After suffering a personal injury, matters can quickly become complex and confusing. Medical issues must be addressed; damages must be fixed; and oftentimes blame must be assessed. Some of the most common questions are simple but also the hardest to answer, including:
“Who is to blame for my injuries?”
“Who will pay for this, and what exactly will they pay for?”
“If I bring a suit against the responsible parties, for what may I receive compensation, and for how much?”
These are questions best put to an attorney and addressed in the legal system. The answers more often than not depend on the circumstances and details of your accident and injury, and compensation varies depending on how severe the injury is, whether it was the result of negligence, such as a speeding driver, a slippery floor or malfunctioning or poorly designed equipment; several other factors are taken into consideration.
Once the dust settles, a good attorney will be able to use general formulas, and from those determine what compensation you should seek. Some compensation is relatively easy to figure out, including the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, property damage and ongoing care. Other compensation, however, is more difficult, including how to calculate compensation for such variable and difficult-to-measure concepts as pain and suffering.
Let Guajardo & Marks Help
If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligence or misconduct of another individual or organization, contact Guajardo & Marks, LLP as soon as possible. Practicing out of offices in Dallas, Texas, the Guajardo & Marks firm has over two decades of experience in a variety of legal areas, especially with personal injury. They have both the knowledge and experience to represent you and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 972.774.9800 to set up a free consultation to evaluate the merits of your claim and decide on your best course of action.We charge no out-of-pocket expenses until and unless your claim is settled or won.
Types of Compensation
Compensation is generally awarded based on the damages an individual has suffered. The worse the damages, the more money is awarded, in an effort to make up for the loss. Additionally, extra money is awarded in some cases to punish an offender for especially heinous or negligent actions. There are two basic types of damages:
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are charged to a defendant both as a means of punishment and as a financial disincentive for other similar actions that may occur in the future; for example, if a company commits an act that is punished by punitive damages, this could dissuade other companies from repeating the same act for fear of financial loss.
- Compensatory Damages: This compensation is meant to help the victim reclaim what was lost, to allow the individual to recuperate and return as close to normal as possible. This sort of compensation may include money to cover loss of income or property, present and future medical treatment, including doctors’ and rehabilitation bills, emotional distress, and pain and suffering, as well as other things.
Pain and Suffering
Compensatory damages may include compensation for pain and suffering endured by the victim, whether physical or emotional. However, because each person is different, so too is their tolerance for pain and suffering. The website DMV.org defines pain and suffering in two categories: physical pain, including pain done physically to the body as the result of negligent actions, and emotional and psychological pain, which includes insomnia, fear, depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Compensation
While pain and suffering may differ from person to person, attorneys and insurers use certain methods to calculate a monetary value which would compensate the victim in the claim:
- Multiplier Method: Total medical bills from an injury are multiplied on a scale from one to five. For example, for a relatively minor injury, the bills may be multiplied by two, while for more serious injuries the bills may be multiplied by as many as five, depending on severity.
- Per Diem: This method uses a basic formula to account for daily pain and suffering, including how severe the pain is and what activities an individual may no longer participate in because of the injuries. The amount for each day is then multiplied by the number of days since the injury, and extends until an individual returns to their condition before the injury, or potentially with no end if it is pain and suffering associated with a permanent disability.
While an individual may file suit without the assistance of legal counsel, in cases in which the victim seeks compensation for pain and suffering, an experienced attorney is indispensable. A lawyer will know the nuances of the legal system, from such mundane tasks as how to file the claim to helping with more complex issues, including calculating loss. A good attorney will let you know your options and will help you obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
If you or someone you love has been injured and are seeking compensation for your losses, contact Guajardo & Marks as soon as possible. Practicing from offices in Dallas, the Guajardo & Marks team has more than 50 years of legal experience and has the knowledge and resources to help with your legal needs. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us at 972.774.9800.