In any legal case, but especially personal injury ones, it’s important to know your rights and what you can reasonably claim damages for. Not only does this help your overall understanding of the legal process, but it also increases your chances of getting what you’re entitled to after an accident. However, what exactly is a personal injury case? Where’s the legal line between a common accident and negligence? And, what can you legitimately sue for in such a case? Luckily, our team has compiled this list of frequently asked questions so you never have to second guess your rights again.
At Alvarez Law, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with the most informed and experienced legal counsel and do whatever we can to get them the compensation they deserve. If you’ve experienced a personal injury accident and want to learn your rights and obligations, the experts at Alvarez Law are more than willing to guide you through each step of the legal process. With our no-win-no-fee guarantee, you can feel confident you’re getting honest and expert-based counsel on your personal injury case.
What Types of Damages Can I Sue for in a Personal Injury Case?
There are various types of damages you can sue for in a personal injury case, including car accidents, slips and falls, and medical malpractice. Whatever injury you have, our talented legal experts at Alvarez Law can ensure you get the proper compensation for your damages. Damages refer to everything you’ve lost because of your injuries after an accident. For example, if you get into a bad car accident that prevents you from working, you can sue for damages related to loss of income. Here are some types of damages you can sue for in a personal injury case:
One of the most common damages you can sue for in a personal injury case is medical bills. If you’re injured in an accident because of another person’s or entity’s negligence, you can sue for the damages associated with your medical costs. If you received an especially large medical bill because of your injury, making a legal claim is the best way to get your appropriate compensation.
Loss of Income
Loss of income refers to the inability to work after an injury, resulting in decreased personal income for the victim. If you find yourself in a situation where your personal injury requires you to abstain from work, you may sue for damages of lost income. This way, you can get the rightful money you otherwise would have earned if your injury never happened.
Emotional distress refers to any mental or emotional turmoil or challenges you experience after suffering from an injury. For example, consider you got into a car accident that requires you to stay sedentary for weeks as part of the healing process. If this confinement resulted in your developing anxiety or depression as diagnosed by a professional, you could reasonably sue for emotional distress.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can refer to the emotional and physical damages associated with a personal injury. For example, say you slipped and broke your back in a grocery store because of a lack of wet-floor signage. If you experience significant pain and suffering from that accident, either from the injury itself or your inability to carry on with your life as you previously knew it, you can sue for pain and suffering damages.
A permanent injury is a type of damage that results in chronic pain, disfigurement, or the inability to carry out day-to-day activities after a personal injury incident. It’s relatively simple to prove damages related to a permanent injury if you can prove elements of your life, whether physical, emotional, financial, or social, had a permanent impact as a result of your accident.
How Much Can I Sue for Emotional Distress?
The most common legal approach to calculating damages, including emotional distress, is to take concrete figures from finances (or lack thereof) and multiply them by a number usually between two and five, depending on the severity of the case. For example, if you developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of a car accident, you could provide documentation from a mental health professional and use your medical bills or loss of income as a cost calculator for how much you’ve lost financially after your injury.
How Much Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering?
Much like emotional distress, pain and suffering can be difficult to quantify. The most common route when determining legal eligibility for a pain and suffering case is whether you have proof of financial damages that resulted from your pain and suffering. For example, if you developed chronic pain after an accident and subsequently couldn’t work, your lawyer can multiply the amount of lost income by anywhere from two to five to generate a proper sum of your damages.
How Much Can I Sue for Permanent Injury?
In most permanent injury cases, you can typically sue for anywhere from two to five times the total cost of your medical bills and lost income, especially if your injuries resulted in your inability to work or carry out activities that were once part of your daily life. A permanent injury case is often easier to prove because you likely have extensive medical documentation and receipts to prove the severity of the injury.
How Is a Personal Injury Settlement Determined?
To determine a personal injury settlement, the victim must provide proof that their injury resulted in any of the above damages, therefore negatively impacting their livelihood. Medical expenses, legal fees, and loss of income are all calculated to determine the amount of money you’ve lost after your accident. Your legal team may then multiply this amount by a number they believe to represent the level of emotional, physical, or financial distress you experienced as a result of your personal injury.
If you’re interested in learning more about personal injury damages and the legal process behind them, contact our team at Alvarez Office Law today. We’re more than happy to assist members of our local Chicago and northwest Indiana communities with any of their personal injury or criminal law cases. With nearly 50 years of experience, rest assured our legal team at Alvarez Law has the utmost knowledge, training, and passion for justice you could ever ask for.