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How Do Courts Decide How Much Money the Guilty Party Pays in Personal Injury Cases?

One of the most common questions that most personal injury victims have after being injured is what sort of compensation should they expect overall? The answer to this question is that it depends on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the person's injuries. Below we will look at the different factors that determine how much money in damages will be awarded to a personal injury victim. 

Covering the Victim's Actual Costs 

If you're wondering how much can you get awarded for an injury caseOne of the first questions you have to ask is how much did you spend as a result of the accident. The first thing the court system looks at is all your actual costs related to the accident. They tally up your medical bills, your lost wages, future expected medical expenses due to long-term injuries caused by the accident, as well as lost future earning potential and any additional costs you had to pay as a result of the accident. As long as your legal team can prove the other party was responsible for your injuries, you can get reimbursed for all the costs you got stuck with as a result of that accident. 

Compensating for Pain and Suffering

After coming up with a figure for the actual costs associated with an accident, the court comes up with a figure to compensate the victim for the pain and suffering they have been through. If the injuries from the accident are particularly bad, or they result in long-term discomfort, this value can be significant. It's not unheard of for serious victims to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars for their pain and suffering, and the most serious injuries or wrongful death cases can result in millions of dollars in damages. 

Considering General Damages

There is also a category known as general damages that is used to determine a monetary figure to make up for your loss of your overall quality-of-life because of the accident. The general damages are added to your pain and suffering damages and your actual costs to come up with a total figure that the court will demand the other party pay out. 

Considering Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are only awarded in a small percentage of personal injury cases. That's because they are only given out when the responsible party intentionally hurt the victim or was grossly negligent to a reckless level. Punitive damages provide the victim with even more money in an effort to punish the responsible party. Typically punitive damages are three-times the sum of all other forms of damages awarded to the victim, and the amount paid out becomes even larger if there's evidence that the guilty party injured the victim intentionally. 

A serious accident can result in a settlement or court-awarded-payout in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. In order to get as much money as possible after an accident, it's important to work with a reputable local personal injury attorney that can build a strong case for you.