A Short Guide to Personal Injury Damages

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The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits in the United States — between 95% and 96% of them — are settled before the case even goes to trial. This is usually accomplished by the liable party and his or her liability insurer offering a monetary sum to the injured person. In cases that do go to trial, half of plaintiffs win and are usually offered a settlement to compensate for damages incurred by the injury.

What are personal injury damages?
Simply put, personal injury damages pay back losses to the injured or the plaintiff. This can include a number of different things caused by the injury. The highest median personal injury damages in personal injury cases is medical malpractice, at an average of $600,000. The second highest median damage award average is just half that — at $300,000 for product liability cases.

How are they calculated?
Damages are calculated according to the monetary, physical, and mental losses suffered in the injury and those caused by it thereafter. These include things like loss of ability to work in the future (or perform in the same way), loss of wages during the time of the injury and in recovery, medical expenses that the injured and his or her insurance company had to pay for the injury, and pain and suffering.

What is pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering in personal injury cases can be sort of tricky since it’s difficult to put a number or dollar amount on something as abstract and subjective as physical and mental pain and suffering. What usually happens is the total amount of the other damages is multiplied by what is referred to as a multiplier. The multiplier is usually between one and a half and four.

Do you have any other questions about damages in personal injury cases or how pain and suffering works? Feel free to ask us in the comments. Visit here for more information.

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