Life often throws crooked balls. For some people, being attacked is one of the pitfalls they have to deal with. Injuries are accompanied by pain and discomfort, absenteeism from work and medical bills.
No matter what personal injury you get, you will face financial losses, logistical problems, and other inconveniences. You deserve compensation for all of these things and you might be wondering what are the chances of winning a personal injury claim.
Factors Affecting Your Personal Injury Claim
In addition to attorney representation, several other factors can determine the success and value of your claim.
Can you or your lawyer prove liability or that the other party is responsible for your injuries?
Typically, this means providing evidence that:
The other party had an obligation to take care of you – for example, they were obliged to stop at a red light or perform an operation in accordance with current medical standards.
The other side somehow failed in their duty of care—maybe the store didn’t clear the ice from the sidewalks, or the dog owner let his dog get off the leash.
You have suffered damage as a result of your breach of duty.
Your injuries have resulted in your losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering.
You must show that you are claiming compensation from the correct party. The stronger the evidence supporting your claim, the more successful it will be. Hiring a lawyer can ensure that you have the proper evidence to show that the other party is responsible for your injuries.
In addition to proving liability, you must also prove the existence and extent of your damages. Thus, damages are just as important to a personal injury claim as liability.
Economic (special) damage
Financial damages, also known as special damages, refer to financial losses or expenses resulting from your personal injury. Your attorney can provide proof of medical expenses through medical bills and receipts and determine lost wages with proof of wages from the injured party’s employer. If the injured party had other reimbursable expenses, these are usually also supported by various invoices, receipts or reports.
Non-economic (general) damage
Non-economic damage, also called general damage, is not monetary in nature but affects victims in other ways. These losses are often more difficult to prove as there are no receipts or bills to prove their existence or value.
Sometimes you can match them with experts or friends and family as witnesses of how the trauma changed the victim, their life, or their relationship with the victim. Photos and videos of your injuries or the scene of the accident can also help to document these injuries.
Non-economic damage can be:
- pain and suffering
- scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of a body part or function
- loss of zest for life
- loss of the consortium
- medical expenses
If your medical expenses are reasonable and necessary, you are more likely to receive appropriate compensation. An increase in medical expenses generally leads to higher injuries or higher legal claims if the medical expenses are reasonable. Claimants should never assume that their adjuster will simply agree to the amount of medical or chiropractic bills for which they are claiming compensation.
Limits of Liability Insurance
Most claims are paid for by auto, homeowner, commercial, or medical liability insurance policies, which have coverage limits that represent the maximum an insurance company will pay for a claim.
If the claimant has serious or catastrophic injuries and the guilty party has low injury coverage limits, the adjuster may pay the full amount of coverage if its insured party is the responsible party.
Depending on how you were injured and the circumstances of your injury, motor vehicle liability insurance can come from:
Liability for personal injury under the guilty driver’s policy
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in the injured party’s policy for him and his passengers
Uninsured/underinsured motorist Coverage under the injured party’s insurance policy if the at-fault driver was not adequately insured or covered
Each state regulates the minimum amount of auto insurance that drivers must have. Restrictions on available insurance may affect your compensation.
For example, Texas requires 30/60/25 coverage for motor liability insurance, which means drivers must purchase:
A minimum of $30,000 in personal accident insurance per person
Up to $60,000 for an accident
$25,000 property damage coverage
Suppose you are injured in a car accident with three of your passengers. If the person responsible for your accident only had the minimum insurance required, the $60,000 limit would be all that would cover the loss for you and your passengers.
However, if you were uninsured/underinsured, you can claim compensation plus $60,000 under this policy.
Jurisdiction and Place of Jurisdiction
The location of the accident or injury can make a big difference in how much compensation you can get. Claims adjusters also consider location and jurisdiction when deciding how much they are willing to pay for settlements.
Jurisdiction refers to which court has jurisdiction to hear your case. This is where your claim for damages will be heard in court if you choose to file a lawsuit in court. Some places are more victim-friendly than big insurance companies. Therefore, the adjuster will likely offer more money to settle your claim if you are in a location that has had major personal injury awards in the past.
Personal Injury Compensation Limits
Depending on your state laws and the types of damages you are entitled to, your compensation may also be subject to personal injury. Due to tort reform laws, there are limitations or restrictions in some areas that limit the compensation that an injured person can receive as compensation.
The tort reform aims to prevent personal injury claims from going to court and to prevent high fees from burdening innocent consumers. For example, medical malpractice claims often face limitations on indemnification. These limits generally apply to moral damages and, where applicable, punitive damages.
The Value of a Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury attorneys can assess the value of your claim and the