How to Calculate Personal Settlement Amount in NY
Accidents happen every day and they are all unique. The circumstances surrounding any accident will greatly vary depending on what caused it, the people involved, and other factors. Due to this, it is sometimes very difficult for accident victims to know how much they can claim in damages for their injuries. Unfortunately, there is no one formula to follow when trying to calculate damages.
Financial compensation can cover medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and emotional anguish. A New York personal injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and help ensure you recover the full damages you deserve.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, have concrete dollar values. These losses include the actual money you have already spent, or that you will spend to recover from your injuries. The most common damages awarded in personal injury settlements are as follows:
- Medical costs, including therapy and nursing care
- Lost income, both past, present, and future
- Lost or damaged personal items
- Repairs to or replacement of personal property
- Costs of services, such as childcare or housekeeping
- Any other out-of-pocket expense, such as transportation to and from medical treatments, medications, and assistive medical devices
Calculating economic damages is fairly easy, as you only have to add all of the actual expenses you have incurred due to your injury. The total of these expenses will form the basis of your personal injury settlement amount.
When calculating your medical expenses, it is important to include the total expense, even if a portion was covered by health insurance. It is also important to remember that you may incur more than one bill for the same medical treatment. For example, if you had to get an MRI scan, you will likely be charged for the use of the imaging equipment, and you will also have to pay for the doctor’s diagnosis after they look at the test. Also, if you visit an emergency room, you will receive a bill for the treatment, and a bill from the faculty for the use of the hospital.
Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, are the losses you have incurred, or that you will incur in the future, but they are intangible. The most common non-economic damages awarded in personal injury settlements are as follows:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Persistent lack of sleep
- Depression and anxiety
- Reputation damage
- Loss of consortium
Like economic damages, you can also claim any other intangible loss you suffered as a result. Calculating non-economic damages is more complicated because these losses do not have values that are quantifiable. Even when two people suffer from the exact same injury, their recovery will differ from one another greatly. One person may be able to continue on with their normal life without being greatly affected, while another may fall into a deep depression.
There are many different ways to calculate non-economic damages. One is to choose a number between one and five. In this scenario, one or two would mean the injuries were mild or moderate while four or five would indicate a more serious injury. Once you have determined the number, you then calculate the total of your economic damages by it. You can also assign your losses an amount per day and multiply that number by the number of days you will be affected.
Factors that Affect Personal Injury Settlement Amounts
There are many factors that affect personal injury settlement amounts. The most common of these include:
- Limits of insurance policies: Most accident cases involve at least one insurance provider. The insurance policy of the at-fault party will have a limit. For example, if you were in a car crash, you will have to go through your own insurer under the state’s no-fault auto insurance laws. Your insurance policy may only allow for up to $25,000 for bodily injury. If your injuries exceed this amount, you will have little choice but to file a lawsuit against the negligent party that caused the crash.
- Comparative fault: New York is one of only 13 states that follow a pure comparative fault model. This means that even if you contributed to the accident, you can still claim damages no matter how much fault you held. The negligent party, or their insurer, will likely try to shift at least part of the blame to you, so they are not found liable for paying full damages. If you are found to be partly at fault, any damages you are awarded will be reduced by your same percentage of fault.
- Unnecessary medical bills: Insurance companies will only cover medical costs they deem reasonable and necessary. If they find you received several unnecessary tests or treatments, they may strike them from your claim. It is for this reason it’s essential to understand all treatments you are receiving, and to ask the doctor why any medical procedure is necessary, so you can then prove it to the insurer later.
- Location: Though surprising to many people, the location of your accident, or where the case would be heard in court, can influence settlement amounts. Insurance companies are more likely to make a settlement offer that is larger when they know juries in that area are more likely to award higher amounts to accident victims.
A New York City personal injury lawyer can explain the many different factors that will affect your personal settlement amount, and negotiate effectively so you receive full and fair damages.
Our Personal Injury Lawyer in New York will Help You Claim Full Damages
If you have been hurt in an accident and now need to file a claim against the negligent party, our New York personal injury lawyer can help you claim the fair settlement you deserve. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our skilled attorneys know how to handle insurance companies, and refute their arguments of fault, so you receive the compensation you need to make a full recovery. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.