The financial impacts of an accident are far-reaching. In addition to medical bills, it can cost you money in lost wages, emotional turmoil, and property damage.
To maximize your compensation, monitoring and documenting these damages diligently is important.
Medical expenses are a major part of any personal injury claim, and it is important to properly document past and future medical costs to maximize the value of your settlement. For example, suppose you are prescribed physical therapy sessions that will cost tens or hundreds of dollars per session for several weeks or months. In that case, these expenses should be included in your demand for compensation.
In many cases, a personal injury Tampa FL attorney can help you to estimate the future cost of your medical care and expenses. However, determining the exact amount of future medical expenses can take time and effort. This is particularly true if your injuries are expected to be permanent and may have long-term impacts on your quality of life.
It can also be challenging to place a value on ongoing pain and suffering damages, such as emotional distress, mental anguish, and decreased enjoyment of life. For this reason, it is often important for victims to keep a journal detailing their struggles and hardships caused by their accidents.
When you miss work due to an injury sustained in a crash, unused vacation days and paid sick leave can be recovered as part of your compensation. However, unused PTO is only recoverable if it was directly related to your injuries and not used for any other reason.
Lost wages are a special type of damage paid to reimburse you for income and earnings you have missed because of the accident. They are calculated using your wage stream and what you had earned before the accident.
To file a claim for lost wages, your lawyer must have documentation to support your claim amount. This typically includes pay stubs, tax returns and business documentation, such as invoices or correspondence. Your demand package should also have a letter from your doctor describing your injuries, treatment and prognosis for recovery. This should be updated regularly as your treatment continues. This information will help the insurance company determine your future earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering component of a personal injury claim includes the physical and emotional distress and anguish that results from an accident. This anguish can consist of loss of enjoyment of life, mental trauma, loss of consortium, and sexual dysfunction.
Insurance companies often use two methods for valuing pain and suffering: multiplier and per diem. A skilled attorney can help you determine a reasonable multiplier for your case.
The per diem method calculates pain and suffering daily, based on how long the victim can recover from their injuries. Keeping careful records of all expenses and financial losses helps increase the chance of a maximum compensation award. Your lawyer can also advise you on how to prove your damages in court.
When someone suffers injuries in an accident, seeking compensation for repairing or replacing their damaged property may also be appropriate. This can include clothing, furniture, household goods, vehicles, and cars.
Documenting as much damage as possible is important to strengthen a personal injury claim. Keeping detailed records of expenses and financial losses and maintaining a journal about your injuries’ impact on your life can increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation for property damages.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will consider every aspect of a victim’s case when negotiating with insurance companies to ensure that all damages are adequately compensated. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party for their actions and deter similar conduct in the future. This is rare and requires compelling evidence of malice, wantonness, fraud, oppression, or conscious indifference.