What Financials Matter In A Personal Injury Claim?

5 October 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Whether you're considering a settlement or haven't gone to court yet, understanding the true cost of an injury can be a challenge. There are so many things to consider beyond adding more zeroes to the payout, and although there are sizable payouts in the millions that would be worth most people's time to take it and run, many settlements don't come anywhere close. Even if you're the confirmed victim and the other side admits fault, you'll need to prepare a reasonable settlement amount along with your wishful thinking, and a few of these financial points can help you figure out how to bring that number together.

The Cost of Healthcare

After an injury, the medical bill can be a complex set of costs. Initial hospital visits, visiting specialists, and any extended stays in hospitals are a few of the basic costs. Depending on the specialist, you could be looking at hundreds or thousands of dollars for testing and procedures.

Getting that answer isn't simple, as the medical professionals need to confirm each procedure needed to get you back to good health (or in stable condition). If your injury is temporary and you can return to your lifestyle, that will be the end of the injury-related costs.

How can you be sure that your injury is only temporary? If the injury happened in the past week or even months and is severe enough to put you in the hospital, there are a lot of variables to consider. Are there broken bones? Were you exposed to a substance with known, long-term negative effects? Did you suffer head trauma? Any of these situations can be deceptively long.

A long-term condition doesn't necessarily mean a critical condition with yearly expenses. Even if you have to take pain killers (or more pain killers than usual) for the rest of your life to function as normal, it's still a cost that you shouldn't have to deal with. It could even affect your old age, becoming the one condition that makes the difference between a silver-haired second wind and a slow decline to bedrest.

You can't easily prove the connection between your condition now and your situation decades from now if you don't get opinions and set estimates before settlements or judgements are signed.

The Loss Of Income

The money you spend is one thing, but what about the money you earn? Income loss from missing a few days of work is easy to calculate and demand, but there are some other uncertain financial points that could work in your benefit--or limit your settlement options.

What if you're not as productive as you used to be? The injury could be slowing you down, which affects your business' bottom line and potentially your chances at staying employed or getting a promotion. This is especially problematic for contractors, entrepreneurs, and sole-proprietors.

Although firing someone because of a disability is illegal except for extreme circumstances when accommodations can't be made, it's not difficult to find other reasons while clearly moving a slower, injured worker out of the picture. It's a risk, and you need compensation as insurance against that risk.

If you decide to find another job, you're also at risk if you're not able to perform well as a newcomer. You may even be able to ask for vocational rehabilitation, either paid for by your legal opponent or at least arranged by the other party as part of your settlement.

Speak with a personal injury lawyer, like one from The Bernstein Law Firm, to discuss your many options, and find a more accurate number for what you deserve.