2 min read
Personal Injury 101: Factors Impacting the Value of Your Settlement
Benjamin Kline, Esq. Jul 19, 2021 12:00:00 AM
When you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, we always recommend that you seek and focus on your medical treatment. But when bills roll in and pain lingers, the question of what kind of financial compensation you are entitled to is often at the forefront of our clients’ minds. As is true for most legal questions, the value of your potential settlement will depend on several factors. Despite what you may have heard from a friend, co-worker, or commercial about a previous settlement, there is no guaranteed amount that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay you. What follows are a few of the factors impacting the value of your potential settlement:
Who is at fault?
In Minnesota, even if you are “at-fault” for a car accident, the “no-fault” system provides some monetary coverage. However, if you are not the at-fault party you can collect additional money damages during the “bodily injury” portion of your case. We can pursue and demand additional money during settlement discussions when we are able to establish that: the other driver owed you a duty of care, he or she breached that duty through their negligent conduct, that breach of duty caused your injuries, and you incurred monetary damages as a result of your injuries.
Another factor is the amount of economic loss. Economic loss refers to out-of-pocket damages you sustained because of the accident and your injuries. The main types of economic loss are medical expenses and lost wages. If you took an ambulance, underwent diagnostic imaging, received chiropractic treatment, needed to have a surgery, or did not receive your usual earnings because of the accident, we can include those costs in a settlement demand directed toward the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Intangible damages are losses that are not always easy to quantify with a specific dollar amount. This category includes damages such as pain and suffering (for the physical discomfort and emotional distress you endured because of the collision), disfigurement (such as visible scars or burns), loss of enjoyment of life (if the accident left you unable to do activities you used to enjoy), and cognitive conditions (such as post-traumatic stress disorder).
You could be eligible for additional compensation if you have physical, cognitive, emotional, or other long-term impairment such as chronic pain because of the collision. We may also be able to add future lost wages to your injury claim if your doctor expects that you will have to take a lower-paying job or work fewer hours because of the harm you suffered in the accident.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight to get you a maximum recovery. If you have been injured in car accident, please call our office at 651-493-0426 to schedule a free consultation.