Placing Value On Your Car Accident Injury

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you have been injured in a car accident, you may wonder how much compensation you can receive from the insurance company of the person at fault. You know you’ll probably receive money to pay for any out-of-pocket medical care you needed to seek due to your injuries, and you may be able to receive compensation for any wages that you’ve lost because you have not been able to work. But you may also be able to collect compensation based on the overall “value” of your injury. This article will give you some idea as to how the value of injuries in personal injury lawsuits are determined and calculated.

Compensatory Damages 

Lost wages and medical bills are two examples of compensatory damages. The payment for compensatory damages is meant to make the victim “whole” from a financial standpoint. They are easy to calculate and are almost like a reimbursement for property damage to your car, and the physical damages you have sustained because of the accident. 

But other compensatory damages that are difficult to put a value on are pain and suffering, meaning you can get compensation for the discomfort you suffered as a result of the accident, and for any ongoing pain; emotional distress, which compensates you for the emotional suffering you endured because of the accident; loss of enjoyment, which is your loss of being able to participate in hobbies, recreational activities and exercise; loss of consortium, which is the loss of a physical relationship with your spouse. It is very difficult to place a face value on these damages.

Calculating Value 

When an insurance company or court is trying to determine value on compensatory damages that don’t have a dollar sign attached to them, they take many different factors into consideration. For example, a loss of consortium is calculated by looking at the couple’s individual life expectancy, determining how stable the marriage was, and how much care is needed for the injured spouse. A loss of enjoyment is more difficult to calculate, so some states treat the damage is a form of pain and suffering, while others treat it as a distinct kind of damage. 

Other Damages Considered

When calculating damages to be awarded in a personal injury case, some cases will take into effect any future medical bills you may have for continued care of your injuries. Your medical doctor will need to prevent information on how much care may be needed and an estimated cost of what that care will be.

If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Sarkisian, Sarkisian & Associates PC to discuss the particulars of your case. 

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Stay Prepared Financially Through Settlement Negotiations

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Agreeing to enter a settlement agreement after an injury is a great step forward, but it isn’t the end of your legal concerns. You need to look deep into the details of the settlement and even deeper into your financial situation now and in the future–a difficult task when you consider how much the economy and your own income situation may change. If your initial worker’s compensation claim isn’t enough, consider a few circumstances that may change the way you view a given compensation plan and how it can help you prepare for an uncertain financial future.

Time-Based Or One-Time?

Whether you true the intentions of your legal opponent or not, you need to consider the two likely standpoints in the settlement: sufficient compensation for you versus the lowest payment possible for your legal opponents. These two standpoints are constantly at battle with each other, and the type of settlement may confuse you when it comes to understanding a settlement’s intentions.

A time-based or structured settlement is designed to stretch the compensation payments out over time. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the amount of compensation suggested, it’s reasonable to believe that your opponent may not be able to pay everything up front.

The structured settlements can be beneficial as long as they represent a sufficient percentage of your monthly income. Small payments over many decades may be nearly useless to you, so it’s important to look at the language used for the settlement. It may be morbid, but you need to consider how useful a structured settlement can be if you’re not alive for the full duration.

For one-time, lump-sum settlement payments, think about the size of the settlement and what it means. Is the amount really enough to support your injuries for their duration, even if it’s for the rest of your life? Is the settlement a large, distracting number designed to tempt and distract you?

The answer isn’t easy to discover, and ultimately depends on your financial outlook. It takes the help of a financial analyst and a worker’s compensation attorney to arrive at the numbers that can support a comfortable life with your injury.

Your Working Potential May Be At Risk

A settlement following a worker’s compensation claim may not be enough to secure your future. If worker’s compensation is barely supporting you, there may be danger ahead for your career path–not just your current job.

Consider your job performance and how it can affect your ability to be promoted. If you lose your job for any reason or have to find another job, how difficult will it be to find another job in your condition? Not easy, especially if your current company closes for any reason.

The settlement needs to consider the ways that your injuries affect your ability to earn an income. If necessary, job training programs or an agreement to cover the cost of college may be required to keep your income level acceptable and make it possible to move higher up the income ladder.

Contact a worker’s compensation attorney like Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw to evaluate your compensation claim, injury history and settlement options.

