A Look at How Personal Injury Settlements Are Determined - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Thursday, 04 July 2019

A Look at How Personal Injury Settlements Are Determined

You were hurt in an accident through no fault of your own, and you decided to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. The majority of personal injury cases never make it to court. Once the attorney gets the lawsuit filed, the defendant will oftentimes offer a personal injury settlement, which is an amount of money they agree to pay you to cover the damages they have caused.

There are multiple factors that go into determining personal injury settlement amounts. Understanding these factors will help you be better prepared to accept a settlement if it is offered. Take a look at the factors that are typically considered when settlement amounts are figured.

Medical Expenses Incurred Due to the Injury

Medical expenses are naturally included when determining personal injury settlements because these are bills and expenses incurred as a direct result of the injury. In general terms, all forms of medical expenses should be included in the settlement offer. An example of medical expenses that most people incur after an injury include:

  • Expenses relative to emergency medical transportation
  • Payments made and bills accrued at private physicians
  • Costs relative to physical therapy
  • Expenses involved with hospital stays
  • Payments for prescription medication and mobility aids

Not only should the medical expenses already accrued be included, but the expected costs of future medical care should be assumed and included as well. For instance, if you have suffered a debilitating injury and you will require ongoing physical therapy, the costs of this therapy should be included.

Lost Wages Due to the Injury

One of the major damages that can occur after an injury is the loss of wages if the filer is employed. Being injured can mean you are unable to perform your usual job duties, which means you may not be able to go to work at all. If you have to have surgery or ongoing care, you may have to be off of work for quite some time for recovery.

Some people are injured to such a degree that they have a permanent disability cannot return to work at all. In these situations, all future earning potential must be considered. For example, an individual’s anticipated yearly income may be multiplied by the number of years they would have had left to work and bring in an income if not for their injuries.

Pain and Suffering Due to the Injury

There is no question that unexpected injuries can lead to a considerable amount of pain and suffering long after an incident, so pain and suffering compensation can be considered as part of your personal injury settlement. Compensation for pain and suffering is a bit different in Canada than what it is in the United States. There is actually a cap on how much an individual can be paid for pain and suffering, which is currently $366,000. You may be eligible for pain and suffering compensation if you:

  • Have to go through serious daily challenges as a result of the injury (for example, you have major disfigurements to live with)
  • Faced undesirable life changes due to the incident (divorce, job loss, etc.)
  • Have been psychologically challenged due to your injury (you have been diagnosed with depression, PTSD, etc.)

Personal injuries can bring about severe financial implications for the person injured. You should not have to face these financial challenges on your own when someone else was responsible for your injury. If you are planning to file a personal injury claim, talk to us at Diamond & Diamond to find out more about how personal injury settlements are determined.

Faqs

Is the cost of reconstructive surgery included in personal injury settlements?

Yes. The cost of reconstructive surgery is included in your personal injury settlement as part of economic damages. Healthcare costs of treating and managing injuries arising from acts of negligence constitute the bulk of personal injury case settlements.

How is compensation for pain and suffering different in Canada compared to the United States?

Pain and Suffering damages refer to non-economic costs relating to the emotional and psychological impact of personal injuries caused by acts of negligence. Such emotional and psychological damage includes anger, frustration, loss of marital rights, depression, mood swings, insomnia, and so forth. Pain and suffering compensation is similar in Canada and the US except for minor differences in the taxation regime on such payment.

In Canada, pain and suffering payments are not taxable except when such payments are invested for profit, interests, or monetary gain. In the US, pain and suffering compensation is taxable if the recipient had made deductions for medical expenses before receiving the payment.

I just graduated from college and technically was still looking for a job when I got hurt. Can I include lost wages in the personal injury settlement?

Yes and No. Lost wages compensation would apply to your personal injury claim if you worked for at least six months prior to the injury, even if it were in an unofficial capacity, e.g., coffee boy, trainee, apprentice, intern, etc. What counts for this provision to apply is the fact that you were earning a wage, be it on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis. However, if you hadn’t been earning a wage prior to the accident/incident, then you cannot include lost wages in your personal injury claim.

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