This is the next post in our series on the handling of Fort Worth, Texas car accident cases. Our last article discussed things to consider when selecting a personal injury lawyer. If a wreck resulted in serious injury, then it is important that the victim retain a firm with the resources necessary to handle such matters. We suggest that these resources include an on-staff investigator as well as the ability to devote multiple lawyers to your case. In this article we will discuss an important topic – the calculation of damages in such matters. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then it is suggested that you contact counsel immediately.
There are multiple components which factor into the calculation of damages. The first of these is the earnings which a victim lost as a result of the accident. Those earnings can be broken down into two parts. The first of these parts is the earnings or compensation which the victim has already lost. Calculating this amount is relatively straightforward. The second of these parts are wages or earnings which the victim can expect to lose in the future. This amount is determined by taking the amount of money which the victim would have earned, but for the accident, and subtracting the amount of money which they can now expect to earn. The determination of these future amounts typically require the retention of expert economists and/or vocational experts.
The second component of a victim’s damages is their past and future medical bills. Calculating the medical expenses, already incurred as a result of the wreck, is simply a matter of adding up the cost of care received to date. A victim’s future medical expenses will be the total of needed surgeries, therapy, medications, doctor visits, etc. As with the determination of lost earnings, the calculation of future medical expenses will require the retention of expert witnesses. It will be necessary to retain medical experts who will likely conduct an independent medical examination (IME) of the victim. This expert will then give their opinion as to the care which will be needed and the expected cost of such care.
The third component of a victim’s damages is the amount which they should receive for pain and suffering. This is compensation for the physical pain, inconvenience, and reduction in the quality of life caused by the accident. When determining these amounts, the victim will present evidence of how the wreck has impacted their life, the amount of time they have lost to dealing with various issues, and activities which they must now forego.
It is the role of the jury to determine each of the amounts discussed above. The defense in any personal injury case can often be expected to dispute a Plaintiff’s claims as to their damages. It is, therefore, vital that you retain a law firm with experience in presenting such cases to the jury. This is one reason why, if you have been in a Fort Worth area car accident, it is important to retain a law firm which will give your case the attention it deserves.