When you are in a vehicle accident, construction accident, or injured on someone’s property in Arkansas, all you can think about is the amount of pain that you feel. Depending on how severe the injury is, it can take weeks, months and even years to recover. Some injuries may become permanent or worsen in time, as you may need continuous medical care.
When it comes time to seek out compensation, you have to figure out just how much of a settlement to ask for from the liable party or their insurance company. How do you calculate a number that not only covers your lost wages and medical expenses, but also for your pain and suffering? What if you are partially liable for the injuries?
How is Personal Injury Compensation Calculated?
No list exists that gives details about the type of compensation you get for different personal injury claims. Every accident and injury is different. Basically, a personal injury claim will take these two factors into consideration to create a compensation amount.
Tangible Economic Damages
Tangible economic damages are costs that can be tallied and verified. Types of economic damages include medical bills, current lost wages, future lost earnings, property damages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Another type of economic damage may involve future medical expenses that can be estimated by an unbiased third-party or organization.
Non-economic damages are damages where there is no outright monetary loss, yet you would not be dealing with the issues if the accident never occurred. These damages consist of pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium (companionship).
Factors that Can Change a Personal Injury Settlement Amount
In addition, there are a range of other factors that can change the amount you could claim in a settlement. Such factors may involve:
Who is Liable?
There could be more than one person or party who could be held liable for your injuries to a certain degree. So you would be able to obtain multiple settlements from each person. In addition, there may be circumstances where a person who is injured may be held partially to blame for getting the injury.
If it is found that you were negligent or reckless, it could be argued that you shouldn’t receive as much compensation. In the state of Arkansas, this circumstance is called a modified comparative fault rule, while other states may simply call it comparative negligence or contributory negligence. The modified comparative fault rule means that if you are found liable for 50% or more of the accident, then you cannot claim any compensation from the other party. Yet, if you are found only partly at fault, such as having 10% to 20% of the blame, you can collect compensation. The amount you are able to collect will be adjusted based on the percentage of the blame that can be placed on you.
Severity of Liability
For some personal injury settlements, you may have only received a slight injury. Yet the person who caused the accident may have engaged in such excessive recklessness or intentional behavior that you may be entitled to a higher settlement amount. This circumstance is called punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the liable party for the injury. This type of damage claim is also designed to be enough of a deterrent where the liable party will reconsider ever allowing such a circumstance to happen again.
Location of Accident or Injury
Some states place a cap on the amount that you can claim for non-economic damages, or certain types of claims such as medical malpractice suits. Currently, Arkansas doesn’t have any cap. Yet if you are a resident of this state but were injured in another state that does institute a cap, there may be rules that can affect your settlement claim.
Get Help to Calculate Your Personal Injury Damages
Since there are so many factors to consider for personal injury damages, the settlement amounts can vary for each claim. Trying to receive the right amount of compensation is not always easy to figure out. If you ask for too large of a settlement, the liable party or insurance company may refuse to pay the settlement amount. If you ask for an amount that is too low, you won’t have enough money to pay off all your current expenses or future expenses that may appear if your injury worsens.
Get in touch with a professional personal injury lawyer. At the Law Offices of Alan Levar, we help accident victims receive the justice and compensation that they deserve. Contact us today to set up a consultation.