After suffering car accident injuries, many people worry about whether they have a solid personal injury case. Knowing how insurance companies and law firms calculate the worth of injuries can help you understand the value in your case.
Elements of a Personal Injury Accident Case
What makes a personal injury case viable? Before judging the cost of your injuries, you must understand the situations that lead to injuries being worth money within the court system.
Negligence is typically the basis of any lawsuit involving injuries. A person who is negligent acts recklessly or carelessly to the health of others. They do not exercise reasonable care and fail to maintain their responsibility to keep others safe on the road or their property.
Intentional wrongs can also result in a personal injury lawsuit. These actions go above and beyond negligence. In intentional wrongs, a person performs an action that he or she knows could cause physical harm. For instance, if a person slaps you, regardless of whether he or she was joking, and you are seriously injured from the impact, that may be an intentional wrong.
Strict liability protects consumers against defective products. In the case of motor vehicles, the manufacturer must create a car that upholds the safety standards. If a vehicle has a brake malfunction that leads to injuries, the company may be liable for the accident.
Types of Accident Injuries
After a motor vehicle accident, your main priority should be receiving medical attention. Regardless of whether you see symptoms immediately, our team of Phoenix car accident attorneys recommend seeing a health care provider to examine your condition as soon as possible to assess for serious and minor injuries. Often, symptoms do not show up immediately. For instance, it could be days before you experience the pain or discomfort associated with traumatic brain injuries.
If your body faces an impact it cannot withstand, your bones undergo pressure that can lead to mild to severe fractures. For instance, in a car accident, victims’ arms often become pinned between the door and their bodies, resulting in a break. Seatbelts can also apply pressure on the ribs, fracturing them.
Neck and Spinal Injuries
Whiplash is among the most common injuries suffered by accident victims. In a motor vehicle accident, the sudden stop thrusts your body forward and jerks it back at a high rate. The sudden movement strains the ligaments and muscles in your neck.
In addition to whiplash, you may experience ruptures or herniations to discs in your spine. Neck and spinal injuries can limit your mobility. Severe neck and spinal injuries may require surgery to help a patient live a more comfortable life.
Accident injuries commonly result in concussions and other brain injuries. Hitting your head could interfere with your ability to form new memories or remember the accident. Severe concussions can cause headaches, memory problems and other symptoms for months to years following the injury. Our team of Phoenix brain injury attorneys know the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries which can change your life because they can alter how your brain processes information, emotions, and your ability to function overall.
Internal injuries are sometimes difficult to pick up on without a medical exam. Without treating internal injuries, you could bleed out without realizing it’s happening. Watch out for bruising around your abdomen, feelings of nausea and lightheadedness following an accident.
Examples of High-Profile Personal Injury Cases
Until you have a professional who can calculate the cost of your case, it can be challenging to determine the overall worth of your injuries. While high-profile cases tend to involve more money than most cases, it can help to understand why different cases resulted in their settlements.
Tracy Morgan v. Walmart
Tracy Morgan v. Walmart involved a high-profile comedian and Walmart. Tracy Morgan suffered accident injuries in a limousine accident when a Walmart truck driver crashed into the vehicle, killing one person and severely injuring Morgan. Walmart was held liable for the accident and settled to pay about $90 million, with one claim being that Morgan may be unable to work again.
Maclovio v. Brewer
The case of Maclovio v. Brewer involved an 18-year-old named Jose Maclovio and another vehicle driven by Craig Brewer. Brewer rear-ended Maclovio’s van when it stopped at a railroad crossing. The accident caused a burst fracture of Maclovio’s spine, resulting in partial quadriplegia. The jury settled on $25.1 million for Maclovio’s injuries, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.
Meister v. Verizon N.J. Inc
Maria Moser Meister’s family filed a lawsuit against Verizon after one of Verizon’s poles landed on the woman and left her paralyzed. She suffered from spinal fractures, paralysis, brain injuries and vision problems. Verizon was negligent because the weathered pole they did not maintain or fix before it caused severe damage. The lawsuit settled for $125 million.
Calculations for Accident Injuries
To determine what your injuries are worth, you must understand how lawyers and insurance companies will calculate your lawsuit’s overall settlement or potential cost.
Economic damages are usually the easiest to determine with accident injuries. They refer to any damages that you can put a price on. For instance, your medical bills and lost wages are easy to calculate. Many tangible damages fall under economic damages.
General damages go beyond the financial to include physical pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional distress. The court may look at the type of injury, the permanence of the injury, type of medications and length of recovery time. To calculate general damages, the lawyer or insurance company multiples the economic damages by a multiplier ranging from one to five, dependent on the severity of the injuries.
The primary goal of punitive damages is not compensation but to punish the other party. Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were egregious and reckless. When someone shows a wanton disregard for the safety of others, the judge may choose to punish them to deter others from following suit in the future.
Seek Help for Your Personal Injury After an Accident
Personal injuries that are a result of negligence deserve justice and compensation. If you are facing accident injuries due to someone else’s negligence, the Phoenix personal injury attorneys at MDK Law Group can help. Contact us today to learn more about how Arizona residents can seek the compensation they deserve.