One of the most challenging parts of building a successful personal injury claim is calculating how much you deserve in compensation. Insurance companies will do what they can to devalue your claim, making it difficult for accident victims to know how much they should pursue.
Unfortunately, far too many people in this situation trust insurance companies when they say that a certain number is the best offer or that they do not qualify for certain types of compensation. If this is what the insurance company tells you, it is in best interest to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.
An attorney can determine how much your case is really worth. This encompasses not only your current financial losses (known legally as economic damages) but also the costs you are likely to incur in the future.
If you are trying to understand your rights and options after being injured by someone else’s negligence, please contact an Ohio personal injury attorney at Colombo Law. Your initial case review is free.
What Are Personal Injury Economic Damages?
Personal injury damages come in three distinct forms. In addition to economic damages, you may be entitled to recovery of non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering). Plaintiffs may also be awarded punitive damages if the court finds that the defendant’s conduct was malicious or constituted “aggravated or egregious fraud.”
Some of the most common economic damages in personal injury claims include:
Medical expenses can add up quickly following a serious injury. These expenses can include:
- Transportation to the emergency room via ambulance
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Ongoing medical treatment
One of the most important things to consider is that you should not only pursue compensation for your immediate medical bills, but also for medical bills you will accumulate in the future.
Some injuries require rehabilitation for a full recovery, while others may even lead to long-term (if not lifelong) medical expenses. While you may not know exactly how much these expenses will cost long-term, your attorney will consult medical professionals and other experts to determine what medical interventions your injuries will require later in life and what these treatments are likely to cost.
An injury may also lead to time away from work. Some injuries require extended periods of rest to heal, which could impact your income. If someone else’s negligence caused the injury that led to your loss of income, the wages you would have earned can be recovered via a personal injury claim.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Lost wages generally constitute the income you are unable to earn in the short term. If the injury prevents or makes it difficult for you to make a living long-term, you may also be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity.
Loss of earning capacity encompasses the wages, benefits, and other compensation you would have been able to earn through your job were it not for the accident. While lost wages can generally be calculated through review of your pay stubs and tax returns, accurately calculating loss of earning capacity typically requires testimony from financial experts and experts in your line of work who can testify as to the effect an injury like yours would have on someone who does what you do for a living.
Other Economic Damages
Beyond medical expenses and lost income, there are sometimes additional costs that come into play with a personal injury claim. For example, with some serious injuries, accident victims will need to make modifications to their home and/or vehicle to accommodate their injury.
These types of expenses should also be the responsibility of the negligent party, not the accident victim. It is vital to consider every direct expense or loss associated with your injury. In many cases, these losses and expenses will entitle you to additional compensation.
Recovering Compensation for a Personal Injury
While all of these economic damages are important to consider and calculate, you must also present evidence of each type of loss to recover compensation. Doing so can require a significant amount of work, including performing a thorough investigation, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and experts who can back up your claims, and more.
That said, even if you have a strong case, insurance companies will do what they can to minimize your payout. Settlement negotiations can quickly become complicated, especially if you suffered a serious injury that resulted in significant economic losses. In some cases, the only way to recover compensation may be to take your claim to court.
For all of these reasons, hiring a personal injury lawyer is essential for recovering the full compensation you deserve. An experienced attorney can assess all of your losses, deal with the insurance company, and represent you at trial as needed.
Contact an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney
At the end of the day, your goal should be to recover compensation for any economic losses related to your accident and injury. At Colombo Law, we are here to help you achieve this goal by pursuing the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for the damages you have sustained.
Please call Colombo Law at (614) 362-7000 today for a free case review. Our personal injury attorneys represent clients in Columbus and throughout Ohio.