How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Calculate Damages in NYC?

    It is often surprising to many how much math is involved in practicing law. Although there is no set formula for calculating damages in a personal injury case, determining what is owed is not as complex a task as some might think.

    Once all the relevant evidence is collected, an attorney will usually try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. The settlement amount can be determined through mutual agreement or by a jury if the case goes to trial, but an accurate calculation of your damages must be made in either case. In order to fully assess your damages, an attorney will evaluate both your economic and non-economic losses. Fortunately, there are various methods that attorneys use to precisely calculate the losses you have suffered.

    How Does a Lawyer Calculate Damages in a New York City Personal Injury Case?

    If you have sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence in New York City, you might be curious about how personal injury lawyers determine the value of your claim. Evaluating the value of a personal injury case requires taking into account various factors and understanding the legal concept of damages. Although calculating the exact amount of damages owed can be challenging, a New York City personal injury attorney has several techniques to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. To achieve this, there are several types of damages that must be evaluated.

    Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the injured party for the losses they have experienced. This includes medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage. The aim is to restore the injured party, as much as possible, to their state prior to the accident. “Pain and suffering” damages refer to non-economic damages, which are designed to cover losses connected to mental anguish and the long-term effects of your injuries.

    On the other hand, punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant has engaged in egregious misconduct or intentional harm. These damages go beyond compensating the injured party and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

    How Are Economic Damages Calculated in a New York City Personal Injury Case?

    Economic damages are relatively straightforward to calculate. These damages represent the actual out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries and can usually be calculated by adding up the costs. As such, several factors are taken into consideration when determining the value of the economic damages in a personal injury case:

    Medical Expenses

    When determining damages, the cost of medical treatment is a crucial factor to consider. This includes expenses incurred for hospital bills, doctor visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, both past and future. It is important to have detailed medical records that explain the extent of the injuries, the treatment received, and any future medical needs. Additionally, expert opinions from medical professionals might be sought to evaluate the long-term impact of the injuries.

    Lost Income

    When someone gets injured, their potential income from the past and future is taken into account. This includes their salary or wages, bonuses, and other benefits they would have received if they had not gotten injured.

    To estimate the lost earnings, various factors, such as the injured person’s employment history, salary, future job prospects, and how the injury affects their ability to work, are considered. Often, economists or vocational experts must be consulted to accurately calculate this.

    Property Damage

    If personal property is damaged in an accident, the cost of repairing or replacing it is also included in the compensation.

    How Are Pan and Suffering Damages Calculated in a New York City Personal Injury Case?

    Determining compensation for pain and suffering is a subjective process that depends on various factors, such as the severity of the injuries, the length of recovery, the impact on daily life, and psychological distress. To support these claims, documentation, and testimony from the injured party, medical experts, and family members can be presented. Although there is no fixed formula for calculating pain and suffering damages, most insurance companies, lawyers, and courts use either the multiplier method or the per diem method to calculate non-economic damages.

    The Multiplier Method

    Calculating compensation for personal injury claims often involves using the multiplier method. This method is commonly used to determine the amount of pain and suffering a victim has experienced as a result of their injuries. The formula is straightforward – the total cost of economic damages is multiplied by a factor ranging from 1.5 to 5.

    However, determining the appropriate multiplier can be challenging since it depends on the severity of the injuries. The more severe the injury, the greater the pain and suffering and the higher the multiplier to be used. For instance, a person who suffers whiplash that fully heals in a few weeks will likely be assigned a multiplier of two, while another person who suffers a traumatic brain injury that leads to chronic headaches and seizures might receive a multiplier of four.

    Determining the multiplier for a case involves analyzing several factors. The factors to be considered include the impact of the injury on the person’s day-to-day life, the change in the person’s appearance, the degree of discomfort caused by the injury, the type of injury sustained, whether the injury resulted in permanent impairment or disabling condition, the effect of the injury on the person’s career, how the injury affects the person’s relationships with others, and the necessity for ongoing medical and psychological care.

    The Per Diem Method

    The per diem method is a way to calculate pain and suffering damages by assigning a specific dollar amount for each day of suffering. For instance, a jury might award $200 per day for pain and suffering damages. This amount is based on various factors, such as those used with the multiplier method. The per diem payment is made for each day between the injury date and the day when the person is released from medical care. It is not as commonly used as the multiplier method, and it is not typically used in cases involving permanent impairments or disabilities.

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