How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
If you are injured by someone else in Kentucky, there is a legal path to financial compensation—a personal injury lawsuit. Filing a personal injury claim against a negligent or reckless party could earn you financial compensation for the economic and noneconomic losses associated with the injury. The total amount you could recover from the at-fault party depends on the specific losses related to your personal case. The primary determining factor will be the severity and full extent of your damages.
Economic Damages (Out-of-Pocket Costs)
Kentucky courts of law categorize personal injury claim settlements and verdicts into two primary categories: punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages punish the defendant for their actions based on a variety of factors, while compensatory damages reimburse the victim for their losses. There are economic and noneconomic compensatory damages available during a personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages refer to everything you personally spent out of pocket when recovering from the accident. These include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Future health care costs
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Legal fees
These are just some of the compensatory damages you may be reimbursed for. Keep in mind that you may have to prove these losses using receipts, pay stubs, and other evidence, so save those documents now!
Noneconomic Damages (Pain and Suffering)
Pain and Suffering is a common category of damages awarded during a personal injury claim. It describes a victim’s noneconomic damages rather than the out-of-pocket costs. A jury can award pain and suffering damages at its discretion. To do this, it may use one of two common calculation methods:
- Multiplier Method: The multiplier method takes the total amount of economic damages you have suffered and multiplies it by a number selected by the jury. This number will usually be between one and five. The number decided upon signifies the degree to which the injury or accident has impacted your life. More serious injuries, such as catastrophic injuries, will generally receive higher multipliers than minor injuries.
- Per Diem Method: The per diem calculation method multiplies the number of future days you will be expected to have your injury (based on an estimate from an expert physician) by an amount the jury decides is fair per day. Most juries choose to multiply the number of days by the victim’s average daily wage. The per diem method is less common than the multiplier method, but might be more appropriate for a minor injury with an approximate healing date.
Pain and Suffering typically refers to physical pain and emotional suffering; however, it is a broad phrase that can encompass many different types of noneconomic damages. It can refer to a loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, psychological suffering, humiliation, inconvenience and more.
Some personal injury cases in Kentucky will result in punitive damage awards granted by a judge. Punitive damages do not serve to make a victim whole again, unlike compensatory damages. Instead, their main purpose is to penalize a defendant for particularly negligent or heinous acts. A judge may force a defendant to pay punitive damages as punishment for gross negligence, malicious acts, violent crimes, recklessness or intent to harm. In Kentucky, no cap exists on punitive or compensatory damages.
What Is Your Case Worth?
The values of personal injury cases in Kentucky vary considerably. Some plaintiffs recover $10,000 or less for their damages, while others receive awards totaling in the millions. No two personal injury cases are the same. The best way to get an accurate view of how much your case is worth is to ask an attorney. A personal injury lawyer can accurately estimate your case’s value based on your specific damages. Then, a lawyer can help you fight for maximum financial compensation from one or more defendants. An understanding of what your personal injury case is worth could help you negotiate with an insurance company after an accident in Kentucky.
Call T.J. Today to Make ‘Em Pay!
If you or a loved one has been hurt by an outside party in Kentucky, look no further than the law office of T.J. Smith. T.J. is an award-winning accident attorney located in Louisville, and he is ready to work around the clock to make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Don’t believe it? Just call and ask him yourself! You can reach T.J. on his personal cell at 502-262-1716. He’ll make ‘em pay!