How is Compensation Determined After an Injury?
Being involved in a car accident or being injured at work often leads to devastating injuries, expensive medical bills and loss of wages from time taken off of work while you heal. Filing a civil suit against the negligent party is often the best way to get compensation and financial assistance for the accruing bills.
Many people who are considering filing a lawsuit wonder how much money should be asked for in the suit. The amount of recovery (compensation) is unique to each of our clients and depends on several factors.
Example of How Compensation is Determined from a Car Accident Injury
A construction worker is traveling home to his family after a long day on the job. He is tired but alert and paying attention to those on the road. Just a few miles from home, he is looking forward to spending some time with his wife and kids. He stops at a four-way stop, looks to make sure he is clear and proceeds through the intersection.
A teenage driver is making her way to the same intersection. She is laughing and talking with her friends in the car and looks over at a video one of her friends is watching on her phone. She doesn’t pay attention to the stop sign and speeds through, hitting the man’s car on the driver’s side.
He is rushed to the hospital and several broken bones, lacerations and a symptoms of a concussion are treated. He is told that he will have to take at least three months off of work while his injuries heal and while he completes physical therapy. He is not sure what his family will do about the medical bills and how they will survive with him out of work. Continue reading the scenario below.
Arizona Car Accident Injury Related Statistics
Car accidents are a common cause of injuries and time off of work. Unfortunately, though vehicles are equipped with more safety devices than ever before, car accidents continue to increase. Many experts believe this is due to distracted driving.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation Crash Statistics:
- Over 127,000 motor vehicle accidents occurred in 2018 in Arizona
- 916 of these accidents resulted in one or more people dying
- More than 36,000 people were seriously injured in these accidents
- Almost 1,400 of these accidents involved pedestrians
- Motor vehicle accidents added up to over $19 billion in economic losses across the state
Other Types of Common Injuries that can Result in Compensation
Unfortunately, car accidents are not the only cause of injuries. People can become seriously injured while on the job, during entertainment activities or while doing everyday activities, such as shopping.
Some of these injuries include:
- Falling, tripping, slipping or receiving an injury from machinery at work
- Slipping on a recently mopped floor at the grocery store
- Becoming injured due to improper training at work or while volunteering
- Falling and breaking a bone or spraining a joint at a trampoline park
- Being hit with a baseball at a baseball game
- Experiencing adverse side effects due to a medication
- Being bit by a neighbor’s dog
- Being injured while using a product
Filing a Lawsuit After an Injury
Car insurance and business liability insurance companies often want to quickly settle for as low as an amount as possible. Once a settlement is agreed upon, no more money will be paid out. Unfortunately, sometimes an injured person doesn’t realize how much their injuries may cost them in the future.
The amount of money agreed upon may not be enough to cover the medical care to treat these injuries and the lost wages that accrued during recovery. Filing a lawsuit after an injury is the best way to ensure both you and your family are cared for after becoming injured.
Does Signing a Waiver Mean I Can’t Sue?
Many people believe that if they signed a waiver before doing an activity, such as playing at an amusement park, they can’t file a lawsuit if they become injured. This is false. Waivers don’t excuse gross negligence on behalf of the facility. Damages may still be recovered even if a waiver was signed.
Determining Amounts of Recovery (How Much Compensation Money)
Recovery is a term used to determine the amount of money it will take to make you whole again. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you figure out the right amount of money to ask for in a lawsuit. Several factors will be taken into account when calculating recovery.
These factors include:
- Cost of medical expenses
- Age of the injured parties
- Emotional pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident
- Future potential health problems that you could develop due to the accident or injury
- Lost income from your job
- Reductions in future earning capacity in your career
Claim Settlement versus Going to Trial
Many clients worry about a long, drawn-out trial and opt to quickly settle for a lower amount of compensation money instead. While car and liability insurance companies often settle quickly to avoid costs incurred during a trial, our law office is well-experienced in litigation.
If the insurance won’t settle for an amount that we believe will give you the best treatment for now and in your future, we may take the case to court and litigate on your behalf to get you the financial help you need.
Back to the Construction Worker
The car insurance company offered a low amount of compensation to the construction worker after he was injured in the car accident. He knew that the amount wouldn’t cover all of his medical bills and the amount of money he would need to make up for his lost time at work. The accident caused him the partial loss of his shoulder joint, and his future wages may be decreased if he has to take a lesser paying job.
He turned to a personal injury attorney. The attorney told him that he may be able to recover more damages by filing a lawsuit. After filing a lawsuit, the car insurance company quickly settled, and he was able to get enough money to care for him and his family.
If You Have Been Injured
The first thing to do after being injured is to seek medical assistance. Don’t be afraid to get all of the help you need to recover properly. Carefully document and keep receipts from all of these visits so we can get the medical notes from the doctor.
Next, call an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney will listen to your case and determine the best course of action. The lawyer may ask you to write down everything you remember from the accident. Take pictures, write down witness names and detail key facts to help build a strong case. This is the best chance of getting you the amount of financial help you need.
Hutzler Law Can Help
The personal injury attorneys at Hutzler Law are well-experienced in accident and injury cases. We listen to our clients with compassion and respect. We know how devastating an injury can be to a family.
We want to help you get the money you deserve. Call our office today for a free lawyer consultation, and let us get started on your case.