If you are planning to make a claim against the party responsible for the accident in which you suffered an injury, you may be wondering about the value of your claim. After all, the insurance settlement or judgment award will determine the future financial stability of your family. Following an accident, you can only move forward with peace of mind if you get a financial award that reflects all of your damages. That is why you should consult with a Boston personal injury lawyer instead of handling the claim on your own.
Understanding Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Compensatory damages make up for the biggest part of your damage award. You can recover both general and special damages in the state. General damages include physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, inconvenience, and humiliation. Specific damages include your exact medical costs, property damage, lost wages, travel costs, legal fees, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Sometimes, punitive damages can be awarded to accident victims. These damages are meant to punish the defendant for their gross negligence or intent to harm. A judge may grant punitive damages when your case involves wanton disregard for the safety of others or intentional wrongdoing.
How the Value of a Claim is Calculated
After you have added all of your damages, you must evaluate the factors that a jury or judge may use for determining your claim’s final value. Your attorney should help you understand the worth of your case. Some factors impact your claim’s overall value including the kind and seriousness of your injury, your income, age, comparative negligence, the actions of the defendant, damage caps, and insurance available.
In Massachusetts, you should be less than 51% at fault for your injuries to receive compensation. Your percentage of fault will decrease the amount of compensation you can be awarded.
Proving Your Losses
Whether or not you can recover compensation for your personal injury depends on your ability to prove your damages. You will need enough evidence to convince an insurance company, a jury, or a judge that your damages are true. Thus, you must gather evidence that proves your losses. Evidence you will need may include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photos. Also, hire an injury lawyer to help you show your losses. An experienced attorney knows the kind of evidence that can be used to strengthen your claim, which depends on the type of accident you were involved in.