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Calculating the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

Gilreath attorneys help you figure out the true cost of a car accident, slip and fall, and other personal injury lawsuits

One of the most costly mistakes people often make when they are hurt because of another person's or business's carelessness is underestimating the amount they can sue for. These victims of negligence decide to foot their own medical bills and other injury-related expenses in order to avoid a lengthy, drawn-out lawsuit.

Unfortunately, they discover too late that the long-term costs of the accident add up over time, placing a huge financial burden on their own life and the future of their family, and setting them back for years—sometimes decades—after the initial incident.

This scenario is exactly why calculating both past and present costs of a personal injury accident is so important, so that you can properly estimate the value of your personal injury claim.
To determine how much you may be able to sue for, you must add up the dollar amount of these damages:

Out of pocket medical expenses $______________
Loss of pay for missing work $______________
Pain and suffering $______________
Damage to property $______________
Total $______________

While it is impossible to know precisely how much you can get for your accident claim until you talk to an experienced personal injury attorney, adding up these costs associated with the injury can give you a rough idea on the value of your case and whether it is worth pursuing.

Read below for further descriptions on the various costs of an accident.

Medical and Hospital Bills

Damages awarded for out-of-pocket medical costs cover the sum of all bills, receipts, and other documents associated with the treatment of your injuries—including expenses for both past care and for future treatment, therapy, medicine, etc. Health care expenses can accrue quickly and become quite substantial, especially for injuries that require continued or recurring medical attention. Therefore, it is very important that you hold onto all medical paperwork relating to the accident-caused injury.

Some common examples of medical expense included in a personal injury lawsuit are:

  • Hospital bills
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Surgery costs
  • Therapy and rehabilitation fees
  • Cost of prescriptions medicines
  • Insurance-related expenses

Lost Wages for Time Off Work

If you missed work because of your injuries, then you are also entitled to compensation for any lost pay, wages, commission, or vacation time. For instance, let's say the grocery store you shop at failed to post warning signs around a spill in the aisle, causing you to slip and bang your head. Not only should the store pay for the medical treatment of your head injury, but also compensate you for all of the days you miss at work in order to fully heal.

Property Damage

In addition to injury of a person, most accident cases are accompanied by damage to property as well. In cases involving car or truck accidents, plaintiffs must get a professional estimate on the total cost of damage to their vehicle in order to determine the value of their claim. Property damage is often a major factor in auto accident lawsuits, though any accident that causes harm to your personal property falls under this type of remuneration. For example, in the scenario above, if your cell phone broke due to the slip and fall, you can receive compensation for that as well.

Pain and Suffering

Last but not least, plaintiffs may also ask for reimbursement for pain and suffering. Without a doubt, recovering from certain injuries can be an extremely long and arduous process—thus more than justifying the need for financial compensation. When you hear about big dollar settlements and civil lawsuits, typically a major portion of the damages awarded are under this category.

Unlike economic losses like medical bills, lost wages and property damage, compensation for pain and suffering cannot be calculated by looking at bills and receipts. To determine the full amount of pain and suffering damages possible in your case, you will need to discuss your case with an attorney.

Proving Fault and Collecting Damages

Although the financial worth of your claim can be added up by considering these factors, you are never fully guaranteed that total amount. When determining how much to settle for, lawyers must consider many important factors, such as their client's degree of fault and if punitive damages will be awarded.

Adding up numbers is easy, but liability rarely is. In many lawsuits, proving fault is a complex and complicated issue, which is why people who want to take legal action are strongly encouraged to seek out counsel from a respected personal injury attorney (/Tennessee-personal-injury-lawyers.html) as soon as possible.

To determine the true value of your injury claim and get advice on how you can pursue your right to compensation, contact the experienced legal team at the offices of Gilreath & Associates in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis for a free evaluation of your case. Or you can fill out our online case assessment form right away and continue browsing our blog and Tennessee Personal Injury Guide for more information.

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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover financially from an injury stemming from someone else's negligence.