The value of a case is decided by two factors: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Let’s start with the easy stuff first. Economic damages are the loss of wages and medical expenses caused by your injuries. If you’re a 26 year old engineer with a permanent disability, you can recover for the loss of earnings for the remainder of your career and all of the medical and rehabilitation expenses you will incur that are related to your injuries. These are called the “economic” damages and it’s fairly easy to calculate these damages.
Non-economic damages are the changes in the quality of your life that were caused by your injuries—this is also known as “pain and suffering”. The value of your non-economic damages are determined by three factors: first, the severity of your pain and suffering; second, whether your injuries are permanent or temporary; and third, whether your injuries prevent you from working and doing the things you love to do—like play catch with your son.
First, let’s take a look at the severity of your injury. A sprained ankle is not as painful as a broken ankle—so a broken ankle has a higher money value than a sprained ankle.
The second issue is whether your injuries are permanent or temporary. You might go through hell and back in the first year of your injury, but if you completely recover and get a clean bill of health, your injury will not have the money value of a permanent injury. A permanent injury—an injury that you will have for the rest of your life--always has the highest money value.
The third issue is whether your injuries are disabling. Do your injuries prevent you from working? Can you still play tennis on weekends and toss the ball around with your sons? How as the quality of your life been affected? Perhaps this is the most significant factor in deciding the value of your case.
Usually, the money value of your case cannot be determined right away. We need to collect the medical records and meet with your doctors to get more information about your prognosis and the permanency of the injuries. But usually on the one-year anniversary of your injury, we should have enough information to put a money value on your case.
Do you have questions? You can get our free ebook, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, just by providing your name and email address at the home page of www.protectingpatientrights.com. We promise your information won’t be shared with third persons. And if you’d like to speak with me about your case, I welcome your phone call at 1-866-889-6882. I look forward to speaking with you.