Personal injury cases are among the most common types of lawsuits.
If you have been in an accident, you may be wondering how much compensation you could receive.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are certain factors that tend to affect all cases.
Severity and Nature of the Injury
In personal injury cases, the severity of the injuries plays a significant role in determining the case’s worth. Generally, the more severe the injury, the higher the compensation you might be entitled to.
Temporary injuries, such as cuts and bruises, typically have a lower case value than permanent injuries like spinal cord damage, amputations, or severe burns.
Medical expenses are one of the main components of a personal injury claim. This includes any expenses related to the treatment and care of the injury you suffered from, such as surgeries, medications, physical therapy sessions, and more.
Future Medical Costs
If your injury requires ongoing treatment, you may be entitled to compensation for future medical costs. This includes long-term care, medical equipment, and any necessary follow-up treatments.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity
Lost wages are another factor in determining the worth of your personal injury case. This refers to any income you lost as a result of your injury, including missed work days and any unpaid time off you used for recovery.
In some cases, your injury could cause a long-term or permanent disability that affects your ability to work, resulting in you taking a lower paying job or having to work less hours than you used to. You should be able to make up the difference here. The court will evaluate various factors like your age, work history, and the severity of your injuries to determine loss of earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages in personal injury cases, which means they do not have a clear monetary value. However, they can significantly impact the overall worth of your case.
Courts use varying methods to calculate pain and suffering, such as considering the severity of your injuries, your emotional distress, and the impact on your daily life, along with any physical limitations resulting from the accident.
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were especially reckless or malicious. These damages are separate from economic and non-economic damages and are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar actions in the future.
Although they are rarer than compensatory damages, punitive damages can significantly increase the overall worth of your personal injury case if they are awarded.
Shared Responsibility Impacts Your Case’s Worth
In any personal injury case, a chief concern is determining liability. Liability refers to who is at fault for causing the accident. Florida follows a comparative negligence rule, which means your case worth can be impacted by the extent to which you share responsibility for the accident.
In St. Petersburg, like the rest of Florida, the rules of comparative negligence have changed recently.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Before March 24, 2023, Florida followed the pure comparative negligence rule. This means that you could recover compensation no matter what percentage of fault you bore for the accident. For example, if you were found to be 99% at fault for an accident, you could still claim 1% of the damages from the other party.
This system was designed to ensure that all injured parties had a chance to recover at least some compensation for their losses. However, critics argue that this approach can lead to people receiving compensation even if they were largely responsible for the accident.
Modified Comparative Negligence
For any accidents that occurred on or after March 24, 2023, Florida has switched to a modified comparative negligence system. Under this system, you can only recover damages if you were 50% or less at fault for the accident. This means that if you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you will not be able to recover any compensation.
This approach aims to strike a balance between ensuring fair compensation for accident victims and preventing those who are largely responsible for an accident from benefiting from their own negligence.
Contact an Experienced St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
Another significant factor in determining the worth of your personal injury case is the quality of legal representation. Your lawyer plays a crucial role in establishing liability, gathering evidence, and negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf. A skillful attorney knows the intricacies of personal injury law and has experience dealing with insurance companies.
They can navigate the complexities of your case and leverage their know-how to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Poor legal representation, on the other hand, can lead to an unfavorable settlement or even hurt your chances of receiving any compensation at all. It’s essential to choose a lawyer with a proven track record in personal injury cases to ensure your case is in competent hands.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys from Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys by calling (727) 933-0015 for legal advice on your rights and options. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law and seek the compensation you deserve.