At The Cagle Law Firm, we view recovering from a personal injury as a two-step process. First, and most importantly, is your physical recovery. You need to focus on your health and support with your loved ones following an event as traumatic as a personal injury. But the other part of your recovery should involve seeking fair compensation for yourself if your injury was caused by the negligence of someone else.
What does “justice” mean in a personal injury case? Even the definition of justice–“legally holding the offending party responsible by demanding financial restitution”–can seem somewhat confusing. Ultimately, our attorneys seek fairness in compensation and justice for you through the civil court process. Our lawyers look for the compensation that you will need after racking up medical bills, possible lost wages/benefits, as well as non-economic damages. “Justice,” or compensation for personal injury, is sought through a civil court. Allow us, then, to discuss the subject of damages, that is, how damages are usually assessed in a personal injury case. If you have been injured recently and need a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, MO, The Cagle Law Firm will be here to fight for you while you focus on getting better.
How Are Damages Assessed in a Personal Injury Case?
When thinking about personal injury lawsuits, you may find yourself wondering how courts, mediation courts, and jury members attach monetary values to someone’s injury. Depending on the details of your case, you will want to work closely with an attorney to compile all of the materials for your case accurately and determine the best path forward. Damages are assessed in a number of ways:
The overall purpose of considering financial compensation following a personal injury is to repay the plaintiff for what he or she lost due to the injury. This is why we tend to refer to this restitution as justice. Medical bills are a form of economic damages.
Simply totaling medical bills should seem simple enough. However, depending on the severity of your injury, it may become more complicated. An example of a simple case is looking at the medical bills the injured person incurred as a result of the injury of a sprained finger. In simplified terms, your medical bills are easier to calculate if you have only a minor injury such as a sprained finger that heals in a month. However, if you suffered a broken or disfigured finger, those bills will be more complex, as a permanent injury may be involved no matter how great the medical treatment. You may need to seek “future medical damages,” meaning you may require lifelong ongoing treatment for this injury. Again, the extent of the medical treatment required to repair an injury and the rehabilitation or life changes that must occur due to some serious injuries are quite different. The easiest example of a serious injury would be an injury resulting in the victim being confined to a wheelchair after the injury. The medical bills alone do not always fairly calculate the severity of that kind of injury, which is why you need an attorney to assist in these calculations and evidence accumulation.
The St. Louis personal injury lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm are experienced in gathering our clients’ medical records and bills to determine how much you spent overall in medical care following your accident. Additionally, treating physicians and experts may need to evaluate your case further to determine future treatment. When we have a total figure, we can include it in our demand for compensation.
Another area of finances we look at when assessing damages in personal injury cases is lost income. Let’s say you slip and fall in a store because management failed to clean up a slippery spot. Then, let us assume that your resulting injury prevented you from going back to work in your normal capacity. Perhaps you had to take reduced hours.
Changes to your working schedule and ability to work matter to your accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO. That’s because the income you lose while not working is eligible to be repaid to you in your settlement.
Pain and Suffering
A third way that damages are assessed in injury cases is by looking at pain and suffering. Putting dollar amounts on pain and suffering is somewhat more difficult, but this area is critical. You will need a personal injury lawyer to assist you with calculating non-economic damages. Those damages encompass physical as well as mental suffering that you have endured as a consequence of your injury.
Hire an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney
The Cagle Law Firm will be there when you need a St. Louis personal injury attorney to handle your case. Personal injuries are scary, especially when they are caused by someone else and you don’t know whether they will agree to compensate you. The lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm know this is a difficult time for you and so will fight for your justice while you focus on your own recovery.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation with a lawyer on your situation. With The Cagle Law Firm on your case, you can work on getting back to normal as quickly as possible.