Compensation Recovery in Personal Injury?
How do Personal Injury clients successfully recover maximum compensation? Accidents cause physical pain, but also undue financial suffering for those with injuries, as well as their family. After suffering trauma due to accident, malpractice, or injury, victims must seek expert legal advice as quickly as possible. Expert legal advice ensures compensation upon case resolution is fair and adequate.
After suffering an accident as severe as TBI, there may be a wide range of reasons a victim can recover compensation. Depending on the severity of the injuries, and the general prognosis made by medical professionals, victims qualify for various routes of compensation. These modes of compensation can be: a settlement, various damages, or a verdict during trial. A Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer is the only way for victims of accidents with injuries to recover fair compensation.
Without an experienced lawyer to represent the best interests of the victim, the ability to recover any compensation successfully is nearly impossible. Economic recovery refers to a wide range of routes to compensation that benefit clients and help aid the process of restoring quality of life both physically and financially.
What information is available to Personal Injury clients?
In this article Shaked Law Firm thoroughly explains various types of economic recovery available to Personal Injury clients. Economic recovery is another way of saying “compensation” after sustaining injuries in an accident for which the victim is not at-fault. Also, we’ll discuss how a Florida Personal Injury lawyer recovers compensation from a legal standpoint. As with any verdict or settlement of compensation, there must be substantial proof of what a case is “worth” to award compensation fairly.
A lawyer with years of trial experience can explain all the options available after an accident (Alternative Dispute Resolution methods may take the place of a trial and have an equally successful outcome). While there is no dollar amount that can replace a lost loved one after a wrongful death or fully restore quality of life to those who have lost a loved one or have become irreparably injured, it’s financial compensation after an accident that helps to relieve the burden of post-accident financial strain. It’s highly plausible damages are recoverable after an accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another. What’s available becomes clear either during mediation, or by taking the case to trial.
How do Personal Injury clients begin recovering from pain and suffering?
Personal Injury lawyers use the term “pain and suffering” frequently, though the term is broad and must be clearly defined over the course of the case (mental anguish, physical pain, and PTSD are all forms of “pain and suffering” and must be well established). Pain and suffering is simply a broad legal term that covers many aspects of Personal Injury litigation. However, the meaning of the term has become too often lost on young lawyers lacking experience that attempt to take on cases they’re not ready for.
“Pain and suffering” itself is not only determined by the physical, visible aspect of the accident. The “pain”, for instance, can be an amputation which is visible. The “suffering”, however, may not be visible. “Suffering” can be PTSD, mental anguish, and the emotional impact of trauma. It’s in these instances the court must place a monetary value on the victim’s suffering to determine damages.
To determine damages, the judge takes into consideration the following:
- The extent of the injury or injuries of the Personal Injury client
- The likelihood of future pain and suffering
- Is the pain chronic and lifelong? What is the prognosis for pain and relief and/or recovering?
What is successful case resolution on the legal side?
After an accident, injuries can leave victims in the hospital for days or weeks. This is how medical expenses add up so quickly.
Before a judge can determine the amount of compensation, they look at the financial distress the victim is suffering as a result of their accident. This evaluation includes cost of care after hospital discharge, outpatient care, cost of medication, emergency room fees, and other miscellaneous expenses. All of these financial hardships are a direct result of the accident. They are not the fault of the victim! Thus, they can receive compensation.
When does a client receive their compensation?
Clients often pose the question “when will I get my compensation?” the answer to that is complex on the law firm’s side. However, we can break down the answer in a way clients can fully understand.
Is there a legal process to receiving Personal Injury compensation?
The short answer is yes! It’s not as simple as the insurance company issuing a check and the client walking out the door. Not even close!
When a Personal Injury law firm agrees on a settlement offer for a client, there’s a process to receiving rightful compensation. The same goes for a verdict. In both these cases, the law firm receives the compensation on behalf of the client, but certain expenses must receive attention prior to the client receiving their payout. These expenses are not meant to hurt the client, but to ensure that all services rendered throughout the case receive proper accounting when the case concludes.
What expenses do Personal Injury cases incur?
