After an accident, pursing compensation can be a stressful and complicated process. Your personal injury claim is valued by looking at your specific financial needs. Generally, a personal injury settlement calculator takes into account all your injury-related expenses and provides an estimate on how much compensation you are entitled to. Whether you settle out of court through mediation, or go to trial against the insurance company, we can provide diligent representation as you fight for compensation to cover the costs of your injuries. With our experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys, you can receive knowledgeable, personal assistance every step of the way.
Understanding Economic & Non-Economic Damages
Whether your injuries occurred in a slip and fall or in a car accident, the courts consider the same factors when determining a settlement. Depending on your situation, there are several aspects that may influence how much your case is worth. These are dependent on estimates, so it is important to consider your financial situation and provide honest dollar amounts for each category.
The value of your personal injury claim is a combination of special damages and general damages.
Special (economic) damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses. This covers past and present medical bills, as well as expected future expenses. For this estimate, you should include all costs of medical care and treatment for your injury, even if you didn’t pay out of pocket. Furthermore, you should include an estimate of what your future medical bills and treatment will cost in the coming months and years, or however long your prognosis is. You can talk to your physician to learn what this amount could look like.
- Lost wages. Another important factor in determining the value of your settlement is lost income. If you have been unable to work because of your injuries, you must include the dollar amount of the lost wages in the settlement calculator. This can help you get a financial settlement to make up for the salary and wages you have lost because of your injuries.
- Loss of future earning potential. This factor relates to the lost wages and income you will suffer because of your inability to work in the future. For example, if you are paralyzed or otherwise injured in a way that makes it impossible to maintain gainful employment, you can put a dollar amount of the future lost wages in the settlement calculator. This can help you recover the salary and wages you will lose in the future because of your injuries.
- Property damage. This factor relates mainly to car accident injury claims. If your vehicle was damaged, you may be able to receive compensation to cover the cost of repairs or replacement. You may also be able to get a settlement for rental cars or other vehicle-related expenses directly resulting from the accident. You can also include a dollar amount for damage to personal property items, such as clothing, cell phones, purses, and other objects. This amount should be based on the fair market value of the lost property.
General (non-economic) damages:
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering includes serious discomfort you experience directly after an accident. It also refers to any long-term and persistent pain and physical discomfort you experience as a result of your injuries. Compensation for pain and suffering can cover both mental and physical pain and distress resulting from an injury.
- Emotional distress. These damages relate to the psychological impact of your injuries. For example, if you experience long-term anxiety, fear, or insomnia as a result of a car accident that caused your injuries, this is classified as emotional distress. You can seek compensation for this mental and emotional suffering.
- Loss of consortium. This relates to loss of companionship with your spouse as a result of an injury. This category may include the inability to maintain a sexual relationship with your spouse. In some cases, states also grant compensation for the loss of a relationship with your child due to your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment. Some injuries may inhibit your ability to perform activities you took great joy in before the accident. For example, if you were an avid bike rider and broke your back in an accident, you may seek compensation for loss of enjoyment. Other victims may no longer be able to participate in special hobbies, recreational activities, and certain forms of exercise due to their injuries.
How to Calculate Your Claim’s Value
Special damages are relatively easy to calculate, and depend on specific dollar amounts of medical bills and income. However, a personal injury claim also includes general damages. While more difficult to calculate as a dollar amount, general damages can provide compensation to injured victims for loss of quality of life. Typically, insurance adjusters will multiply the total amount of the special damages by a factor between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the general damages. However, insurance companies will try to offer the lowest settlement possible to victims. That is why it is important to seek legal assistance to uphold your rights, even if you don’t go to trial.
Comparative Negligence Laws
It is important to note that Arizona is a comparative negligence state. This means, if you are deemed partially responsible for a car accident, you can still receive compensation in proportion to your fault. For example, if your total compensation award for your injuries is valued at $10,000, and you are found 50% responsible for the accident, you will receive $5,000.
Dedicated Representation to Injured Victims in Phoenix
At our firm, we passionately represent clients against large insurance companies. If you have been injured, we can help calculate your settlement amount and provide informative legal services throughout the process. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers strive to handle the legal issues so you can focus on healing.
Contact us today for a free consultation, and discuss your case with a fierce advocate from our team as you pursue the compensation you deserve.