How Courts Calculate Damages in Personal Injury Cases 

Personal Injury Attorneys - McCune Law Group

Personal injury cases often involve a complex dance of legal concepts and precedents, but perhaps none are as mystifying as the calculation of damages. In civil law, damages serve as the financial remedy for the harm inflicted upon an individual due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. In this blog, we’ll explore personal injury damages and unravel the mathematical equations that underlie the compensation awarded to the injured party. 

Types of Damages That Are Calculated  

  • Compensatory Damages: Compensatory damages are the bedrock of personal injury awards, aiming to reimburse the victim for the losses suffered. These damages can be further divided into economic and non-economic damages. 
    • Economic Damages: The tangible costs incurred as a result of the injury fall under economic damages. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any other quantifiable financial losses. Calculating economic damages involves meticulous documentation and expert testimonies to establish the extent of the monetary impact. 
    • Non-economic Damages: Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages encompass intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Assigning a dollar value to these abstract concepts requires a careful evaluation of the individual’s experience and the impact of the injury on their overall quality of life.  
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages serve a different purpose, aiming to punish the wrongdoer for egregious behavior and deter others from similar actions. However, not all personal injury cases warrant punitive damages. Courts typically consider the severity of the misconduct and the need for societal deterrence before awarding punitive damages. The calculation often involves multiplying the compensatory damages by a factor determined by the court. 
  • Special Considerations: Certain factors can influence the calculation of damages, making each personal injury case unique. These factors include:  
    • Pre-existing Conditions: Determining the extent to which the injury exacerbated pre-existing conditions can complicate the calculation. Medical experts may be called upon to provide insight into the impact of the injury on the individual’s pre-existing health.  
    • Future Damages: Anticipated future damages, such as ongoing medical treatment and loss of earning capacity, play a crucial role. Experts may be consulted to project the long-term financial implications of the injury.  
    • Comparative Fault: In cases where the injured party shares some responsibility for the accident, the concept of comparative fault comes into play. Damages may be reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to the injured party. Some states, like California, allow for personal injury cases when there is comparative fault, while others may not. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What types of damages can be claimed in a personal injury case?

In a personal injury case, various types of damages can be claimed. These typically include economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Additionally, non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium, may also be pursued. Punitive damages, designed to punish the defendant for egregious behavior, are less common and usually require a showing of intentional misconduct or extreme negligence.

Economic damages are calculated based on the actual financial losses incurred by the injured party. This includes medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and property damage. To determine the amount, gather all relevant documents, such as medical bills and pay stubs, and consult with experts if necessary. Future economic damages, such as ongoing medical treatment or loss of earning capacity, may also be estimated. It’s essential to keep meticulous records to support the claim for economic damages.

Calculating non-economic damages is more subjective, as these damages are not easily quantifiable in monetary terms. Factors such as the severity of the injuries, impact on daily life, emotional distress, and the duration of recovery play a significant role. Juries often consider the pain and suffering experienced by the injured party and may use multipliers based on the extent of harm. While these damages are more challenging to quantify, they are a crucial aspect of seeking fair compensation in a personal injury case.

The limits on damages in personal injury cases vary by jurisdiction and the type of damages sought. Some states impose caps on non-economic damages to prevent excessive jury awards, while others have no such limits. It’s important to be aware of these restrictions, as they can impact the overall compensation received. In cases where punitive damages are sought, some jurisdictions may also have specific limits or guidelines.

How to Start a Personal Injury Case 

Finding the right Personal Injury attorney is crucial to ensuring you receive the appropriate legal representation and compensation for your case. Contacting an Personal Injury Attorney from MLG ensures that your interests will be represented. Here are five steps to help you contact a qualified Personal Injury attorney:   

  1. Step 1: Research and Gather Information – Before reaching out, gather all relevant information about your case. This includes details about the incident and information about the parties involved. Take note of the date, time, and location of the incident.   
  2. Step 2: Visit the McCune Law Group Website – Navigate to the official MLG website. Look for a “Contact Us” or “Free Consultation” section. This is where you’ll find the necessary details to initiate contact to an attorney from MLG.   
  3. Step 3: Call or Complete the Form for Initial Consultation – Use the provided phone number or online form to get in touch with our team of attorneys. You may find it helpful to prepare a summary of your case before making the call or completing the form. This will ensure you provide essential details efficiently.   
  4. Step 4: Schedule a Free Consultation – Request a free consultation to discuss your case in detail. We offer free initial consultations to assess the viability of your case. During this meeting, you can share the specifics of your situation, ask questions, and get a better understanding of how our attorneys can assist you.   
  5. Step 5: Prepare for the Consultation – Before the scheduled consultation, organize all relevant documents and be prepared to articulate the details of your case clearly. This will help the attorney assess the merits of your case more effectively. During the consultation, feel free to ask any questions you may have about the legal process, potential outcomes, payment, and our approach to personal injury cases.   

Put Experienced, Award-Winning Counsel from MLG in Your Corner 

Calculating damages in personal injury cases requires a meticulous approach that considers both the tangible and intangible losses suffered by the individual. At McCune Law Group, we are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the compensation they deserve. It takes experience and commitment to succeed in this complex field of law, and that is the level of counsel found at McCune Law Group. Our attorneys are leaders in personal injury law. We have achieved this reputation by consistently winning large verdicts and settlements for our clients. In fact, we have recovered over $1 billion across our practice areas for the injured and wronged. 

To learn more about damages in personal injury cases, contact McCune Law Group by completing the form or calling (909) 345-8110 today for a free consultation!    

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