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Monday, January 20, 2020
Damages in a personal injury case are the compensation you receive for your injuries. Damages are quite broad and can include multiple expenses, future costs, and emotional damages.
The purpose of damages in a personal injury case is to make you, the victim, whole again after your injury. Most of the time, damages replace the financial burden of your injury. While no amount of money can make up for permanent disability, emotional trauma, or even the loss of a loved one, it is the only way the courts have to punish a person for their negligent acts while also helping the victim.
Past expenses, such as medical expenses you have paid, prescriptions you have purchased, and medical equipment you paid out-of-pocket are easy to compute. Wages you lost taking time off of work to recover, visit the doctor, or even go to court are also easy to calculate.
Future expenses, however, are not as easy. These require an attorney to work closely with an accountant and economist to project your costs, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. These future damages ensure that you do not pay out-of-pocket for your injury – even if you are still recovering 25 years after the fact.
When your injuries are catastrophic, you may have years of recovery ahead. You might require multiple doctor’s appointments, follow-up surgeries, or be permanently disabled, which comes with a whole host of costs – including lost wages.
It is imperative that an attorney factor in your future costs when they propose a settlement to an insurance company. After all, what good is a settlement if you must pay out-of-pocket for the rest of your life for an injury you did not cause ?
It is your attorney’s job to get the compensation you deserve for all expenses, including those in the future. Therefore, when you meet with your injury attorney, make sure that they are considering the future expenses of your injury in the settlement.
Damages typically projected in a personal injury case include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you will miss work due to ongoing medical treatments, permanent disability, or you are unable to continue working at your current job, these consequences matter. Your attorney will project the earnings you would have made if you were not injured, and include those in your settlement request.
Future earnings are awarded in cases of permanent disability or long-term recoveries.
Your future earnings and losses are not calculated based on your current income; because in the future, you would likely earn different wages. Instead, the law looks at your ability to earn a living.
First, your attorney estimates your earning capacity prior to the injury. Then they compare that to the reduction in earning capacity from your partial or complete disability. Your damages are then based on the difference between the two.
If your injury severely inhibits your ability to work and thrive in the future, the purpose of your loss of earning capacity is to ensure that you do not suffer financially as a result.
Note, you do not have to be employed at the time of your accident to claim a loss in future earning capacity. If you are in between jobs but would have been able to find a job and earn money in the future had you not been injured, you still qualify for a loss of earning capacity.
Future earning capacity is a powerful form of future damages – and often increases a person’s settlement by hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. When you are compensated for the income you would receive for your earning years, you might receive compensation for this type of settlement spread out in payments over the next few years – rather than a lump sum.
Medical expenses are costly, and when you have a severe injury that requires future surgeries, physical therapy, and years of medical treatment, the compensation can be extensive.
In personal injury cases, medical expenses do not have a minimum or maximum allowed. This is because the courts assess your injury on a case-by-case basis. They look at the costs of your treatment, your prognosis, and the expenses associated with your diagnosis.
For example, say you have been badly burned in an accident. Your physician recommends a series of surgeries over the course of several years to reconstruct your face and help you recover. While you will be permanently scarred, the surgeries will help restore your face as much as possible, and prevent infection. These surgeries are expensive but required. Therefore, your attorney would calculate the amount of each procedure, including potential inflation costs, and include that expense in your compensation.
Any future medical costs associated with your injury could potentially be included in the settlement. This includes:
A permanent injury could leave a person with chronic pain for the rest of their life. They may suffer from depression when they can no longer work or enjoy life, and a person’s quality of life, in general, could change dramatically.
When an attorney calculates future damages, they include the physical, emotional, and mental pain of the injury in their calculation.
To insurance companies, the longer you will suffer from an injury, the more you deserve in pain and suffering damages. Your medical records will indicate how long you will physically suffer from an injury. Typically, this is your estimated recovery time – if you will ever fully recover.
Your physician may estimate that you will recover in six months, while other times an injury could result in long-term, chronic complications. For example, spinal cord injuries are often permanent. You could suffer from pain, breathing complications, and be subjected to painful procedures for the rest of your life. In this case, your physical pain and suffering would be much more than someone who would make a full recovery in less than a year.
Pain and suffering is one of the more contested compensation types. Insurance companies frequently argue against your claims, especially if you have chronic pain for what they consider a “minor” accident.
While you can recover damages for pain and suffering, you must prove that your pain and suffering warrants the amount of damages you request. The extent of your injury and medical testimony is often enough to prove pain and suffering. When a physician or multiple physicians testify about the recovery time, severity of your injury, and the pain you suffer, this will help win your case for pain and suffering damages.
Sometimes, insurance companies use multipliers to determine pain and suffering. The multiplier ranges from 1 to 4 (sometimes more). They multiply this by the number of actual damages, including past and future damages to arrive at a total pain and suffering amount.
This is done during the negotiations and settlement phases, but when you go to court, realize that the judge and jury do not use a multiplier to decide your pain and suffering.
Right now, you are recovering from a catastrophic injury. You need time to heal physically and mentally – and the last thing you need to worry about is how to calculate damages. After your serious injury, you need an advocate to help handle the negotiations, collect evidence, and settle your claim with the insurance company.
As soon as you are able, contact Malman Law to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Schedule your appointment or ask us a question by calling us at 888-247-2160 or contact us online.
They are very helpful, and when it comes to getting things done with your case I had the pleasure of working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.
- Britany Weaver
I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!
- Cheryl Wagemann
I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements, never I thought I would need their services because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this, long story short I was in a situation that I needed help & advice!!! In the right direction, I connected with the Firm & a very patient, understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care!
- Elvira G.
I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.
would do everything they could for me.
- Tony S.
I contacted Malman Lawafter my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks, everyone!
- Devin Jones
Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!
- Annie Ong
Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If you’re interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!
- Eugenia Cathery
They are so efficient and professional. Always available to help. Attorney Boyer was great and very good with my case. I really appreciate Malman Law. I gave them 5 stars because there is nothing higher.
- Omolewa Snyder
I have had an amazing experience with Malman law so far. From the start, Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed, and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.
- Trevor Harris
Hi, I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.
- Ernest Pitts
Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.
- Ariel Fleming
I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!
- Carmen Rivera
Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the reparations of the accident. We would recommend their services!
- Greg Gustafson
Excellent customer service and a great experience. Malman Law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose Malman Law again in the future.
- Malak St.Clair
Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me and my daughter.
- Devri Lott
I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case. My children were involved in an auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.
- Adrian Lopez
A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.
- Vanessa Leon
Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey have been instrumental in helping me through many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, but they have also continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.
- Nyah Vuljanic
This law firm is the best they got me paid and Malman Law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position, they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker
- Jeff Walker
Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, he takes time to listen to his clients, and gather facts accordingly.
- Steve Acosta
Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff, kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.
- Adrianna Gomez
Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of an apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars
- Jose Cruz
Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!
- Meagan Cruz
- Eddie Villarreal
I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!
- Madissen Miller
Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!
- Christina Ocon
Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!
- Adriana Martinez
So glad I contacted Malman Law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr. Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!
- Virgil Sanner
I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!
- Jazlyn Caraballo
My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained the next steps, and got my case resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.
- Ashley Jenkins
2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim