The way in which compensation is calculated throughout the country can differ ver so slightly between states, but in the main the matrix which is used remains the same. Recently a Washington DC personal injury law firm was discussing this with us, and gave us the fill breakdown of what clients can expect when it comes to the awarding of compensation. If you have had an accident which wasn’t your fault and it resulted in injury, making a compensation claim is always a smart idea. If you win the case, here is how the court will decide how much compensation to pay out.
The first aspect which the court will look at are the economic damages which should be paid out to the client. This will include the medical bills for the treatment of the injury, any loss of income because of the injury sustained and additional costs which this may have incurred. For example we have seen some cases whereby people couldn’t pay their rent and were forced to move, as a direct consequence of the injury. All of this will be factored into the claim.
Not all damage which you have sustained can be calculated in dollars and cents, and this is why we have the section for non-economic damages. This takes care of the pain and suffering which has been caused to the victim as a result of the accident. When it comes to calculating this, and putting a monetary figure on it, the court will take into consideration the type of injury sustained, and the severity of the injury. It may sound rather callous but ultimately different parts of the body are more valuable than others, and the severity further adds value to the claim. There is a very precise calculation which is used, with value placed on all kinds of different injuries. This changes state-by-state, in terms of the value placed on an injury.
Additionally we have to consider the emotional distress which someone has gone through and any consequences which have resulted from the injury with regards to mental health. Professionals will be consulted, who will have monitored the victim and who will then share their findings with the court. It will then be up to the court to decide how much extra could be paid out based on the emotional and mental impacts of the injury.
If there is a particular egregious case, whereby harm has been intentionally caused, we will also see punitive damages awarded to the client. This will usually come about following a criminal trial, although a settlement can be reached in some cases, if the client has no desire to go to trial. These damages are awarded less often than the economic and non-economic damages.
This is how compensation is calculated throughout the country and the only thing which will change between states is the value placed on the severity and the location of the injury which has been sustained.