident injuries can have a pervasive and wide-ranging impact on your life.
How to prove your damages
There are a lot of ways to go about proving your damages. Pay stubs and medical bills can be helpful, but so, too, can your own testimony and testimony from expert witnesses. To ensure that you’re presenting your damages as persuasively to both the other side and the jury, consider working your case with a law firm that has a proven track record of success in these matters.