Many people are curious what they can expect to recover in a settlement or verdict once they have a car accident due to someone else’s negligence. The law allows an injury victim to recover for past, present and future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The amount of this recovery will vary by claim to claim and client to client, however.
Special damages, or those items that have a tangible monetary value, are fairly easy to calculate. The process involves gathering all of your medical bills and lost wage information and totaling the figures to arrive at your special damages. If future lost wages or medical expenses are anticipated because of a permanent injury, these can also be calculated based on the projected amounts. For medical expenses, it should also be noted that in North Carolina, you are allowed to recover only those medical expenses that have been paid (regardless of source), and that which remains to be paid. If you have health insurance that pays on your medical expenses, there will be a write-off or adjustment for a portion of the bill. You are no longer allowed to claim the amount of the write-off or adjustment for accidents that occur on or after October 1, 2011.
General damages, or those items that do not have a tangible monetary value, are often difficult to calculate unless you are an experienced personal injury attorney. The most common type of general damages is a pain and suffering award. If you have found this post by a general internet search, the odds are good that you have seen multiple other sources purporting to offer a mathematical formula for arriving at this amount. Often, online sources (which may or may not be written by a lawyer), give the advice that you could multiply your economic damages by two if it were minor wreck, by five if it were a serious accident, or by ten, if you were gravely injured.
In reality, pain and suffering and other general damages are more complicated to value. The insurance companies use a variety of methods to compute such damages, but the most common is a computer program called Colossus. Under North Carolina law, however, a jury deciding your case will be instructed that there is no mathematical formula for valuing pain and suffering damages. The jury will determine pain and suffering damages using their reason and common sense. Naturally, a wide range of opinions are often discussed during deliberations. A wide variety of factors can affect what your case may ultimately be worth. You can find a list of some of those factors by clicking here. Often, it is beneficial to have experienced legal counsel on your side to ensure that your rights are adequately protected and that you have the best chance at achieving a fair and reasonable outcome on your case.
At Leone Noble & Seate, LLP, we are dedicated to client service. We have the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to make sure that our clients’ interests are protected. If ever we can help you in this area, please don’t hesitate to call us toll free at (877) 847-4804 or click here to contact us