How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
When you have been injured due to someone’s negligence, you do not want to make the mistake of underestimating the value of your claim. Insurance companies may try to trick you into accepting an insultingly low settlement offer that absolves them of any liability in your case. Only a personal injury lawyer can provide a reliable estimate on how much your claim might be worth. However, to get a general idea of what a fair settlement might look like in your case, it can be helpful to understand how compensation is awarded in personal injury lawsuits.
Factors that Influence a Personal Injury Claim
The amount of compensation to which you may be entitled depends on several variables, including:
- how well the facts and injuries in your case were documented. Can you prove the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries?
- the degree to which the defendant is at fault. Are you partially at fault for your own injuries?
- the severity, scope, and permanence of your injuries.
- the total cost of medical bills and expenses, including any ongoing or future costs and long-term care.
- how long you were out of work and how much money you make.
How Damages Are Calculated in a Personal Injury Case
Economic damages. As you might have guessed, economic damage is the amount of money you lost due to your injury. They include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and anything else related to your injury that cost you money. Because you can only seek recovery for a personal injury claim once, it is important to include estimated ongoing and future expenses when calculating economic damages.
Non-economic damages. Also known as “pain and suffering damages,” non-economic damages can be difficult to calculate, because it is impossible to quantify an intangible thing like pain. In addition to pain and suffering, you may also recover non-economic damages for mental anguish, disfigurement or permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium. There is no legislative directive dictating how to calculate non-economic damages; it is left in the hands of the juries. However, Wisconsin state law does limit the amount of non-economic damages in certain types of lawsuits. In medical malpractice suits, the cap is $750,000. When suing the state, the cap is lowered to $250,000, while a lawsuit against a local government will top out at $50,000 in noneconomic damages.
Punitive damages. Like many other states, Wisconsin puts limits on the amount of punitive damages that can be recovered. For personal injury claims, the cap on punitive damages in Wisconsin is $200,000. It is important to note that Wisconsin courts rarely award punitive damages for personal injury claims. These damages are typically reserved to punish extremely egregious conduct.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Amery, Wisconsin
Novitzke, Gust, Sempf, Whitley & Bergmanis is a full-service personal injury firm that handles auto accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, dog bites, wrongful death, and other personal injury claims. We offer a free initial consultation to victims of personal injury accidents. Contact our offices in Amery, WI or Woodbury, MN to schedule your free case review.