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How Much are my Damages Worth in a Massachusetts Personal Injury Case?

A person who's sustained an injury through the fault of another party is generally entitled to several different types of damages. Those include lost wages, medical expenses, and for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of earning potential likely to occur in the future. All that makes logical sense. Basically what our legal system is attempting to do is to reimburse the injured party for the losses they have already and will incur as a result of the negligence. The typical issue in a personal injury case is that the insurance coverage is an adequate to reimburse the injured party, also known as making them whole. it is just as important to identify as many policies than other potential means of recovery as it is used to calculate damages in the first place. Here we'll spend a few minutes talking through the basics of personal injury damages from a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer.

We'll start with medical expenses. These are relatively easy to calculate. Every expense of the client is incurring is documented by the treating physicians, the hospitals, and any other medical provider. There are bills automatically created and if any third party pays all or portion of the bills, there's also an accounting created of that immediately upon payment. In those instances, I'm talking about either a private medical insurance provider or a government entity, such as Medicare. The payment of medical expenses related to a personal injury creates an automatic lien in the case of Medicare and creates a potential lien in case of private pay insurance. That said, medical expenses are pretty simple and straightforward. You are usually just pulling together all the medical bills, requested directly from medical providers, and compiling an accounting. There are potential issues when there are pre-existing conditions that are being treated simultaneously through the same medical providers. These issues are fairly easily overcome.

Lost wages are also fairly easy to calculate. Usually we are looking at the date of incident through the date the client returns to work. In many cases there is a clear stop and start time. That is, there is a date in which the incident occurs, there is a date, typically on or before that day, in which the client last worked, and then there is a date in which the injured party ultimately is rehabilitated to the extent he or she can return to work. For most people, a simple analysis of income before the accident and then after the injury provides a straightforward figure of what the lost wages ultimately are. Obviously, that's easiest when the party with the injury has been working 40 hours a week, or another number of hours per week, and it's the same amount of hours per week every week for an extensive period of time prior to the accident. If that's the case, we can easily see what the injured party's lost wage damages from the day they go out of work through the date they return. Even clients with injuries return to work on a part-time basis due to a resulting work restriction, we can still pretty easily do the math and figure out the difference. Cases get more complicated on the issue of lost wages when the individual is either self-employed or work sporadic hours. In those cases, we would want to find consistency, either on a month-to-month, or seasonal basis. Basically, we are trying to establish our evidence supporting our case for our client's lost wages.

Pain and suffering is one of the more complicated areas of damage assessment in a personal injury case. I first explain the problem and I'll then explain the methodology that most go about in trying to establish a number value for damages on the issue of pain-and-suffering. Okay so first the problem. Pain is subjective. You may feel the pain from your injury is worth one number, but a jury of your peers may feel it's another number. Those numbers may be very far apart. You may feel you should be paid $1000 a day to endure the pain that you are currently in. The jury may feel you should be entitled to $50 a day to endure such pain. The jury will never feel your physical pain. There is no way for you to adequately and effectively express to the jury what your level of pain is. If you have established your credibility in your litigation, you may be able to more effectively communicate and accurate level of pain to the jury. If you failed to establish credibility, the jury may feel you're exaggerating your pain for the purpose of getting more damage money.

Remember, if litigation is an adversarial process. While the will be arguing that your pain and suffering damages are as accurate as possible, opposing counsel will be trying to poke holes in your argument. Opposing counsel to try to establish that you clearly are in as much pain as you claim to be otherwise you wouldn't be doing X, Y, or Z. It is important, for this reason, to consult with a personal injury attorney early on in your case, preferably soon after the accident occurs and before you speak with an insurance adjustor. If you were to retain our firm, we counsel you on, not only the steps you will take to preserve your legal case, but also and how the jury will likely perceive your actions and later date. Our goal is to get you all the money for pain and suffering to which you are entitled. Because we work on a contingent basis, we have a personal interest and getting this figure as high as possible. the technical approach to likely taken your case, as we do in most cases, is to establish a per diem or per week figure associated with the pain you have been in, and then applying that to the duration of time in which you been in pain. It's a mechanical approach and tends to work well. Remember, although we are based in Boston-based personal injury lawyers, we handle cases across the state and come to you as needed. If you live in Billerica, for instance, consider us Somerville personal injury lawyers.

Aside from establishing pain-and-suffering, establishing future damages is of the most difficult processes. Essentially what we're asking the jury to do is to believe our experts, particularly if in their opinion, you will be in pain and either out of work or at a reduced work ability for some time into the future. This is often times the most adversarial and contentious component of argument in a personal injury jury trial. Defense counsel will focus on limiting this type of damage. That is because whatever figure is assessed is going to be multiplied for extended period of time, potentially through the point of the plaintiff's life expectancy. Each side of the litigation generally argues this point extensively. When we are able, we take the time to allow our client's medical recovery to conclude. If a client can completely recover before you bring our action, it is much easier figure out what the ultimate damages are going to be. There is no need for speculation or expert opinion as to future pain-and-suffering damages such damages have concluded. However, we often have clients who are so severely injured that they will either be treating was a medical provider and attempting to continue to recover four years into the future, or they will simply never fully recover. In those instances, will need an expert opinion to testify as to future damages. The same goes for future lost wages.

I hope from reading through this discussion of damages you've developed a sense of what goes into actually calculating damages which result from a personal injury matter. Sometimes the damages are straightforward and other types are difficult to ascertain, even years into the case. Is obviously important you have a personal injury attorney was experienced in dealing with these types of cases so that you avoid your attorney making a mistake and erroneously resolve in your case for much less than it is actually work.

We are happy to discuss your case with you today. Just call her office and schedule can attorney consultative and case assessment. It's free and confidential. I hope you will let us help you and either way, best of luck.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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