After an accident, it is important to file a claim to get compensation for the injuries you faced. However, calculating how much this claim should be worth is complex and often requires the help of a lawyer. Whether you are filing a car insurance claim specifically or any other personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit, you should work with a lawyer.
Our injury attorneys begin calculating damages for a bodily injury claim by looking at all of the medical expenses you faced. We will also look for other bills, financial statements, and pay stubs to indicate what other costs you faced and income you lost because of the injury. Then, we will seek to calculate pain and suffering and other “non-economic” damages.
For a free review of your potential injury case, call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357 to speak with our Tennessee personal injury attorneys.
Calculating Medical Expenses for a Bodily Injury Claim in Tennessee
The first major part of any claim for physical injuries is going to be the damages for the medical care itself. If you faced any medical treatment for an injury from a car crash or another accident, you should be entitled to have the at-fault party pay you for the cost of treating the injuries.
When you receive medical treatment, you will usually be billed personally for the services. It is then up to you to get compensation for those injuries through an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault parties. These bills and statements often provide sufficient proof of how much these damages are worth, and our Knoxville personal injury lawyers can present these bills as evidence to prove your damages.
It is important to understand that a wide range of bills can actually be claimed as part of your medical expenses in a bodily injury claim. You might primarily think of “medical bills” as bills for hospital stays, surgeries, and follow-ups with your doctor. However, you should also be able to include any bills for the following:
- Ambulance rides
- EMT care
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Home nursing care
- Mental health care
- Medications to treat the injuries and pain
- Mobility aids (e.g., wheelchairs and crutches)
If your bodily injury claim is being filed through car insurance, the insurance policy might place caps on how much will ultimately be paid, so speak with a lawyer about how this could affect your bodily injury claim.
Calculating Other Economic Damages for Bodily Injury Claims in Tennessee
Other so-called “economic damages” should also be included as part of your claim. This most commonly involves lost wages, which are frequently paid through insurance claims. However, other damages can also be claimed in many cases.
As with medical expenses, insurance policies might have limits that make claiming full damages in an auto accident difficult. Work with a lawyer to make sure your case is set up to access as much compensation as might be available.
Lost wages are usually calculated by looking at your previous pay stubs and records to see how much you get paid (usually on a weekly basis). Then that overall pay rate is multiplied by the amount of work you missed and totaled up.
Some workers do not work regular hours, which might make this calculation harder. In many cases where you are a business owner, there may be other ways of calculating the losses that resulted from you not being able to be there and manage your business.
If you are still able to work to a limited extent, you can instead calculate lost wages by subtracting your current wages from your pre-injury wages. The difference between these two will be what you can claim from the at-fault party. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers can also help you calculate ongoing lost earnings as part of your claim if you faced long-term disabilities or injuries.
Some insurance policies might pay only a portion of these wages, so make sure to work with an attorney to maximize the damages you are claiming in your particular case.
Other Economic Damages
Other financial harms often result from accidents. If your injury makes it hard to perform tasks around the house, you could need to hire services for cleaning or laundry, for example. Other tasks, such as childcare, might also be hard to perform, and you may need to use daycare or nanny services while you recover from your injuries.
Any costs like these could potentially be included in your claim for damages as well, so long as they are actually caused by the injury. Our lawyers can research your situation and determine what, if any, other economic damages should be claimed.
Often, the values of these damages are based on the cost of replacement services. For example, it might not be simple to assign a price tag on how much it’s worth for you to do your own laundry or watch your own children, but the costs of replacement services for laundry and a nanny are easily calculated. Talk to our attorneys about what evidence is needed to prove these damages as part of your claim.
Pain and Suffering Damages for Bodily Injury Claims in Tennessee
Calculating pain and suffering is not nearly as straightforward as calculating economic damages. With these “non-economic” damages, there are no bills, pay stubs, financial statements, or receipts that tell you how much an injury is worth. Instead, the damages are based on how much the injuries affect your life and your enjoyment.
Damages for pain and suffering are typically calculated in two ways. One option is to assign a multiplier to your case and then multiply the rest of your damages by that value to calculate the pain and suffering damages. Alternatively, a per diem value is assigned to your pain and suffering and then multiplied by the number of days you experienced pain and suffering. Both systems have benefits and drawbacks, but our Murfreesboro personal injury lawyers can always seek to adjust the total to more fairly represent how much your case is worth.
Tennessee law also caps non-economic damages at $750,000 for most injury cases. If your case involves “catastrophic loss or injury” – typically involving paralysis, loss of limb, substantial burns, or death of a parent – then the cap is raised to $1 million. These caps do not place limits on medical damages, lost wages, or other economic damages – just non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Call Our Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers Today
For a free review of your injury case, call our Chattanooga personal injury lawyers today at Howe Law. Our number is (844) 876-4357.