If you get injured in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another preventable accident, you could be eligible for financial compensation in the form of a personal injury settlement or judgment award with the help of a Kansas City personal injury attorney. Filing a personal injury claim can reimburse you for the thousands of dollars spent in medical bills, property repairs and other expenses.
An insurance company will want to maximize its profit by paying you as little as possible for your claim. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a Kansas City personal injury lawyer who truly understands the ins and outs of personal injury cases. Understanding how personal injury settlements are determined can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Calculating Economic Damages
A settlement is the most common outcome of a personal injury case in Missouri. A settlement means the insurance company agrees to give you a fair and just amount for your injuries, preventing the dispute from having to go to trial for a resolution. Most settlements consist of two different types of compensation: economic and noneconomic damages. An insurance company estimates economic damages by adding up all of the bills and receipts accumulated from the accident. These may include:
Medical bills (current and future)
Lost wages and ability to earn
Lost employment benefits
Property damage repairs
Rental car costs
Burial expenses after wrongful death
You will have to provide proof of your economic losses in the form of receipts or statements from your hospital, as well as medical records, a letter from your employer and a letter from your doctor. These are all examples of evidence you can use to support your insurance claim and demand a fair amount in economic damages.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Next, the insurance company will determine how much to grant in pain and suffering damages, if any. This is a more subjective calculation, as it is based on intangible losses that are not supported by hard evidence, such as billing statements. Pain and suffering can refer to many different intangible losses, such as:
Physical pain or chronic pain
Disability or immobility
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Inconvenience or humiliation
Loss of consortium
Lost quality or enjoyment of life
Grieving or mourning the loss of a loved one
Evaluating a pain and suffering award typically involves analyzing the plaintiff’s injuries and determining how severely and for how long they will affect the victim. As a general rule, more severe injuries are granted more in pain and suffering damages. Your estimate will depend on many different factors that are specific to you.
The value of your personal injury settlement is estimated based on hard evidence as well as how your injuries have impacted you on a nonfinancial level. An insurance company or jury will analyze many different factors in determining a fair amount, including:
The severity of the injury
Your age, income and overall health
Whether or not there is a disability
Any pre-existing injuries
Whether you share blame for the accident
The number of defendants involved
The amount of insurance coverage available
Whether you are eligible for punitive damages
There is no average settlement amount that will apply to every personal injury case in Missouri. The best way to understand the value of your case is by consulting with a Kansas City personal injury attorney.
Get an Honest Evaluation From a Trusted Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer
In most cases, insurance companies attempt to save money by devaluing an injured victim’s claim. They often do this by underestimating certain types of losses, such as future medical needs, or by denying a valid claim outright. This is why it is important to obtain legal representation.
Having a Kansas City personal injury lawyer represent you during insurance claim negotiations can prevent an insurance carrier from taking advantage of you. Your personal injury attorney will fight aggressively for an amount that is appropriate based on your unique circumstances. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney in Kansas City can take the defendant to trial instead.