If you intend to file a personal injury claim or if you’ve already started the process, you’re probably wondering how much compensation you may be able to recover. Because each case is unique, calculating a fair settlement amount requires a thorough investigation and a careful review of the relevant evidence.
Although there’s no simple formula for estimating the potential value of your claim, you might find it helpful to know the factors that could influence the settlement calculations. Such factors include:
- The Severity of Your Injuries
Naturally, more severe injuries tend to result in more substantial damages. Not only will you accumulate higher medical expenses than someone who suffered only a minor injury, but you may also miss considerably more work.
Catastrophic injuries usually result in more extensive non-economic damages, as well. In the state of New York, personal injury claimants can pursue compensation for the following non-economic losses:
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Pain and suffering;
- Physical impairment;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Loss of consortium.
- The Role You Played in the Accident
Since New York has a pure comparative negligence rule, your final payout will be reduced by your own percentage of fault. For example, if you were hurt in a motor-vehicle collision that someone else caused but you were speeding at the time, you might be deemed 15 percent liable for the accident. That means you may be entitled to compensation for just 85 percent of the total damages you incurred.
- Whether the Defendant’s Conduct Warrants a Punitive Award
While most personal injury claimants are not entitled to punitive damages, there are scenarios in which they’re warranted. Typically, an accident victim can pursue a punitive award if the defendant’s conduct was fraudulent and/or malicious or if it constituted willful negligence, a high degree of immorality, or wanton recklessness.
- The Strength of the Available Evidence
You will need to provide sufficient evidence of both liability and damages to recover a settlement. While your legal team will have the resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation, you can help by tracking your damages.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Write daily journal entries detailing your recovery;
- Photograph any visible injuries as they heal;
- Save all medical records, diagnostic images, pharmacy receipts, and hospital bills;
- Save all statements from your health insurance provider;
- Track missed work; and
- Save all records, receipts, and invoices detailing necessary services like home care, alternative transportation, domestic help, and child care.
Call 212-421-0300 for a Free Consultation with a New York City Personal Injury Attorney
If you want to file a personal injury claim in New York, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. We have the resources and experience of a large practice, but we provide the personalized and attentive counsel of a small firm. Call 212-421-0300 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in New York City.