The number one question Hammer Injury Law receives during our free consultations is, “What is my case worth?” This shouldn’t come as a surprise, and most people contact an injury lawyer because they cannot work due to their accident or because their quality of life has changed dramatically. While a personal injury lawsuit will provide a feeling of closure and attaining justice, the settlement awarded and the ability to move forward with your life are what matters most. Thus, how does an experienced injury lawyer determine what a case is worth?
What is My Case Worth? Types of Damages
General Damages (or Non-Pecuniary Damages):
- These are meant to compensate the plaintiff for non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and physical disfigurement. The Supreme Court of Canada has capped the amount a plaintiff can receive for pain and suffering in most personal injury cases.
Special Damages (or Pecuniary Damages):
- These represent out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the plaintiff as a direct result of the accident up to the date of the trial or settlement. It includes medical expenses, property repair costs, and other quantifiable losses.
Loss of Income and Loss of Earning Capacity:
- Compensates for lost wages or salary from the time of the injury up to the date of the trial or settlement and any future lost earning potential due to the injury.
Cost of Future Care:
- If the plaintiff needs ongoing medical treatments, therapies, or other forms of care due to the injury, these anticipated costs can be claimed under this head of damages.
Loss of Consortium:
- Compensation for the loss of companionship, care, and affection suffered by a spouse or partner due to the plaintiff’s injuries.
In Trust Claims:
- These are claims for the value of services provided by family members or friends to the injured party due to their injuries. It could be for tasks the injured person can no longer perform, such as housekeeping or childcare.
- While not common, these are awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly malicious, oppressive, or egregious. The purpose is not to compensate the plaintiff but to punish the defendant and deter similar behaviour.
- These are awarded when the defendant’s conduct has been particularly malicious or oppressive, exacerbating the plaintiff’s pain and suffering.
How Does an Injury Lawyer Determine How Much Damages Are Worth?
Understanding the worth of a motor vehicle accident claim is both an art and a science, and an experienced injury lawyer brings expertise to both dimensions. While they deeply understand claims and each case’s unique nuances, the real mastery lies in how they harness expert opinions to reinforce and quantify your claim.
An experienced injury lawyer will collaborate with a team of medical professionals, from family doctors to physiotherapists and orthopedic surgeons, to gauge the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life. But it’s not just about the aftermath; the events leading to the accident are equally crucial. Accident reconstruction specialists are brought on board to paint a vivid picture of the incident’s dynamics. These experts carefully recreate the sequence of events before, during and after the accident, shedding light on details like speed and impact force and determining where the liability might lie.
Understanding the incident and its immediate consequences is just one side of the coin. The other? Grasping the financial implications. An injury lawyer turns to financial analysts or economists to ensure you receive a fair settlement. These experts crunch numbers, assessing past economic losses and projecting potential future ones. If your ability to work has been compromised, vocational rehabilitation consultants step in. Their assessments delve into your capacity to resume work, whether in your previous role or a different capacity, ensuring your claim encapsulates every aspect of the accident’s aftermath.
An experienced injury lawyer will be hesitant to provide a ballpark figure on the initial consultation. As you can tell from the number of experts and analysis outlined above, many variables exist. You should be hesitant about any online settlement calculator or any initial offer your insurance company may make. There are factors that they may be excluding and undervaluing your case. Upon settling your case, you sign a waiver that you cannot open another file related to the same issue. Thus, it is vital that you understand your injuries and the impact they will have on your future before you settle.
Call The Hammer
Have you been injured due to a motor vehicle accident and are trying to determine how much your claim is worth? Call the Hammer, Rick Mallett. Hammer Injury Law offers a free, no-obligation consultation and can help answer your injury law questions and help you understand the next steps. Stop guessing and using online calculators and get real answers for your situation today.