The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How Much Can I Get If I Sue?

One of the questions we get asked the most by potential clients is how much money a particular injury might be worth. It’s a good question to ask, but a somewhat difficult one to answer. Every person and every injury are different, and these differences play a big factor in determining how much an individual might be able to get if they file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for their injuries. In this post we will cover some of the factors that determine how much money one might expect to recover in a personal injury lawsuit.

What sort of injury are we talking about?

One of the main factors that determines how much a particular injury is worth is the severity of the injury at hand. Basically the more severe the injury, the more it is worth. This is typically measured by looking at medical bills, estimating future healthcare costs, and determining how much money it will take to put the injured person in the position they would have been in health-wise if they had never been injured.

It is also possible to seek compensation for pain and suffering. This is something that can’t be found on a medical bill or estimated by an actuary. It is a subjective amount that varies based on how painful the injury was and how emotionally difficult it is to deal with.

Who you are determines how much your injury is worth.

The other factor that determines how much an injury is worth is who the injured person is. This may sound sort of unfair at first, but people who make more money deserve to be compensated more. A brain surgeon’s broken leg is worth more than a fast food worker’s broken leg.

In order to determine how much a particular injury is worth to a particular person, you can look at lost income, lost future income, how much longer the person who was injured can expect to live, how long they would have expected to live if they had not been injured, and other factors like this. The goal is to put the injured person in the economic position they would have been in if they had never been injured.

Should the party that injured you be punished?

The final thing to consider is whether the party that caused the injury deserves to be punished. This is not something that is applicable in every case because our civil court system is supposed to put things right, not punish one party or the other. But in certain circumstances, punishment is appropriate.

When the court decides that the party who caused an injury did what they did on purpose, and needs to be taught a lesson, they might award punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish, and to send a message what happened in the case at hand better not happen again.

Things you can’t put a price on.

Our legal system is designed to make people who have been harmed whole again. In theory, the person who wins a lawsuit will be put into the position they would have been in if nothing bad had happened to them. In reality, accidents and injuries can’t be erased by a lawsuit. Nothing can change the past, but money and the satisfaction of knowing that justice has been served can help.

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