Personal Injury Worth
Most people thinking about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit are interested in calculating the damages that they stand to receive as a result of a settlement or a jury trial. If the figure is too low, they may decide that it is not worth the expense to hire a lawyer, nor to spend the necessary time it would take to resolve the matter, whether in or out of court.
Unfortunately, calculating the worth of a personal injury case is not always easy or straightforward. Many of the damages that you sustain may not have a specific price tag attached to them. They are often abstract dimensions such as pain and suffering. Calculating the value of a personal injury claim can be a challenge even for attorneys that have the necessary experience. For a person without legal training and experience, it can be nearly impossible to make an accurate calculation.
Non-Economic Versus Economic Losses
Most of the damages that you can receive from a personal injury claim fall into two broad categories: non-economic losses (i.e., “general damages) and economic losses (i.e., “special” damages). The latter refer to medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages to which you can assign a specific numerical value. This makes economic losses the easier of the two to calculate.
The challenge comes in calculating non-economic losses that do not have a specific monetary value assigned to them. These are abstractions such as pain and suffering, mental anxiety, or loss of consortium. It usually falls to the insurance adjuster to attempt to make the calculation. Adjusters accomplish this by assigning a multiplier to your case.
A multiplier is a number from one to five used to make the calculation of non-economic losses. The adjuster will choose your multiplier based on the facts of the case. The higher the multiplier, the greater your losses are deemed to be. The adjuster then multiplies the sum of your quantifiable economic losses by the multiplier. The product is the total of your non-economic losses.
Finally, the totals of your economic and non-economic losses are then added together, which yields the calculated value of your personal injury claim.
An alternate method of calculating personal injury worth is according to a per diem method, or daily rate. This involves calculating the damages that you suffer per day and multiplying that for the number of days that you are affected. This is problematic if the damages you endure will last for the rest of your life, since no one knows how long you will live.
Since the insurance adjuster determines the multiplier, you may feel that it is too low to adequately reflect your non-economic losses. A personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, IN may be able to help you challenge the adjuster’s decision. Contact a law office for more information.
Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and calculating the worth of a case.