How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, you’re probably wondering whether taking legal action will be worth it. You certainly have enough to worry about while recovering without having to navigate complicated court proceedings.
While there’s no way to guarantee any given claim will yield a six- or seven-figure payout, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can at least help you determine whether pursuing compensation will be worth your while. A number of factors will ultimately influence the potential value of your claim, and a resourceful lawyer will evaluate all of them to help you decide how best to proceed.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors that will affect how much your personal injury case is worth:
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
Since more severe injuries cost more to stabilize and rehabilitate, they usually warrant higher payouts. Car accident victims who suffer spinal cord damage, for example, inevitably accumulate a lot more medical debt than those who sustain a few lacerations and fractures.
The former will also miss a lot more work than the latter, thereby losing five- or even six-figures in wages. And if the injuries prevent them from returning to the workforce at all, they’ll also incur a lifetime of lost earning capacity.
In the state of South Dakota, other recoverable damages include:
- Property repairs;
- Alternative transportation;
- Home care;
- Child care;
- Domestic help;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of enjoyment in life.
2. Whether You Played a Role
If you contributed to the accident in which you were hurt—or failed to mitigate damages in the aftermath—you could be deemed partially liable. Under South Dakota’s modified version of the pure comparative fault rule, plaintiffs are barred from recovering damages if they played more than a slight role.
3. The Liable Party’s Coverage Limits
The total compensation you’ll be able to recover will likely be capped by the at-fault party’s available insurance coverage. While there are scenarios in which defendants are ordered to pay plaintiffs out of pocket, most claims are limited by the terms of the liability policies that apply.
4. Whether You’re Entitled to a Punitive Award
Most personal injury claimants are only entitled to compensatory damages. If the liable party acted with oppression, fraud, or willful, wanton, or malicious conduct, however, you may also be able to recover punitive damages. Naturally, this could increase the total value of your claim considerably.
Speak with a Rapid City Personal Injury Attorney
At Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, PLLC, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that serious injuries can take on the whole family. If you were hurt because someone failed to act with reasonable care, we’ll help you pursue the compensation needed to put your life back together.
Our strategic team has recovered more than $15 million in successful settlements and trial verdicts. Call (605) 250-1242 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Rapid City.