One of the most frequently asked questions our New Orleans personal injury attorneys receive from car accident victims is – “How much is my personal injury case is worth?” As every individual case is different, with a variety of factors taken into consideration to evaluate the value of the suit, it can be challenging to provide a simple answer that covers every unique scenario.
Generally speaking, however, we understand which factors are taken into account when determining the value of your case, as well as the types of damages (or compensation) that you may receive from your claim. Trust in the dependable Louisiana personal injury attorneys of Cardone Law Firm to provide you with the most valuable information and stability you deserve to get your life back on track.
When it comes to understanding the value of your personal injury case and the type of damages that you may receive, consider the following information.
The Factors That Affect The Value of Your Lawsuit
There are several factors that affect the amount of recovery that you may be able to obtain from a personal injury lawsuit. These factors include:
- Whether the at-fault driver was negligent. If it can be shown that the party responsible for the accident was driving recklessly, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or fled the scene, this can greatly raise the value of your case.
- There was considerable damage to your vehicle. While major damage is not a necessity to prove that you were injured in an accident, evidence showing that your vehicle suffered moderate damage will go a long way towards validating your personal injury claim.
- The amount of bodily harm you sustained, and whether or not you obtained medical care after the accident. The type of injury you sustained, the amount of actual damage and pain it caused you, whether you obtained immediate medical treatment, if you followed through with doctor’s orders, adequately followed your treatment plan and took your prescribed medication(s), all will affect the value of your suit.
- The long-term effects of the accident. If it can be shown that you not only suffered long-term physical consequences but effects to your mental/emotional wellbeing as well, then the potential for recovery will increase.
- The amount of insurance coverage you carried. Louisiana law requires that all drivers carry a minimum liability insurance policy on their car. Failure to meet this standard means an uninsured driver who was hit is penalized by the “No Pay, No Play” law which bars the victim from collecting the first $15,000 in medical expenses or pain and suffering, as well as the first $25,000 in damage to the car. If the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage, it is important that you have Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Insurance at the time of the accident to protect your own interest. Without them, you may be unable to collect any sort of recovery.
Before accepting a settlement from the insurance company, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Cardone Law Firm. Policy caps may hinder your ability to collect the full amount of your injuries and financial losses thus you will need to acquire the services of a competent lawyer. You’ll also want a firm that can deal with insurance companies who may attempt to limit your recovery.
The Types of Damages You Can Receive
Damages are the financial restitution a plaintiff receives from having suffered at the hands of a negligent party. A winning plaintiff can be awarded:
- Compensatory damages – damages the defendant must pay for the injuries they caused.
- Punitive damages – meant as a punishment to the losing party and may be limited by state law.
- Nominal damages – awarded by the court when a plaintiff proves that they were legally wronged but in scenarios where there was no true financial loss because of the wrongdoing.
Most personal injury damages (including those obtained from a car accident) will fall under compensatory damages. Not every compensatory damage is easy to calculate and thus a case may require a judge or jury to come to a decision. Compensatory damage may include:
- Medical expenses – costs of medical care related to the accident. Compensation may include reimbursement for treatment already obtained and estimated future costs of medical care.
- Loss wages – earnings lost because of victims inability to return to work. This may also cover reduction in wages if the injured party can no longer perform their job and must find a lower paying job/position.
- Pain and suffering – compensation for the discomfort of having gone through the accident and its residual effects.
- Emotional distress/mental anguish – provided if the accident is very serious and traumatic.
- Physical impairment – paid to victims who are no longer able to enjoy the day-to-day physical activities, hobbies, or exercises they once participated in.
- Disfigurement – if the car accident causes a major change to the physical appearance of the plaintiff and limits their ability to live a “normal life”, disfigurement damages may get paid out.
- Loss of consortium – if the relationships of the victim with certain legally recognized persons are negatively affected by the injury, then “loss of consortium” damages may be considered.
Punitive damages may be added – essentially as a fine – if it can be proven that the responsible party was extremely negligent in their actions. Most states have limitations on punitive damages in personal injury cases.
Trust the New Orleans car wreck attorneys of Cardone Law Firm to provide you the legal guidance and protection you can depend on.
If you’ve been involved in a car wreck and suffered head or chest injuries, broken bones, soft tissue damage, scrapes and cuts, or emotional trauma, our personal injury attorneys in New Orleans are sufficiently trained to help get your life back on track. Phone Cardone today at 504-522-3333 and together we will fight for your rights and compensation.