| Added On February 8, 2010
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering how you know what the value of your personal injury claim will be. In legal terms, the amount of money that you are awarded for the harm caused by someone else’s negligence is called “damages”. Most states allow juries to consider two different types of damages in deciding on the value of a personal injury claim. The first category of damages is economic or actual damages. The second category is non-economic, or pain and suffering damages. In California, as in most other states, if your case goes to trial, a jury will decide the value of your damages and therefore the amount of money you will be awarded. If your case is settled without the need to go to trial, then you will be awarded an agreed upon amount of money. The calculation of damages in a personal injury case can be very complex and is best handled by an experienced California accident lawyer. The following, however, are examples of what can constitute economic damages in a personal injury case..
· Medical Expenses: This can include everything from the ambulance bill for transport to the hospital to projected future medical bills. As you can see, while some bills will be virtually impossible to debate, the cost of future medical bills is often an area that is hotly debated during negotiations or at trial.
· Damages to personal property: This usually refers to your car. You may feel as though this is a simple calculation, but what if you have an estimate that says the cost for repairs will be $3000 but the other driver’s insurance company claims the repairs can be done for $1500?
· Lost wages: Again, this can refer to wages you lost immediately after the accident as well as wages that you anticipate losing in the future. It may also include lost wages for time you missed receiving treatment for your injuries.
· Lost earning capacity: If, for example, you were making $20 an hour before the accident, but because of injuries suffered as a result of the accident, you can no longer do your old job and can now only obtain employment making $15 an hour – that may be an example of lost earning capacity.
· Lost profits: If you were self-employed, or your job was commission based, then you are entitled to what you would have earned had the accident not happened.
As you can see, the dollar amount assigned to each of the above examples is open to debate. For that reason, it is best for you to obtain the services of an experienced California accident attorney. The injuries you suffered as the result of someone else’s negligence may affect you for years to come, but you only have one chance to be compensated for those injuries.
If you have suffered injuries as the result of a car accident and would like an experienced attorney to evaluate your case, contact the law offices of Ledger & Associates at 1-800-300-0001 or visit us at www.ledgerlaw.com.