How is personal injury compensation determined?
To determine the amount for which you are entitled in compensation resulting from a personal injury, there are two considerations that a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer must make. During a consultation, your lawyer will ask you questions that will get to the bottom of the following:
1. The strength of your liability claim
2. The extent of your damages
Strength of the Liability Claim
The first thing your Milwaukee personal injury lawyer needs to understand is the strength of your liability claim. For liability to exist, someone must be “at fault” through negligence or carelessness. In the context of a construction accident, for example, many acts of negligence could result in faulty or dangerous equipment. In a car accident, negligence might manifest as a driver failing to check side mirrors before changing lanes.
There are many factors that could be at play in a personal injury claim. Furthermore, the injured party might hold some degree of negligence, and this could affect the strength of the case. The defendant’s lawyer may try to make a case that the plaintiff’s injury is the result of their own negligence.
Extent of Damages
The next thing Milwaukee personal injury lawyer will need is to determine is the extent of your “damages,” which refers to the financial cost of the injury and the impact it has had on your life. If you have had to endure an extended hospital stay and multiple surgeries, for example, that could be considered significant hardship and may justify asking for a settlement that is higher than the hospital bill. There are three common methods for calculating damages that a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer may use:
- Injury valuation software: There are several types of software systems that calculate a value for your damages based on the extent of several factors you may have or have not experienced. These include: hospitalization (when applicable); treatment type; length of treatment; whether you had to endure physical therapy; if there were delays and gaps in treatment, medication, and level of impairment.
- Multiple of specials: This considers total medical costs, lost income, and damages due to pain and suffering with an added multiplier based on the aggravating circumstances of the case. Aggravating circumstances may include seriousness of your injuries, time to recovery, and whether you recovered completely.
- Per diem: This method attempts to assign a value to your pain and suffering by calculating a “per diem” (per day) value, adding that amount to your medical costs and lost income, and then adding that to a per-diem value for any lingering pain.
Contact a Reputable Personal Injury Lawyer in Milwaukee WI
For more information, a lawyer may help you navigate any state- and local jurisdiction-specific laws that relate to your case. For instance, Wisconsin passed a law in 2011 that limits punitive damages in personal injury claims, but not compensatory (or economic) damages. State legislatures are constantly updating laws that pertain to civil suits and it’s essential to have the most up-to-date knowledge possible.
If you were the victim of someone’s negligence, call a Milwaukee personal injury lawyer from Hickey & Turim, S.C. for a free consultation today.