Calculating Your Accident Compensation in California
After you have been injured in an accident, your biggest concern is probably your health and how you are going to deal with the costs of the accident. If your accident was caused by the negligence of another, then you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against that party (or parties) for financial recovery. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you on the total compensation you might expect from your accident, but here are a few factors to consider at the outset in determining what your accident compensation might be in California (note that when proving negligence is less, a plaintiff may decide to settle for a lower amount to avoid the risk and delay of going to trial).
What Medical Costs Have You Incurred?
You are entitled to recover all of the medical costs you have incurred due to the accident, such as ambulance costs, ER visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor visits, lab costs, and so on. This is the case even if your insurance paid for these costs.
What Medical Costs Will You Incur?
Some serious injuries can result in ongoing medical bills for issues such as rehabilitation or additional surgeries and doctor visits. It can be difficult to predict these costs, but your attorney will work with your medical provider to make this determination.
Have You Had to Miss Time From Work?
You can recover the full cost of all lost salary or wages due to time away from work because of your injuries.
Is Your Earning Potential Lower?
Again, with a serious injury, you might not be able to work for some time after a settlement or verdict, and you may not even be able to work in your previous profession or job. You are entitled to recover the full differential over your lifetime between what you would have earned and what you can earn now.
What is Your Pain and Suffering?
Finally, you are entitled to recover the cost of the pain and suffering you will have to endure over your lifetime due to your injuries. Of course, it is hard to put a number on your psychological trauma, but your attorney (and/or a judge and jury at trial) will make comparisons to other similar, favorable settlements and judgments in your jurisdiction and elsewhere in reaching this number.