When another person’s wrongful or negligent actions cause pain and suffering, the law allows you to receive appropriate compensation. To establish this personal injury claim as valid, you’ll need the services of expert Smyrna personal injury attorneys.
An experienced lawyer can help you properly file your claims and represent your interest in settlement negotiations. First, however, it’s vital to understand the factors involved in estimating the worth of your injury case.
Calculating the Value of a Personal Injury Case
Personal injury cases involve legal actions where victims seek compensation for loss or damages in certain situations. These situations include vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and defective product liability.
A large number of personal injury claims frequently end in payout for victims. However, since trials can be time-consuming, expensive, and risky, compensations are often out-of-court settlements rather than trial awards.
Settlement negotiations entail estimating a suitable compensation by considering the damages involved. These damages fall into the following categories:
These damages refer to financially estimable losses resulting from a personal injury. Having documented proof of these damages can significantly bolster your settlement demand.
Possible sources of these special damages are:
- Medical bills and expenses on prescribed treatment procedures
- Future costs of medical care when treating resulting disabilities and impairments or further injuries
- Damage to or loss of personal property like in vehicular accidents or collisions
- Effects on personal income, e.g., wages, salaries, benefits, bonuses, etc., due to time off work
Non-economic damages consider the pain or suffering resulting from a personal injury. However, since they are primarily psychological or emotional conditions, there’s no defined standard for accurately measuring their value.
Common sources include:
- Emotional trauma and mental distress
- Psychological injuries
- Decrease in quality of life or loss of enjoyment of life
Punitive damages are awarded as punishment for the at-fault party. Unfortunately, the victim must ask for punitive damages before the court considers it, and they do not always grant it.
An individual’s conduct determines the extent of punitive damages, such as deliberate intention to harm or act with malice, oppression, or fraud.
The Value of a Personal Injury Settlement in Georgia
It’s common to hear cases resulting in multi-million dollar settlements, awards, and damages. However, these cases involve rare punitive damages for medical errors or malpractice, highly severe bodily injuries, and extreme negligence. Therefore, the value of your personal injury claim depends on the facts and severity of the wound sustained.
Average Values of Injury Awards in Georgia
Data from the Insurance Information Institute places the average amount awarded for personal injury claims in car accidents at $18,417 in 2019. However, for property damages, the average amount for personal injuries was much lesser at $4,525.
In 2019, $95,000 and $1,775,759 were the median and average awards in personal injury cases, respectively. Conversely, product liability cases recorded the highest awarded average compensation, reaching $4,030,868. Note that these are national figures.
Estimating personal injury awards in Georgia in the same period produced an average injury award of $52,900. Generally, personal injury settlements ranged from $3,000 to $75,000. However, there is no exact figure, as compensation is decided case-to-case basis.
As a result, some injury victims receive hundreds of thousands of dollars while some get up to millions. These settlement awards are typical in cases where the victim suffers a disability or a permanent disfigurement.
Why Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The potential award for damages varies due to several factors. But, one undeniable fact is that hiring a personal injury attorney positively increases the settlement sum.
For example, a regular personal injury case may receive an average award of $17,600. However, if the victim employs injury attorneys, the average settlement can reach almost $78,000, an increase of over $50,000.
Expert personal injury attorneys even work with a contingency fee structure. So, you get legal help at no out-of-pocket costs until you win your case. Then, even after deducting legal expenses, you can receive up to three times more money with an attorney’s help.
Personal injury attorneys, such as Jamie Ballard Law, also utilize their professional legal experience to provide quality advice and unique legal solutions.
State Laws on Negligence and How Fault Affects Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims often establish negligence or reckless action by one party that causes pain and suffering to another. However, in some cases, the defendant and the plaintiff can be at fault comparatively.
In such cases, the percentage of shared fault can be significant in awarding compensation for damages. The following are the different ways of calculating fault:
This rule is the strictest of the negligence laws, significantly reducing damages in shared fault cases. Contributory negligence foils an injured plaintiff’s claim if they are partially at fault. For as little as 1 percent fault, once a victim is a bit responsible in a personal injury case, they are not eligible to receive compensation.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Under this rule, the law reduces the possible financial award for damages by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault in the injury causation process. This rule applies in states like Florida. For instance, you may be 30 percent at fault in a car accident. So, in awarding you financial compensation, the law deducts 30 percent of the total money.
Modified Comparative Negligence
States like Georgia operate a modified comparative negligence system. This rule follows a similar standard to the pure comparative negligence system.
However, it establishes comparative negligence up to a point. Like in pure comparative negligence, the settlement sum is reduced by your percentage of fault. But, if that percentage equals or exceeds 50 percent, you are no longer eligible to collect damages.
Though this rule reduces the value of a claim, injured plaintiffs that are partly at fault can still exercise their rights to compensation, unlike in contributory negligence. Note that it is better not to admit guilt.
Instead, consult a lawyer immediately. Smyrna personal injury attorneys at Jamie Ballard Law can help you understand how possible shared responsibility affects your claim.
Get Help From Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in Smyrna
At Jamie Ballard Law, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to representing your best legal interests. We will carefully examine the facts of the case and devise a strategy that gets you maximum compensation. We do not get paid unless we win, so you do not have to worry about upfront fees. Schedule a free consultation with expert personal injury attorneys in Smyrna, Georgia, today.