How Much Should I Sue For In My Baltimore Car Accident Case?
If you have:
- Been involved in a Baltimore City car accident
- Been offered no money, or very little money by the insurance company
- Are faced with having to go to court to seek just compensation
You should read the rest of this article. Let’s talk big picture, forest-level distance here for a moment. Generally, there are two “categories” of compensation [i.e. damages] awarded to injury victims.: economic damages and non-economic damages. I’ve often argued that economic damages are easier to calculate because there is a mathematical formula, or some version of it involved. A Baltimore City jury would be instructed to consider multiple factors in determining the amount of economic damages to award. Below, some of these considerations are followed by a case study showing how the compensation might be determined mathematically.
Medical Expenses: The cost of medical care associated with the injury, including the cost of emergency room visits, hospital care, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation therapy.
Case study: In a Baltimore car accident case, this could actually be straight math. The cost of those various services would be added together, to arrive at the total compensation due for past medical expenses.
Future Medical Expenses: If the injury will require ongoing medical care, these costs can also be included in the damage calculation.
Case study: In a Baltimore personal injury case, there are some nuances regarding future medical expenses. The need for future medical expenses must be shown by medical testimony. Once established, a mathematical formula could look something like this: the yearly average of medical costs X the number of years remaining in the plaintiff’s life [according to a life insurance mortality table.]
Past Lost Income: If the injury caused you to miss work, you can be compensated for this lost income.
Case study: Here again in a typical auto accident case in Baltimore, this is straight math: time missed in days X an average weekly wage. [Although AWW is technically a Maryland Workers’ Compensation LINK tern=m, the AWW is generally considered what a person was making on average in the three months prior to being hurt.]
Loss of Earning Capacity: If the injury impacts your ability to work and earn money in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss as well.
Case study: There are many prerequisites to making this claim – which are outside of the limited purview of this article. If established, the mathematical formula may be the average yearly income of the plaintiff prior to injury less what their average yearly income is post-injury x the number of anticipated years left in their lifetime. That would be the straight math, but then other factors, also mathematical in nature, would come into play. Future sums would need to be reduced to present value. But, as wages would likely be projected to increase over time, an award would need to be adjusted to account for cost of living increases.
It goes without saying the goal of any Baltimore injury lawyer is to maximize the amount awarded to their claim. The second form of compensation, non-economic damage, is not limited by the laws of mathematics [but the amount may be limited by another consideration- substantive law in the form of a cap on damages. Here, a jury is instructed to consider a number of factors in reaching their decision and award. “Pain and suffering” is a functional synonym for non-economic damages term of art that refers to the physical and emotional stress, tumult, and turmoil caused by an injury. It’s a type of non-economic damage, meaning it doesn’t have direct, objective quantifiable, and identifiable amounts like medical bills or lost wages, discussed above. Thorough and prepared Baltimore personal injury attorneys argue that pain and suffering should include
- Physical Pain: This includes any ongoing pain resulting from the injury. The discomfort can last for a closed period. This can also be chronic pain that a person may experience long after the accident. The length will impact the amount of the award.
- Emotional or Psychological Pain: Emotional distress can be a significant part of pain and suffering. This can include anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These claims can be difficult to prove, due to their highly subjective nature. A skilled lawyer can suggest to his or her client ways to document the problems.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying activities that you once loved, such as hobbies, exercise, recreational activities, or time spent with family and friends, you may be compensated for this loss. In terms of methodology used to arrive at a dollar amount this species of damage is at the opposite end of the spectrum from easily calculable economic damages.
- Disability or Disfigurement: If a Baltimore accident resulted in a disability or physical disfigurement, scarring or amputation, the impact of this change on your life can be factored into pain and suffering.
- Lower Quality of Life: Any reduction in your quality of life due to your injuries can be included. For instance, if you’re unable to perform certain activities or if you’ve become dependent on others for care. In appropriate cases, the costs of that in-home care, skilled nursing, or even medically necessary modifications to one’s home can be included in the claim [although categorized as economic damage.
Calculating pain and suffering is complex and subjective, as it largely depends on the individual and their specific circumstances. While some jurisdictions permit a lawyer to argue to a jury for a specific amount using a “multiplier method” — multiplying the total economic damages by a certain number to calculate pain and suffering. Other personal injury lawyers may argue for an award on a “per diem” (per day) approach, or use a hybrid or more advanced arguments. The level of sophistication and nuances is limited only by the imagination of the Baltimore Injury attorney trying the case.