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How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients and prospective clients who are pursuing a personal injury case is: How much is my personal injury worth? The answer is: it depends. The value of a personal injury case will depend on the circumstances surrounding your unique case, your unique injuries, your recovery from those injuries, the amount of insurance coverage available on behalf of the liable party or parties, the details surrounding how your accident happened, and financial costs your injuries have caused you to incur. While it can be difficult to place a numeric value on non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering and mental anguish, a personal injury attorney at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, can help you determine the value of the damages you have experienced from your accident and injuries.

How is a Compensation Amount Determined and Distributed in a Personal Injury Case?

After a personal injury case has been resolved, whether through a trial or out-of-court settlement, a monetary sum (known as damages) is paid either to the injured person or, in the case of a wrongful death, to the estate of the deceased individual. This sum is paid by, or on behalf of, the individual, corporation, or other party found to be legally responsible for the plaintiff’s accident and injuries. The victim’s compensation may either be paid out by the defendant(s) directly or by their insurance company.

The value of a personal injury case is most often negotiated between the parties, the insurance companies, and their respective attorneys in the hopes of reaching a mutually agreeable settlement.  However, if the case cannot be settled, the case will proceed to a trial where the value of the plaintiff’s injuries will be determined by a judge or a jury.

how much is my personal injury case worth

What are “Compensatory Damages” in a White Plains Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Many of the damages that are included in a personal injury case are listed as “compensatory.”  This means that they are intended to compensate the plaintiff for what he or she lost due to the accident or injury. These damages are intended to make the plaintiff “whole” again, from a monetary standpoint. 

Putting a dollar amount on the damages from the accident can be a challenging process. Some damages are easier to calculate, such as reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages/income, or property damages, but other damages can be tremendously difficult to quantify. The value of pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life due to injuries and possible surgeries related to an accident is subjective, so landing on a true monetary value can be exceptionally difficult, and often requires an experienced personal injury attorney to maximize your recovery. 

Types of Compensatory Damages in White Plains Personal Injury Lawsuits

There are quite a few different types of compensatory damages that victims can recover in a personal injury case. These include:

  • Pain and Suffering: This is one of the most complex types of damages to quantify, but compensation for pain and suffering is typically the foundation of most personal injury recoveries.
  • Loss of Enjoyment: In cases where the injuries sustained from the accident prevent a victim from participating in recreational activities, exercise, or hobbies they enjoyed prior to the accident, the victim may receive compensation for their loss of personal enjoyment.
  • Lost Income: Part of the compensation an injured victim may receive is intended to offset the impact the accident had on their income. These potential damages could cover not only past income lost because of the accident, but also loss of future income. In other words, if a victim is no longer able to work or perform their previous job duties because of their injury, they can be compensated for their reduced earnings, and earning capacity.
  • Medical Treatments: The damages included in a personal injury case award almost always take into consideration the cost of the plaintiff’s medical care associated with injuries caused by the accident. These damages serve as both a reimbursement for the treatment a victim has already received due to the accident, and the cost of future medical care that will be needed.
  • Property Loss: If the accident involved property damage, for example, to a vehicle or other personal item, then a plaintiff would likely be entitled to reimbursement for the required repairs. In cases where the vehicle or item is damaged beyond repair, the plaintiff will likely be entitled to compensation to replace the item. Should a replacement be needed, compensation will generally be determined by the fair market value of the property lost or the replacement cost.
  • Emotional Distress: Damages listed for emotional distress are intended to compensate victims for any psychological distress caused by the accident. This can include post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), fear, anxiety, loss of sleep, and depression. In some states, emotional distress damages fall under the pain and suffering category.
  • Loss of Consortium: These damages are intended to compensate for the impact of the accident and injuries on the victim’s relationship with his or her spouse, including a loss of companionship, loss of financial support, and compensation for loss of the ability to perform household services. In New York, only spouses of personal injury victims are entitled to this compensation.

In some cases, victims may also receive an award for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the conduct of the defendant was found to be wanton, outrageous, grossly negligent, and/or intentional. Awards for punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party and deter others from committing similar acts. Although punitive damages are not applicable in many personal injury cases, a personal injury attorney at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, can help you determine the types of compensation you may be entitled to following your accident. 

Could Your Actions Affect Your Compensation in a White Plains Personal Injury Case?

If you played a role in causing the accident that resulted in your injury, or if you failed to take immediate action after being injured, your damages award or settlement could be affected. A victim’s actions could potentially affect the value of their claim in the following ways:

  • Comparative Negligence: This legal concept states that multiple individuals can be proportionally responsible for one accident, and that each individual should bear his or her share of the damages incurred. New York is a pure comparative negligence state.  This means that if you are even the slightest bit at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, your ultimate reward will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 10% at fault for the accident, you may only collect up to 90% of your total damages.  
  • Failure to Mitigate Damages: In most states, personal injury laws expect the injured person to take steps after the accident to minimize the impact of the harm caused by the accident, or “mitigate” their damages. If the plaintiff fails to take necessary actions, such as seeking medical treatment, fails to follow reasonable medical advice, or deliberately takes actions to make their injuries worse, the damages award could be significantly less than it would be if they had taken timely action to address their injuries.

Not sure what you should do after an accident so that your damages are not affected? Follow our Four Crucial Steps to Take After an Accident. This will help safeguard your right to obtain the maximum amount of damages for your personal injury case.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in White Plains?

If you are wondering how much your personal injury case may be worth, you are likely also curious how much it could cost you to partner with an attorney. Here at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we understand that injured victims are already under a considerable amount of stress, so we work on a contingency fee basis. So, what does that mean?

Well, when lawyers and clients enter into a contingency fee agreement, the client is only required to pay their lawyer if they recover compensation for them. This arrangement is only used in cases where monetary damages are being claimed, such as in personal injury lawsuits. When entering a contingency fee arrangement, the Lever & Ecker, PLLC, personal injury attorneys accept a fixed percentage of the compensation we recover for you.

This previously agreed-upon fee is deducted from the money awarded to you during your case. That way, our clients never owe us anything out of pocket. Should your case fail to achieve a favorable outcome, you will not be required to pay us for the work done on your case.

Contact Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys in White Plains, New York Today

When you need an estimation of the total value of your personal injury case, you need to consult a trusted attorney. At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys in White Plains, New York, have over sixty years of combined experience estimating the value of various types of personal injury cases.

If you have any more questions about personal injury cases, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or call (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632. You may also call us or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.

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