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How Much Is My Injury Claim Worth?

Insurance claim form and glasses seen close up.

If you were injured because of someone’s error or negligence, you probably have questions about what to do next. Determining how much compensation to request for your injuries is challenging and can make you feel hopeless about receiving a fair settlement. A personal injury accident attorney in Cheyenne or Casper, Wyoming will not only help you evaluate the worth of your claim but also handle the filing.

How Much Is My Injury Claim Worth?

Determining a monetary number for your losses is complicated, as there are many factors to consider. In addition, every personal injury trial in Cheyenne, Wyoming is unique, meaning there isn’t a default amount you should claim based on the type of accident you suffered.

As a result, the average individual cannot adequately calculate the worth of their claim. Working with an experienced personal accident attorney is essential to securing fair compensation for your personal injury claim.

Understanding Damages

The money you seek as reimbursement for your injury and medical bills is referred to as damages. There are three types of monetary damages a victim may seek:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are the damages most people think of when they imagine filing a claim. These damages are objective and easy to quantify. Lost income, property damage, and medical bills fall into this category.

General Damages

General damages are typically asked for alongside compensatory damages. However, these damages are complicated to put a price on and are sometimes referred to as non-economic damages. Arriving at a valuation for these damages is difficult, as they include factors such as pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages punish the at-fault party, also referred to as the defendant, for blatantly dangerous or malicious behavior to discourage them from behaving similarly in the future. These are the least commonly awarded damages, as they require significant proof of egregious conduct by the defendant.

How a Personal Injury Accident Attorney Calculates a Claim

By Totaling Compensatory Damages

Since compensatory damages are the tangible costs accrued by your injury, the first thing your attorney will need is documentation. Medical bills, paychecks to show lost wages, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses will allow your attorney to add up how much your injury has cost you from a monetary standpoint. The total from these damages will make up the bulk of your injury claim, so you’ll want to ensure you account for everything.

Unfortunately, paperwork is often misplaced in the stressful days following an accident. If that is the case for you, let your lawyer know as soon as possible. Although having original documentation is preferred, your lawyer can help you estimate the amount of money spent on various aspects of your care and track down copies of medical statements.

Secondary Billing Services

When sorting through your medical bills, ensure you don’t overlook any fees. Many medical services bill separately, making it easy to lose track of how much you’ve paid for diagnosis and treatment.

For example, if you received any imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs, you likely were sent one bill from the facility to cover the use of the machine and the imaging technician services and a second bill from the doctor for assessing the results of the test. Emergency facilities operate similarly, sending a statement from the hospital, a bill from the physician, and an invoice from the ambulance provider if you require emergency transportation.

Replacement Costs

When you are injured, you may be forced to outsource some of your regular responsibilities. For example, if you need to hire someone to mow your grass because you cannot complete the task due to your injury, the lawn service cost should be added to your list of compensatory damages. Services such as housekeeping, childcare, and transportation also fall under this category.

However, remember that you may have to prove that you only required this service since your accident and that you are physically unable to perform the task. Be truthful in your reporting, as insurance companies sometimes hire personal investigators to monitor victims. Pictures of you engaging in physical activities when you claim to be too injured to complete household chores can ruin your chances of receiving a reasonable settlement, even if you are genuinely injured.

Property Damage

When an individual damages or destroys your personal property, you have a legal right to seek compensation for your loss. Keep receipts for any vehicle repairs required after the accident and any items you need to replace, even if they seem insignificant. Remember that you are entitled to seek reimbursement for every dollar you had to spend because of someone else’s reckless or malicious behavior.

By Accounting for Pain and Suffering

Assessing general damages is difficult since there is no objective way to measure your suffering or place a value on it. General damages are reimbursement for how much your injury has cost you from a mental and emotional standpoint. Keep in mind that pain and suffering vary with each individual. Even if two people received the same injury in the same accident, the pain and suffering they experienced would not be the same.

Types of General Damages

For a condition to qualify as general damage, it must have begun due to the accident or an injury you received. Some common issues that are often eligible include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive changes following brain or head injury
  • Depression
  • Emotional distress
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Psychological trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Reference Prior Claims

One of the many benefits of working with a seasoned personal injury accident attorney is that they will have handled many claims. This experience allows them to gauge the appropriate compensation amount for your general damages.

However, choosing what value to place on your pain and suffering requires delicate handling. Asking for too little does you a disservice, and asking for too much can make an adjuster reject your demand and reflect poorly on you if your case goes to court.

How Adjusters View Personal Injury Claims

Most personal injury victims in Casper, Wyoming will not have their first compensation demand accepted. The adjuster’s goal is for you to settle for the lowest amount possible, so they will be analyzing your claim to look for errors and discrepancies. Some key elements they’ll be looking at are:

Reasonable Costs

If your doctor performs any tests or procedures the insurance company deems unnecessary, they will remove the questionable costs from your total. To pay for a medical expense, the insurance company must consider it necessary, reasonable, and relevant to the accident. When assessing pain and suffering, the adjuster will compare their opinion of appropriate compensation against yours.

The adjuster will typically try low-ball your pain and suffering because it is an area without objective standards. During settlement negotiations, your lawyer will argue in defense of your calculations and prove their validity.

Fault Allocation

The adjuster will do their best to prove that you contributed to the circumstances surrounding your injury. Unfortunately, if they can shift enough of the blame to you, your compensation can be reduced or eliminated.

The adjuster will try to catch you accepting or admitting fault from your first interaction. Therefore, hiring an attorney immediately after your injury is critical to ensure you do not accidentally say something to the insurance company that can be misconstrued as accepting fault.

Call an Attorney in Casper or Cheyenne, Wyoming

If you experienced injuries in an accident, you deserve to be compensated appropriately for your losses. Having a professional determine the worth of your claim is the best way to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injury.

At Ochs Law Firm, we know the importance of thoroughly researching every component of your claim and are willing to go the extra mile to get you the settlement you need. Don’t be left paying for someone else’s mistake. Contact Ochs Law Firm and talk to one of our experienced team members about your legal needs today.

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Our experienced Wyoming personal injury lawyer, Jason E. Ochs will fight to help you recover proper compensation in a class action, pharmaceutical, and medical cases throughout multiple states. Contact us today.

Jason E. Ochs

Jason began his legal career in 2002 with a national multi-district litigation law firm in Newport Beach, California. There he worked on a variety of high-profile, complex-litigation projects including pharmaceutical and medical-device litigation across the country.

The Ochs Law Firm epitomizes professionalism and commitment to all of our clients, regardless of the size of the case or the might of the Defendant. We practice in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and California in personal injury litigation, medical malpractice, defective products, class action lawsuits, Qui Tam lawsuits, litigation across multiple districts, bad faith insurance, and civil litigation.

We look forward to providing top quality service and representation for you and your family.