Factors Influencing Your Personal Injury Settlement
In even simple Massachusetts personal injury cases that involve permanent impairment, personal injury settlements can range anywhere from five figures up to seven figures plus. In most cases, the important factors when ascertaining the level of settlement is specifically based on the amount of the medical bills, the pain and suffering, life care costs and employment damages.
Medical bills often can run well above $100,000 if there was extended hospitalization with subsequent physical and vocational rehabilitation. Getting these bills paid is often the primary goal of the injury victim’s family. Often when another person is at fault for the injury, their insurance company’s adjuster will attempt to approach you as soon as possible after the injury in order to offer a settlement. These settlements will include “taking care of all of the medical bills”. It is very tempting to sign papers and accept the injury settlement, however, they will not adequately pay for the years of life care, medical attention and vocational training that will be necessary after the immediate hospital stay. Never accept any type of settlement with an adjuster before speaking with a qualified personal injury attorney who handles personal injury cases. Remember, serious injury cases are different than other types of cases. Many times when individuals are comatose, the medical bills will remain steady and constant, yet the damage to their future lives is increased dramatically with every day they are in a coma. Make sure you Contact Us immediately if you are approached by an insurance adjuster.
Pain and suffering calculations are often combined with employment losses and damage to one’s family life. Usually, in order to ascertain these types of damages, you will have to look at the lifelong impact on the personal injury victim. It is important to focus on how much the life care costs will be along with the employment losses and damage to the victim’s family life. Many times the award given by juries regarding pain and suffering can be larger than all the other damages combined. This is sometimes due to the fact that even though somebody’s future earning capacities would total $1 million in their lifetime, it is not worth any amount of money to live in constant pain, with a vastly lowered IQ or in a partially vegetative state. The same holds true even if the injury still allows the victim to work, but his life enjoyment is greatly reduced.
Life care costs are often defined as not only the future medical bills, but also the amount it will cost to secure rehabilitative treatment and in-home care. Many times the vast majority of in-home care will be conducted by family members. This does not mean that this care was “free” or “without cost.” Family care can be even more taxing and costly to the family unit due to the fact that it may remove other members from their employment. It is very important to your case to secure the proper experts and produce the right testimony during the settlement phase or, if necessary, at trial. At The Law Offices of Bailey & Burke we will secure the top life care experts to work on your family member’s case.
Employment damages also need to be calculated when dealing with a personal injury case. Many times a person will no longer be qualified to perform the work they were doing prior to their injury. However, they may be able to secure employment in a different field. Many times this “secondary” field of employment pays a much lower wage than what they were previously making. In severe cases, victims are often unable to work at all. In other cases, the injury has occurred to a child prior to them being given the opportunity to go to college, or receive training to secure a job. Determining their losses requires a highly skilled law firm, such as The Law Offices of Bailey & Burke.
Sometimes an injury can be more discrete, and not quite as noticeable. Although the personal injury victim may secure employment, they often lose that employment shortly thereafter, or they do not get promoted within their workplace. Again, it takes a highly skilled lawyer to pinpoint these facts when determining the amount of employment losses.
Once an individual has suffered an injury, even if it is a slight injury, often their employment lifespan will be shorter than before. In order to calculate damages, it is necessary to look at what a person was making and what they would have made prior to their injury. You then look to what they will now make, and you calculate how much money will be lost over the course of their working career. You also must factor in if they have a shorter working career than they would have had before the injury. Many times, a true number can be calculated by utilizing a multiplier dealing with inflation and an increase in a certain occupations’ market value. It is important to have the proper vocational expert calculate these types of future loses.
Although many times this may not be the largest number requested when calculating damages, it is often the most understandable number to the average person. The average juror will understand “the personal injury victim will lose ‘x’ amount of dollars over his lifetime, and his family will never see this money.” When this number is combined with existing medical bills and projected future life care costs, it will magnify the pain and suffering award greatly. It is easy for a jury to understand how a victim once destined for a full and rewarding personal and employment life fears he will be forced to settle for less. The juror will understand that it is their role to make sure that the person does not have to “settle for less.”
The Central Massachusetts personal injury lawyers of The Law Offices of Bailey & Burke serve clients throughout Central Massachusetts, including the cities and towns of Amherst, Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Fitchburg, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Hudson, Lancaster, South Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lowell, Lunenburg, Maynard, Marlborough, Marlboro, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Northampton, Whitinsville, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Pepperell, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Southboro, Cordaville, Southbridge, Spencer, Springfield, Sterling, Sturbridge, Fiskdale, Sutton, Templeton, Baldwinville, Upton, West, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westminster, Winchendon, and Worcester Massachusetts.
If you would like the attorneys of The Law Offices of Bailey & Burke to review your particular situation immediately, please fill out our Injury Evaluation Form, or call us directly to schedule a free consultation at a time and location of your convenience.