No two accidents are alike, and every plaintiff’s injuries affect their lives differently. Whether you were hurt in a car crash, a trip or slip and fall, or any other type of accident, you may have suffered significant financial losses in addition to experiencing pain and suffering. In light of your economic and non-economic losses, you might be wondering what impacts the value of a personal injury case. While having a good personal injury lawyer by your side is the most critical factor in ensuring you get the compensation you deserve, there are a number of things that can increase — or decrease — the value of your claim.
Your Medical Treatment
After an accident, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s orders. Not only can this help to ensure your injuries heal faster, but the value of your case can be affected by whether you attend your medical appointments. Failure to adhere to your doctor’s prescribed course of treatment, and any unexplained gaps in treatment, will be heavily scrutinized by the defendant’s insurance company.
The Severity and Permanence of Your Injuries
If your injuries cannot heal and are permanent, they can have a devastating impact on your life. The more serious and debilitating your injury is, the more it will increase the value of your claim. For instance, spine injuries, paralysis, and brain injuries are just a few examples of severe permanent injuries that would justify a high settlement or verdict.
The Availability of Punitive Damages
Although most personal injury damages fall into the categories of economic or non-economic losses, there is a third category of damages that is available in limited cases. Punitive damages are not compensatory. Rather, they are meant to punish the defendant and serve as a deterrent to others who might engage in similar wrongdoing. It’s not uncommon for the punitive damages awarded to far exceed the amount of compensatory damages.
One of the factors that can decrease your total compensation is your share of blame for the accident. New York follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means that you can still recover for your injuries if you are partly at fault. However, the amount of recovery to which you’re entitled will be reduced in accordance with your percentage of fault.
The Credibility of Your Witnesses
Credible witnesses can play a crucial role in personal injury cases. The testimony of neutral third parties who observed the accident can be key to proving the defendant’s liability — and building a solid claim for compensation.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are often the largest component of a personal injury award (except in rare cases when punitive damages are awarded). There are two ways these damages are calculated — either by applying the multiplier method or the per diem method. The multiplier method multiplies the economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5, based on the severity of your injuries. The per diem approach puts a dollar amount on each day you remained injured. Regardless of the calculation method, it’s essential to demonstrate the extent of your physical pain and mental anguish to ensure you receive the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s vital to have the representation of a personal injury attorney to obtain the maximum compensation available. The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they secure the maximum compensation they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.