5 Factors That Affect Personal Injury Settlement Calculations
If you were seriously hurt in some kind of preventable accident, you may be facing steep medical bills, lost wages, and other costs that were entirely unexpected. As the expenses mount, you may find yourself wondering how much compensation you might receive from the insurance claim.
No personal injury attorney who practices with integrity would promise to achieve a specific outcome no matter how strong your case seems. Also, it won’t be possible to approximate a fair settlement amount before a thorough investigation has been performed; however, you might be able to get a rough idea of your claim’s potential value by learning the factors that could affect the settlement calculations, which include:
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
Whether your injuries cause any permanent disabilities, scarring, or disfigurement could affect the settlement figure. More severe and long-term injuries usually cost more to treat, and they often warrant higher awards for non-economic damages. Also, serious injuries might leave you sidelined from work for a longer period of time, and the value of lost wages could add to the settlement amount.
2. The Role You Played in the Accident
New York courts follow a pure comparative fault rule when apportioning liability in a tort case that involves shared fault. That means if you were partly responsible for your injuries, the final payout would be reduced by your own percentage of fault; however, even if you are deemed 90 percent liable for the accident, you could still pursue compensation for the 10 percent of your damages for which the defendant was liable.
3. The Available Insurance Coverage
In most cases, personal injury claimants aren’t actually seeking compensation from the liable party directly but, rather, from his or her insurance company. As such, your recovery might be limited by the defendant’s insurance coverage.
4. Whether Punitive Damages Are Warranted
In the state of New York, plaintiffs can seek punitive damages if defendant’s conduct demonstrated:
- A high degree of immorality;
- Wanton recklessness;
- Willful negligence;
- Dishonest or fraudulent intentions that conveyed criminal indifference to civil obligations; or
- A conscious disregard for the safety, rights, or health of others.
5. Whether You’ve Mitigated the Damages
You must take reasonable steps to mitigate the damages you incur as a result of the tort. This usually involves visiting a doctor for a prompt medical evaluation, following the instructions of your healthcare providers, and avoiding activities that could aggravate your injuries.
Discuss Your Claim with a Personal Injury Attorney in New York
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the devastating impact that unanticipated injuries can have on the whole family. We will use all the resources at our disposal to help you fight for the compensation you need to get your life back.
Our attorneys are recognized leaders in their fields with many decades of combined experience. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in New York.