The goal of an injury claim is to compensate you for all of your losses following an accident. Most losses can be broken down into two categories, economic losses and non-economic losses. Adding your economic losses and your non-economic losses will give you the total amount of compensation that you are entitled to following an accident.
Economic losses include medical bills, lost wages and other out of pocket expenses. In most cases your medical bills will be paid for by some form of insurance. However, any co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses and unreimbursed medical expenses that you incur are reimbursable through your law suit. Also, in some cases you may be required to reimburse your healthcare provider for medical expenses that they have incurred if you receive a settlement. In such cases that amount of money will be passed onto the defendant in the claim.
Also, many people have disability policies that pay them a portion of their salary following an incident. In a Long Island personal injury law suit you are entitled to receive your total lost wages from the defendant. The amount not paid by insurance will be added to your settlement.
Finally, your settlement may include future economic damages. For example, if you cannot return to work you, are entitled to life-long lost wages.
Non-economic losses include your pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other emotional injuries. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are more subjective. The way it is usually done is by comparing people that have suffered similar injuries and seeing what juries have awarded them at trial. However, if a settlement cannot be reached then that amount of money is decided by a jury. This can often lead to a wide discrepancy from case to case.
Also, like economic losses, non-economic losses can also be permanent. In such cases that will have to be accounted for in the jury’s verdict or in the settlement.
Finally, perhaps the most important factor in determining the amount of money that you are entitled to following an injury is the amount of insurance the responsible party has to satisfy any judgment you obtain. Therefore, for most accidents your recovery will be limited by the other party’s insurance. However, there are situations where you can make an additional claim against your own insurance carrier if the responsible party is underinsured.