When an individual is injured due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act, a personal injury case might arise. The primary objective of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate the injured person, known as the plaintiff, for the losses sustained from the injury. 

However, understanding how compensation is determined in these cases can be complex. In this blog, we’ll unravel the factors that influence the outcome of a personal injury case and how compensation is calculated.

The Role of Personal Injury in Compensation Outcomes

The nature and extent of the personal injury are among the foremost considerations in determining compensation. These injuries can range from mild to catastrophic, significantly impacting the evaluation of the case. This impact plays a substantial role in the following aspects:

1. Medical Expenses:

One of the primary considerations when determining compensation is the cost of medical treatment that the injured party has incurred, as well as future medical expenses. Receipts, bills, and expert testimony will be used to assess the total cost of professional medical care.

2. Loss of Earnings:

Serious personal injuries can lead to missed work or loss of earning capacity. Compensation may include not only lost wages but also the loss of future earnings if the injury affects the plaintiff’s ability to work in the long term.

3. Pain and Suffering:

Personal injury cases take into account the physical pain and emotional distress suffered by the victim. While these damages are somewhat subjective, they are essential in determining the overall compensation. The severity of the injury often correlates with the level of pain and suffering one may claim.

4. Loss of Enjoyment of Life:

Injuries severe enough to prevent an individual from engaging in hobbies or other activities that once brought joy can affect the compensation. This loss is deeply tied to the nature of the personal injury.

5. Punitive Damages:

In cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially egregious, courts may award punitive damages, which are meant to punish the wrongdoer rather than simply compensate the victim.

Calculating Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

The method of calculating compensation often involves summing up quantifiable financial losses, alongside an evaluation of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

1. Compiling Economic Damages:

Economic damages include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, property damage (such as vehicle repair in a car accident), lost wages, and any other financial expenditures directly related to the injury. These damages are typically easier to calculate since they’re based on actual costs incurred by the victim.

2. Estimating Non-Economic Damages:

The more challenging aspect of a personal injury case is compensating for non-economic damages. These damages are intangible and can differ vastly from one person to another. Insurers and attorneys often use various methods, such as the multiplier method (multiplying the economic damages by a number that represents the severity of pain and suffering) or per diem approach (assigning a daily value to pain and suffering for each day the victim is affected).

3. Considering Comparative Negligence:

In some jurisdictions, if the injured party is found to be partly at fault for the incident, their compensation can be reduced proportionally. This is known as comparative negligence and plays a significant role in the outcome of the compensation awarded.

Conclusion

The determination of compensation in a personal injury case is highly individualized and relies heavily on the specifics of the injury incurred. It involves careful documentation of all costs and losses, a clear demonstration of the defendant’s liability, and often, negotiations with insurance companies or other parties involved. 

In Utah, personal injury case outcomes vary widely, with typical compensation depending on the injury severity and case specifics. Compensation can vary from a few thousand dollars to several million. Because of the factors involved, it’s best to hire a legal professional to help you figure it all out.

The goal is to reach a resolution (either settlement or verdict) that fully addresses the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the injury on the victim’s life. Understanding these nuances can be pivotal for anyone who finds themselves navigating the aftermath of a personal injury and seeking fair compensation for their losses.

Call Hillyard, Anderson & Olsen today at (435) 752-2610 to discuss your personal injury case.