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3 Factors To Consider When Asking For “Pain And Suffering” Compensation

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

No one likes to be in pain and if you are forced to be in this state, chances are excellent that you are going to be resentful and angry at whoever is doing the forcing. You are going to want them to compensate you for the trauma that they’ve put you through and you want to make sure that the money that you receive is enough to sufficiently make up for the pain. As a result, if you have been in a car accident and believe that you have enough of a case to demand “pain and suffering” compensation, you want to ensure that the sum for which you ask is sufficient. Here are three factors to take into consideration when asking for “pain and suffering” compensation.

1. Type of Pain and Level of Discomfort

Even though both types of pain can be completely debilitating, a judge is going to find over-the-top, intense pain more compelling than a low level of pain that you can barely deal with for an extended period of time. As a result, if you are experiencing a low level of pain, you may want to ask for a slightly less amount of money, in order to seem reasonable to the courts. This is critical because if you seem like you are trying to take advantage of the defendant, then the judge may turn against you. Play it safe.

2. Duration of the Pain

Pain that goes on for a long period of time tends to merit more compensation than pain that only goes on for a short period of time. As a result, if you have a low level of pain, you will want to play up how long the pain will go on for. Low-level pain that has the potential to go on indefinitely can net just as much money as horrifying, intense pain. If you experienced great pain, but only for a short amount of time, you will want to downplay its duration.

3. The Experience Level of Your Personal Injury Attorney

If you have a highly experienced personal injury attorney, then you can ask for lots of money for compensation. If your personal injury attorney is less experienced, you may want to play it safer and ask for less. Often, the less experienced attorney will be less persuasive and have less clout in court. If you have a highly experienced, highly successful attorney, if you have a case, you can ask for practically any sum.

For more information, contact a personal injury attorney such as The Jaklitsch Law Group.

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Car Accident Liability And Bad Weather Conditions

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

While insurance adjusters and courts can take into account bad weather conditions, the truth is that drivers can still be held responsible for damage they cause in an accident.

Proving Negligence Is Important

The most important factor in a car accident case is whether the defendant in an action was acting reasonably given the circumstances. Even in a case involving bad weather and other hazardous conditions, a driver has a duty to drive safely on the road. If a person does not use proper judgment, or drives in a manner that shows with reckless regard for self and others, they can become liable due to negligence.

Driving Defensively Prevents Most Accidents

In bad weather, there are several types of drivers that can cause accidents, so you really need to step up your defensive driving skills. One is the reckless driver that drives the speed limit or faster regardless of road conditions. Many times a driver of a four wheel drive vehicle mistakenly believes they do not need to adjust their speed as much as the other drivers do.

Another is the overly cautious driver who drives too slow and blocks the main lane in use, causing other drivers to try to go around them at their peril.

Oftentimes bad weather hits around holidays, so you need to look out for the impaired driver as well. Finally, there is the inexperienced driver, who just does not know how to handle the changing conditions.

If visibility is bad, you should pull off the road until it improves. Strong winds can also affect your ability to stay on the road and in your lane. These things will also be affecting the other drivers, so be vigilant.

Determining Liability by Insurance Companies

It may be hard to prove an overly cautious driver caused an accident, but an inexperienced, reckless, or impaired driver can still be found negligent.

Usually, if it can be proved that an insured person was driving faster than the weather conditions warranted or following too close behind your vehicle for the slick roads, even if they were driving at or under the speed limit, the insurance company will pay up to avoid a lawsuit.

However, if the other driver was doing all they reasonably could to drive safely at the time and still slides into you, an insurance company might fight being held liable. They could fight it on the grounds of it being an “unavoidable accident” in which no one was acting negligently or maliciously.

If your car and the other car collide due to losing control of your vehicles, a shared fault may be determined. Sometimes one driver may be found to be more liable than the other in these situations, and the insurance company may offer a percentage of the amount that would cover some of the repairs.

Acting Wisely in an Accident

If you are in a bad weather accident, you should still do what you can to gather evidence of what actually happened and avoid being unfairly blamed for it. So don’t admit any guilt to the other driver or the police. You should use your cellphone or a camera to take pictures or video of the scene and road conditions, obtain names and addresses of witnesses, and get prompt medical care if you need it. You should also get a copy of the police report.

If the other driver was negligent in some way and your losses and injuries are significant, you should contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. An experienced attorney like Irene M Rodriguez PA can often help you get better settlement than you could on your own.

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