Legal expenses can vary, depending on the length of the case and whether the claim went to court, trial, or was resolved in Mediation. Not every case settles, and not every case receives a verdict. Sometimes, as with “paper pusher” lawyers, the client never receives any compensation.
Miami Personal Injury lawyers work on contingency. This means if the case doesn’t resolve, the client pays nothing. The case ends there, and the client loses no money in a legal sense.
When a case is successful, here’s a break down of some legal expenses:
- Paperwork and legal office work
- Legal experts/expert witnesses
- Life Care Plans
- Doctors’ fees
- Demonstrative Aides
- Economists (more on this in future articles)
- Deposition and/or trial fees
- Transportation (if necessary)
- It make
What is the link between mental trauma and financial recovery?
The court always takes mental trauma (PTSD) into consideration when calculating damages. Mental anguish or trauma can include any terror, fear, nightmares, flashbacks, feelings of lost dignity, isolation, and grief. If these feelings are consistent, permanent, and cause further suffering, damages may be available to compensate them for such anguish.
What is loss of quality of life for Personal Injury clients?
Loss of quality of life is not only loss of hobbies the victim once enjoyed and can no longer pursue. While this can certainly cause feelings of isolation and take away their quality of life, it includes much more. Losing quality of life means becoming unable to complete Activities of Daily Living. Activities of Daily Living are simple tasks that able-bodied individuals may be unaware are so important. After an accident involving brain or spinal cord injuries, victims may no longer be able to care for themselves. If this is the case, quality of life may be non-existent, and they can find themselves suffering depression, isolation, and PTSD.
A judge will always consider every factor as they pertain to the victim’s pain and suffering. Also, any expense a family incurs in an effort to seek treatment on behalf of the victim. Financial recovery includes the entire family, not only the party with injuries.
How does going to trial help recover compensation fairly?
Occasionally, clients sustain injuries due to accident or trauma in which they can no longer work or provide for family anymore. Thus, in these cases, resolving the case must include compensation for lost wages and the potential for future earnings. A Personal Injury claim in which a victim can no longer work due to the extent of their injuries may require the case to move to court or trial.
If the case goes to trial, a judge must have certain factors on hand to accurately determine the amount of compensation to award. The plaintiff and their lawyer hold the “burden of proof” and must prove that their ability to earn future income has been seriously diminished or at the least, drastically impaired by their injuries. The court will take the following very specific factors into consideration.
These factors can include:
- A plaintiff’s age
- Life expectancy of a plaintiff (without sustaining injuries; as well as following the accident resulting in injury).
- Occupation, any special talents the victim had that earns them income. Skills the victim has, but can no longer utilize and as such results in financial hardship.
- The plaintiff’s job experience. What is their specific job training, education, or career path?
Cases in which injuries are extensively severe may include Punitive Damages. Continue reading to learn more about this form of financial recovery.
What are Punitive Damages when it comes to Personal Injury compensation?
Punitive Damages are necessary when the negligence of another is so horrific, that Compensatory (the “average” amount of) Damages will not suffice.
Punitive Damages are the “opposite” of standard compensation. These damages will not apply to every case. In some cases, an insurance company will settle for policy limits. Policy limits meaning the maximum compensation the insurance company will pay to keep a case from going to trial. Usually, insurance companies will back down before trial, and agree to full policy limits when a law firm has a track record for high dollar verdicts. A law firm’s consistent results says a lot about how the insurance company responds to compensating victims fairly.
How does maximum compensation improve quality of life for Personal Injury clients?
Finally, victims often need help around the home or with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) after discharge from the hospital. After an injury such as a TBI or SCI, it’s difficult for victims to get back on their feet quickly. With TBI injuries, a victim may be experiencing dizziness, blurry vision, tremors, frequent and debilitating migraine headaches. These can all be symptoms they never experienced prior to sustaining an injury.
During consultation with a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer, every aspect of pain and suffering receives thorough evaluation. Your Personal Injury lawyer wants what’s best for you! That means achieving the most compensation on the legal side, so that you can recover fully on the medical side.