How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
You may have the right to file an insurance claim or civil personal injury lawsuit if you’ve recently gotten hurt in an accident in Fort Worth, TX. Insurance companies and those responsible for your injuries will work hard to minimize how much money you’re ultimately awarded.
If you don’t stand up and fight for yourself, you could walk away with way less money than you need and deserve.
How can you really know what your personal injury case is worth? The best course of action is to enlist the help of a qualified and experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyer.
In the meantime, here’s a primer on damages, liability, and valuation of a personal injury claim in Texas.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover After My Accident?
The amount of money you are awarded after an accident in Texas depends on a wide variety of factors. This includes:
- How much it currently costs to treat your injuries
- Projected expenses associated with your future medical treatment and care
- The fees you will pay for your therapy and rehabilitation
- The cost of replacing or repairing damaged property
- The financial impact of missing time at work – temporarily and/or permanently
- The physical, emotional, and psychological toll your injuries take on you
- How your injury affects your overall quality of life
- Limits on the negligent party’s insurance coverage
Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you may be able to claim compensation for:
This cash can pay for treatments and procedures like:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- Physical therapy, and
- Occupational therapy
The easiest way to recover damages for these expenses is to present the court with bills and estimates.
Did your personal property suffer any damage during your accident? If so, you can almost always recover the money you need to repair or replace it by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
It is not at all uncommon for Texans to miss a few days or weeks at work after sustaining injuries in accidents. If you should find yourself in such a position, you can likely recover damages for your lost income by filing suit against the liable person or business.
Loss of Future Earnings
Will the injury you sustained in your animal attack or bicycle crash prevent you from continuing your career? Then you may be able to sue the at-fault party for the reduction in your future earning capacity.
The best way to recover this type of compensation is to present the court with paystubs and pay projections for jobs you would have qualified for in the future.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the legal team for the physical and mental anguish a victim endures when they sustain an injury. If you have depression, body aches, or similar issues after your accident, you can claim compensation by suing the at-fault party.
When at-fault parties in Texas personal injury cases behave with malice, it is possible for plaintiffs like you to claim punitive (or exemplary) damages. This type of compensation exists to punish the defendant for their actions and deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
In Texas, punitive damages can be as high as $750,000.
If you would like to learn more about the compensation you are eligible to receive after your dog bite or car accident, contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC, in Fort Worth. Attorney Jason Stephens would be happy to analyze your case and provide you with an estimate of its worth.
How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
When a person is injured due to the negligence of another party, they are often entitled to be compensated for things like medical bills, loss of income, medication, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
This type of award is known as economic damages and it is a relatively easy form of damages to keep track of and calculate. For example, if a person has incurred $2,000 in medical bills as a result of an injury that was the fault of another person, he or she should be entitled to $2,000 in damages.
There is, however, another category of damages that are commonly awarded in such cases that is much more difficult to calculate.
Because non-economic damages don’t come with bills and dollar signs, they are much more difficult to determine. There are many factors that can go into deciding how much a person should be able to receive for their pain and suffering and every case is different.
There are, however, several ways lawyers, insurance companies, juries, and judges, often determine non-economic awards. Here is a look at some of the most common ways they and others calculate pain and suffering damages.
The Multiplier Method
One of the most common ways to determine how much a person should receive for their pain and suffering in a personal injury case is to use the multiplier method.
With the multiplier method, you take the injured party’s economic damages and multiply it by a number ranging from 1.5-5 depending on the severity of their pain and suffering (1.5 being relatively mild and 5 being severe). That number is then added to the economic damages to create a total amount of compensation due.
For example, if a person had $10,000 in economic damages they were due, and based on the severity of their injuries and experience it was determined that their multiplying number was a 3, the non-economic damages would equal $30,000. This number would then be added to the $10,000 of economic damages for a total compensation package of $40,000.
The Per Diem Method
Another way non-economic damages like pain and suffering can be calculated is with the per diem method. Using this method, a set dollar amount is assigned to each day it takes for the person to make a full recovery.
For example, if the two sides agree that a person is due $50 per day until they are fully recovered, and it takes them 100 days to reach full recovery, the total in non-economic damages the injured party would receive would be $5,000.
Comparing to Similar Cases
While there are many more ways to calculate damages for pain and suffering, another method commonly used by insurance companies is simply to compare each case to other similar cases. Because insurance companies might see the same injuries more than once and generally settle a particular type of case for a certain amount of money, they might have a good idea of what a case is typically worth.
This method, however, might not always be the best as each case can be unique and the way a person suffered for an injury might not be the same as another person.
How to Maximize Your Non-Economic Damages
No matter which method is used to determine the non-economic damages you are due, there are several things you can do to maximize the compensation you receive.
- Keep Detailed Records: The first is to keep detailed records of all out-of-pocket expenses related to the injuries you sustained. The more documentation you have the better.
- Keep a Pain and Suffering Journal: It can also be a good idea to journal through the pain you are enduring so you can refer back to it later on in your case. You might think you will remember everything, but with the stress caused by your injuries, you might actually forget how difficult your experience has been.
- Hire a Lawyer to Advocate For You: Finally, to maximize your non-economic damages, you will want to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer. A good personal injury lawyer will help put together your case and explain to the other party, their insurance company, and, if necessary, a jury, the extent of the pain and suffering you have endured. He will know how to fairly calculate your pain and suffering and help you get the compensation you are due.
What Happens If I Hold a Portion of the Blame for My Accident?
Texas residents frequently believe that it is not possible to claim damages after an accident for which they are partially at-fault. They think that they must pay for their medical expenses, property repair bills, and other costs out of their own pockets.
If you hold a portion of the blame for your accident, you will be pleased to know that these individuals are usually incorrect. The state of Texas has a comparative fault rule on its books that allows you to claim damages after any fall or car crash for which you hold less than 51 percent of the blame.
If you should find yourself in this position, however, you will not be able to recover your full compensatory award. Texas law stipulates that the judge must reduce your payout in line with the percentage of fault that you hold before releasing any funds.
This rule means that if a jury awards you $100,000 after a car accident for which you hold 10 percent of the blame, you will not get the entire payout. Instead, you would receive $90,000.
The comparative negligence rules in Texas can be a little confusing. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to personal injury attorney Jason Stephens for help navigating complex issues like this.
How Can Personal Injury Lawyers Help Me Recover the Compensation I Deserve?
Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney is an excellent way to protect your health and your financial future after getting hurt in a fall or a bike crash in the state of Texas. They can help you fight for compensation by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of your accident
- Filling out and filing legal forms with the court on your behalf
- Speaking to the other parties insurance companies on your behalf
- Analyzing the details of your accident and evaluating your damages
- Helping you understand your potential legal options
- Providing you with straightforward answers to your legal questions
- Devising a customized legal strategy for your personal injury case
- Identifying the person or business that is liable for your damages
- Helping you understand how the Texas legal system operates
- Offering you sound legal advice and guidance during your case
- Speaking with relevant experts about the intricacies of your case
- Looking for evidence that may convince a jury to rule in your favor
- Working out a settlement with the other party’s insurance company
- Presenting evidence and arguing on your behalf in court, if required
Each personal injury lawyer in the state of Texas offers a unique selection of services to their clients. The best way to find out how your law firm will help you is to schedule a free consultation and ask them.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth? Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC
Don’t let insurance companies have the final say regarding what your case is worth. Get Stephens Law Firm, PLLC in your corner. Attorney Jason Stephens has more than 22 years of experience fighting on behalf of Fort Worth injury victims. He knows how to help his clients walk away with substantial, life-changing monetary awards. Give his law office a call to schedule your free consultation today.