One of the first things a client wants to know from a Fayetteville personal injury lawyer is: how much compensation can I collect? This question is not a sign of greed, but worry. By the time they talk to an attorney, most personal injury victims have accumulated substantial medical care bills and lost several weeks’ worth of wages.
Here are the most important elements that determine the amount a lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.
1. Your Economic Damages
Personal injury law recognizes the fact that people injured due to someone else’s negligence should receive compensation for their economic damages. This term includes all present and future expenses and financial losses caused by the accident, such as:
- Hospital bills
- Costs with treatments, prescription medication and therapies
- Costs to replace or repair damaged property
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Long-term medical care and nursing care costs.
Your attorney must justify these damages, so make sure to save all the relevant bills and receipts.
2. Your Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages represent a form of compensation for your pain and suffering. This is not easy to determine – and this is why insurance adjusters are trying to downplay the severity of your injuries and the impact of the accident on your mental health.
However, since there must be a way to justify these damages, two calculation formulas are generally accepted in personal injury cases:
- The multiplier method – your economic damages are multiplied by a factor ranging from 1.5 to 5. The value of the factor is determined by the severity of your injuries
- The per diem method – a daily amount is determined and then multiplied by the number of days you spent in hospital and rehabilitation.
3. The Available Insurance Coverage
Your Fayetteville personal injury attorney will explain that the maximum amount the insurance company will pay is the available coverage on the at-fault party’s policy. This is something that no lawyer can negotiate further.
However, your legal counsel will analyze the option of suing the negligent party for the difference between the insurance coverage and your total damages. This action is effective only if the respective person has a fairly good financial position and owns assets that can be seized to enforce the court judgment.
You must remember that going to court is not a guarantee that you will win the case. Also, you will incur supplementary legal costs, which will be retained from your award amount.
4. Your Own Contribution to the Accident
Personal injury accidents are very rarely determined to be caused solely by one party. In most situations, the victim slightly contributed to their accident through negligence. According to the comparative negligence principle applicable in Georgia, both parties’ proportion of fault must be estimated.
The party who is less than 50% at fault has the right to seek damages. However, their total economic and non-economic damages will be reduced by an amount representing their percentage of fault.
For example, if your damages are evaluated at $50,000 and you were found 10% at fault for your personal injury accident, you may collect $45,000 in damages.
Let an Experienced Fayetteville Personal Injury Lawyer Win Your Compensation!
A personal injury accident can result in significant financial losses, as well as intense pain and suffering. The law defines your right to seek compensation from the negligent party. And a skilled Fayetteville personal injury lawyer protects this right.
Our legal team has a combined experience of over 70 years in all types of personal injury cases. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies, and when to threaten them with a lawsuit if they refuse to settle.
Take advantage of the free case review we offer each new client and call us today at 770-282-1188!