By Metier Law Firm
Calculating compensation for severe or permanent injuries is a complex process that takes into account various factors, such as: the nature and severity of the injury, economic damages, non-economic damages, medical expenses and future care, lost income and lost earning capacity, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
When you or a loved one is involved in a tractor-trailer accident, the consequences can be devastating. In the aftermath, one of the critical questions that may arise is, "How is compensation calculated for severe or permanent injuries resulting from the accident?" In this blog post, we will delve into the intricate process of determining compensation in personal injury cases involving serious or long-lasting harm.
Compensation in personal injury cases, also known as "damages," is meant to financially compensate the injured party for the losses they suffered due to the accident. These damages can be split into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages represent the monetary losses incurred by the victim due to the accident. These typically include:
This includes all costs related to medical care, from the immediate treatment following the accident to ongoing care, physical therapy, surgeries, medications, medical equipment, and any anticipated future medical costs.
If the injury has caused you to miss work or reduced your capacity to work, you could be compensated for the wages you've lost and future income you're likely to lose.
If your vehicle or other personal property was damaged in the accident, the costs of repair or replacement would fall under economic damages.
Non-economic damages aim to compensate for the non-monetary impacts of the accident on the victim's life. They're often subjective and more challenging to quantify. These may include:
This covers physical pain and discomfort caused by the injuries and any ongoing pain expected in the future.
This includes psychological impacts such as stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, and other emotional injuries.
If the injury negatively affects the victim's relationship with their spouse, they may be entitled to damages for loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations.
Severe or permanent injuries due to a tractor-trailer accident often involve more substantial medical expenses, prolonged recovery times, long-term or permanent disability, and immense emotional distress. All of these factors contribute to a more substantial settlement or award.
In cases of severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or loss of limbs, the medical costs can be staggering. These injuries often require surgeries, lengthy hospital stays, intensive rehabilitative therapy, and long-term medical care. Calculating these costs involves considering not only the bills you've already paid but also the anticipated future costs. For future medical expenses, experts like life care planners or medical professionals might be consulted. They can estimate the costs of ongoing medical care, necessary future surgeries, medications, assistive devices, home modifications, and other related expenses.
Severe or permanent injuries might also result in significant time off work or an inability to return to work at all. In such cases, you could be compensated for lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. Calculating lost wages involves adding up the actual income you've lost due to the accident. Lost earning capacity, however, is more complex. It considers your age, skills, occupation, and the income you would have been able to earn in the future if not for the accident. An economic expert may be called upon to provide an accurate estimation.
Pain and suffering, and emotional distress, can be particularly high in cases of severe or permanent injuries. However, putting a monetary value on these experiences is inherently challenging. Different methods can be used, such as the "multiplier method," which involves multiplying the total economic damages by a certain number (usually between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injuries). Another method is the "per diem" method, which assigns a daily value to the pain and suffering and multiplies it by the number of days the victim has been in pain.
Determining fair compensation for severe or permanent injuries in a tractor-trailer accident can be a complex and daunting process. It involves understanding and navigating intricate laws, accurately quantifying losses, negotiating with insurance companies, and potentially fighting your case in court. This is where the role of an experienced personal injury attorney becomes invaluable. They can guide you through this process, ensure all your losses are accurately calculated, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been severely injured in a tractor-trailer accident, our legal team is here to help. We have the experience and dedication to navigate these challenging cases and help you secure the compensation you need to rebuild your life. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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