Filing a claim can take a lot of time and energy, and you don’t want to get through the process only to discover your claim isn’t worth that much. Determining the value of your claim beforehand can help you make an educated decision about filing, as a personal injury lawyer like one from Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, LLP can explain. Your claim may simply not be worth the effort it takes to actually reach a settlement. To find out how much your claim is worth, add up these important factors.
When you miss time at work because of an injury, you’re losing valuable pay checks that may make a huge difference in your financial stability. If you are incapable of doing your job due to physical constraints, you should keep track of all the hours you haven’t been able to work. Calculate how much you make an hour and the number of hours you’ve missed. If you anticipate missing more work in the future, include it in your final calculation. Adding all of this lost income up can tell you how much you might receive in compensation for it.
Medical bills make up large portions of a person’s personal injury settlement. From the moment you receive medical attention (which may be as early as the ambulance ride from the scene of the accident), keep careful track of your bills. Any medical expense you have to pay because of the injury can be included in the claim. Don’t forget visits to the doctor, follow-up exams and physical therapy.
These expenses cover anything else you’ve purchased to help with recovery. It could be a wheelchair or other types of medical aid; transportation costs, such as a rental car or gas money; or medications you have to get over the counter. Just think of it this way: Anything you buy for your injury that you would not buy normally counts as an out-of-pocket expense. Be sure to make a list of purchased necessities and add their value to the total worth of your claim.
You can also include pain and suffering and emotional distress (such as anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment, etc.) in your claim. This one can be harder to pin down because it does not have any economic value. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight to get compensated for it, though, as it has impacted your life no differently than the physical injury.
Talk to a lawyer to see if you have missed anything crucial on your list. Once the value is calculated, you can decide whether to make the claim.