After an accident, claimants may wonder how much their case is worth based on their physical injuries. This refers to the bodily injury factor. However, there are multiple factors that go into calculating how much a plaintiff’s claim is worth, and bodily injuries are only one of those factors. Other factors include medical costs, proof of liability, and where the injury occurred. Also, depending on the treatments, the courts may assess if the treatment course was necessary or not before reimbursing plaintiffs for their injuries.
Raising Questions of Liability
The biggest determinant for a bodily injury claim is whether the plaintiff can establish liability, and how powerful the evidence is at proving such. If the plaintiff cannot convince the insurance company or jury that the insured was liable for the injuries, then he or she will not receive compensation, regardless of how severe the injuries are. Without liability, there is no legal grounds for a settlement.
For example, in a slip and fall case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent, and this was the direct cause of the injuries. Once that is established, the claim will continue.
The Accident Location
Where the accident occurred will also go into the bodily injury claim calculation. Verdicts for a personal injury claim in some counties are much higher than others. Therefore, the average out-of-court settlement value for that area will greatly affect the settlement value which a plaintiff receives for his or her own injury.
Attorneys will typically review the recent jury awards with similar cases in the area. By reviewing this case record, they can determine a more accurate amount for compensation and have a better idea of what figure to request from the defendant.
The Issue of Comparative Fault
Another big factor that goes into determining bodily injury is comparative fault. While the defendant may be the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff could be partially responsible for causing his or her injuries. Consider, for example, when the defendant is 70 percent liable, but the plaintiff contributed 30 percent toward his or her injuries.
In comparative fault, the amount of the plaintiff’s responsibility is reduced from the total settlement. Therefore, using the example above, the plaintiff’s settlement value would be reduced by 30 percent to account for his or her level of responsibility.
Reasonable and Necessary Treatments
A bodily injury claim will obviously have medical treatments; however, the defense does not have to pay for all medical treatments, especially those that are arguably unnecessary.
Instead, the courts will only force the defense to pay for reasonable treatments and those that are deemed medically necessary. Alternative treatments, or massage therapy for a soft tissue injury, may not be covered.
Speak with a Savannah, GA Car Accident Attorney About Your Bodily Injury
While bodily injury refers to a plaintiff’s physical injuries, there are so many factors that go into calculating that amount of compensation. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney to explore your options. Contact B. Clarke Nash and The Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash, P.C. today for a free consultation by calling 912-200-5292 or request more information online.