Mother Receives Compensation for Her Injuries - $300,000 Settlement
While her car was properly parked on the side of the road in a Chicago suburb, our client stood in front of her car trying to jump the battery while her three children sat inside. Then seemingly out of nowhere and traveling at a high rate of speed another car smashed into their car propelling it into her legs while she was standing in front. Her children sustained minor injuries, but the mother was severely injured, especially to her legs. Surgeries and extensive therapy were necessary at great financial cost as she struggled to recover from this accident. On behalf of her and the children, a lawsuit was filed demanding reasonable compensation for the injuries. Although the insurance company at first refused to offer a fair settlement, our attorneys ultimately prevailed and secured a settlement in the amount of $300,000.
Determining Liability in an Injury Case
In any type of personal injury case, including an accident involving a car crash, your attorney will first need to establish two important matters in order to obtain a successful result. The first is always referred to as “liability”, which basically refers to who was at fault. At the very least, you will need to establish that the other party was more at fault than you were.
Most states subscribe to a legal standard called “comparative fault”, which basically means that any money awarded may be reduced to the degree that you were also at fault. So, the less (if at all) that you contributed to the accident, the greater the monetary compensation. Some states subscribe to a standard called “contributory negligence”, which may eliminate the award entirely if you are deemed even partially at fault.
In either event, if you are able to establish that you are entitled to be compensated by the other party, or their insurance company, then the next question is of equal importance. That question is, how does one now calculate how much is fair to compensate the victim or victim’s family for the injury or death that occurred?
Calculating Damages in an Injury Case
If a person’s property (such as a car) is damaged, it’s easy to calculate damages. One can simply have a few car repair shops examine the auto and quote a fee for repair. But what about the human body and human mind? How can anyone ever truly determine the monetary value of a serious injury, let alone a wrongful death? The answer of course, is that you can’t.
But when someone is responsible for injury to another through their negligent or reckless actions, although money can never truly compensate another for the loss of health or life, this is the closest way that the law can try to make matters whole. Some of the factors that are used by a court or jury to help determine what a fair dollar figure should be include:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Photographic evidence of the injury and/or accident
- Funeral expenses (relating to a wrongful death)
- Cost of medications
- Lost educational opportunities
- Cost of investigation and expert witnesses
- Degree of pain and suffering
- Emotional disorders such as PTSD
- Inability to care for oneself or perform household duties
- Loss of consortium (inability to be sexually intimate)
- Cost of hiring outside help to perform chores due to disability
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Inability to work, or changes to future earning potential
- Time lost from work for doctor or therapy appointments
- Loss of enjoyment of life