Key Factors in Determining Your Personal Injury Claim Amount
Determining the value of your personal injury claim can be tricky. There are a whole host of complex factors and variables that might affect the overall claim amount. And because most personal injury claims and lawsuits end in settlement, it can be hugely beneficial to have a solid, working number to start off negotiations with the defendant and his or her legal counsel.
In all personal injury cases, including in Florida, you have to prove the defendant’s negligence to win your claim or lawsuit. To prove the defendant was negligent, you have to show that the individual or entity was somehow responsible for your safety, whether that’s at a residential pool, a construction site, doctor’s office or elsewhere. If the defendant failed this responsibility and that, in turn, caused you to be injured because of unsafe conditions or actions, they could be considered negligent.
Every personal injury case has its own set of pertinent facts, but there are some key factors that can help you determine the ballpark number you should be asking for during negotiations with the defendant and his or her counsel.
Personal Injury Multiplier
In personal injury cases, a “multiplier” helps determine the amount you should receive by looking at how much pain you suffered because of your injuries. In short, as pain increases, the settlement amount increases.
A higher multiplier might be added to the overall calculation of your claim amount if there exists:
- A long recovery period;
- A long-term injury with future costs;
- A “hard injury,” as in a broken bone, spinal injury, nerve damage or broken bones;
- Medical treatment by a doctor, clinic worker or hospital worker;
- Medication that is prescribed by a doctor to treat your injuries;
- Physical or emotional distress;
- A permanent injury, like scars or loss of mobility; or
- A disruption in your life, including examples such as missed work, school or vacation, or other special event.
A lower multiplier might be added to the overall calculation of your claim amount if the following are present:
- “Soft injury,” such as a bruise, strain or sprain;
- The majority of your medical expenses are related to diagnosis, not treatment;
- Medical treatment was given by those other than doctors or medical professionals;
- No emotional distress occurred as a result of your injuries;
- The recovery period for your injuries is short;
- No medications were prescribed; or
- Short-term injury with no lasting effects.
Other factors that might result in a higher amount of compensation in the case or negotiations include:
- The defendant is not sympathetic or likable;
- You are credible and sympathetic;
- Witnesses back up your version of events; and/or
- The defendant is entirely at fault.
Other factors that might result in a lower amount of compensation in the case or negotiations include:
- The defendant is sympathetic or likable;
- You are not credible or sympathetic;
- Witnesses back up the defendant’s case; and/or
- You are partially at fault for the incident that resulted in your injuries.
Find a Lawyer to Help
This is is a helpful checklist of factors that might assist you in determining the amount of compensation you deserve in your personal injury case. But to ensure you get the compensation you truly deserve, enlisting the help of an experienced lawyer is key. If you live in the Broward County area, contact the attorneys at Boone & Davis today for a consultation on your case.