Besides wrecked property and large medical bills, a personal injury accident could also result in damage that is hard to measure, such as future lost wages or emotional distress. Simply put, it is hard to put a price on a person’s health and well-being. However, money remains the method for a negligent party’s compensation. For that reason, it is important to learn more about the factors that influence your case so you can do your part to ensure you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
While many factors influence the outcome of a case, our renowned attorneys at Simeone & Miller, LLP are here to break down 10 of the most common factors in a personal injury case.
- The Severity of the Injury
Fittingly, a case’s monetary compensation will increase according to the severity of the injury sustained. A spinal injury will typically earn more compensation than a standard broken leg because spinal injuries pose a greater risk and take a longer time to heal— if they ever do. In short, the more severe the injury, the more recompense a victim of a personal injury case can be entitled to.
Likewise, the worse the emotional or mental trauma, the higher the compensation. While it can be harder to prove trauma of this nature, Simeone & Miller, LLP knows that testaments from well-respected, expert mental health professionals can be extremely helpful evidence to back up your claim.
- Medical Treatment: Who Delivered It?
A case is likely to settle for a higher amount if the injury required attention from a medical doctor, rather than from a chiropractor or alternative health practitioner. This is because injuries that require a doctor are generally more serious or life-threatening.
- Length of Medical Treatment
Since medical bills can amount to large sums of money— not to mention the lengthy recovery times owed to severe injuries— your case can be influenced by the duration of your recovery. The court will also consider whether medication was needed and for how long, as well as the number of follow-up appointments.
- Adherence to Doctor’s Orders
If you did not adhere to the orders and treatment procedures prescribed by your doctor, your compensation could be reduced. This includes failure to adequately keep up with a component of your treatment or any evidence that suggests a lack of effort put toward a speedy recovery.
- Immediacy of Medical Attention
In addition to who delivered the treatment, courts will also consider the timeframe between the injury and the date of your first visit. This is why it is important to see a medical professional as soon as you sustain an injury. Not only can procrastinating a doctor’s visit in the hopes that an injury will get better on its own negatively impact your health, but it can also provide the at-fault party with grounds to argue that the injury is not as devastating as it is. Or, they might argue you were injured by another event entirely.
- Missing Important Parts of Your Life
Did your injury result in time away from work or school to recover? If so, did you then miss out on wages or valuable time in your life? This can also include important life milestones missed due to your injury. Rightfully, missing wages and unattended important life events should be reflected in your compensation. While money cannot make up for lost time, it can help ease financial burdens and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
- Sudden State of Dependence
Most injuries limit a person’s independence to some degree. For some injuries, it can be for a month or two; for others, it can be years or a lifetime. If you find that you can no longer do the activities you used to do with ease, you should tell your attorney so you can be compensated. Compensation for dependence can include the required care for a person’s sudden inability to bathe, walk, work certain jobs, travel with ease, or use computers without assistance or accommodation because of an injury.
- Credibility of Witnesses
The more credible your witnesses, the more likely your case is to win. Witnesses who are not trustworthy or whose testimonies clash with yours can have a negative impact on your personal injury claim. On the other hand, the more witnesses with testimonies that match yours, the better chances you will have at winning a favorable verdict or settlement. Nevertheless, these witnesses need to be genuine and reputable.
- Obvious Liability
No matter how many witnesses you have or how terrible your injuries are, if the answer to the question of liability does not clearly point to the party you are charging, you will most likely have a hard time arguing your case. Just because it is not obvious, however, does not mean you are in the wrong. At-fault parties can be extremely good at painting themselves innocent, especially when dealing with big corporations that have some of the best lawyers money can buy.
- Having Success in Litigation Early on
The last factor that can impact the results of your case is how you and your attorneys have fared in court so far. A strong start and consistently winning legal milestones can make your case stronger. It could even lead to the at-fault party settling earlier than you expect for a more-than-satisfactory amount of money. But it is important to make sure you are not unknowingly accepting a lowball settlement.
As mentioned, there are more than 10 factors that can influence your case, but with these key points in mind, it should be easier to identify your case’s strong and weak points. You do not have to handle your case alone, however. Our attorneys at Simeone & Miller, LLP have fought for thousands of personal injury victims throughout Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. We have been recognized by Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers®, the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and Martindale-Hubbell®, among others.
Contact Simeone & Miller, LLP for a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys.