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Can a Lawyer Calculate Potential Personal Injury Damages?

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on July 20, 2014

A judge’s gavel over an assortment of moneyWhen victims of an injury decide to seek compensation via a lawsuit, there are a couple of numbers they usually want to ascertain as soon as possible: how many expenses can be compensated and the total amount of damages they may be awarded. Since the ultimate goal of personal injury lawsuits is to gain financial reimbursement, it’s understandable that our Daytona Beach clients want a prediction regarding their potential sum damages. When you work with one of our attorneys, we want to give you the most accurate advice and expectations for the legal proceedings to follow. To that end, keep the below information in mind regarding how your damages may be calculated, if at all.

Can a Lawyer Give You a Definitive Calculation?

Sadly, your attorney cannot say with certainty what compensatory damages you will receive, assuming you win your case. This is because damages are determined by a judge or jury, who form their judgment based on what they witness in court. In some cases, claimants may receive full compensation for their injuries and expenses, along with the maximum amount of damages for pain and suffering claimed. In other cases, claimants may only receive partial compensation for certain expenses. These factors depend on the court’s reception to the claimant and defendant, how strong the evidence is on either side, how clearly one side was at fault, and how accurately the claimant can prove the severity of his or her injuries. However, a lawyer can delineate a few scenarios ahead of time to show clients what they may potentially receive in various scenarios and which outcomes are the most likely, based on current evidence and the strength of your case.

Estimates for Personal Injury Damages

When estimating the damages you may receive from a successful lawsuit, there are two types of damages that must be taken into consideration: specific (or “economic”) and general (or “non-economic”). Specific damages refer to the measurable expenditures that directly result from your accident. These are usually easy to calculate, as they include things such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Ongoing medication or physical therapy
  • Property damage or loss
  • Lost income from missed work
  • Estimated future medical expenses

Once these expenses are added together, you can gain a rough idea of what you and your attorney will be seeking in specific damages. In addition to this, most personal injury claimants also seek some level of general damages, typically referred to as pain and suffering. These damages are meant to cover the mental and emotional consequences of an accident, on a personal level and in relation to one’s family. The court will assess the severity of the accident and its impact on one’s general quality of life.

As an estimate for general damages, your attorney will likely multiply the sum of your specific damages by 1.5 through five. For example, if the sum is $1,000, minor general damages may award an additional $1,500, whereas severe pain and suffering can result in an additional $5,000. This can be the most difficult part of your compensation to estimate, and should therefore be considered as a possible range, rather than a specific prediction.

Get the Most Compensation Possible

When you are represented by Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our attorneys will work tirelessly to unearth the strongest evidence to support your case. We are intimately familiar with personal injury lawsuits and understand the best ways to get you fully compensated for your injuries and suffering. Contact us to learn more about what we can offer you

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