What compensation should I get for a fractured coccyx?
It is surprising the number of questions we get that are very similar to this one: “How much compensation can I get for a [insert very specific type of injury here] claim?” And it’s understandable that users want to know. A lot is riding on the outcome of an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit, especially when injuries are significant and life-disrupting.
The problem is that every case is different, and even if it were possible to know what a specific type of injury typically yields in terms of the average settlement or jury award -- and you can sometimes find that information behind a paywall on Westlaw, Lexis, or other legal research engines -- even having those numbers at your disposal probably wouldn’t help much.
When you’re trying to figure out what your personal injury case is worth, there are a number of key factors that matter much more than the type of injury you’ve sustained. Taking a close, objective look at these factors can go a long way toward getting a ballpark estimate of the value of your case. At the very least, by thinking about these things and figuring out where the strong points of your case lie, you’ll have some talking points to emphasize when the time comes to talk settlement with the insurance company or the attorney for the other side.
So, remembering that it’s the specific facts of your case that count the most, here are some of the key considerations when it comes to valuing a personal injury case:
The severity of your injuries. Are your injuries of the soft tissue variety, such as bruising, strains, or sprains? Did you suffer broken bones, joint damage, or serious lacerations? Did you lose consciousness? Are you expected to make a complete recovery?
The scope and nature of medical treatment necessitated by the injuries. How much medical attention did you require? Is your medical care ongoing? Will you require rehabilitation or physical therapy in the future?
The clarity of fault for the underlying accident. Does the other side dispute who was at fault for the accident? Are they pointing a finger back at you?
Your “pain and suffering” and other ancillary negative effects of your injuries. Besides medical bills and lost wages, how has the injury affected your life? This includes your loss of enjoyment of life, and the affect that your injuries have had on your relationships, in addition to your overall mood and outlook on life.
The financial impact of your injuries. Besides medical bills, did the accident and resulting injuries damage you economically? Did you miss time at work? Will you miss work in the future or will your ability to earn an income be impacted by your injuries? Were there other calculable economic losses tied to your injuries?
by: David Goguen, J.D.