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How do you determine what a personal injury claim is worth?

If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, it's only natural to wonder what your lawsuit may be worth. Financial concerns are often a big worry for those who have been watching the bills pile up ever since their accident.

While your attorney is going to be your ultimate guide when it comes to placing a value on your personal injury case, the compensation you receive is largely determined by your injuries. Permanent injuries are compensated more heavily than temporary ones, and severe injuries are compensated more heavily than mild ones.

In general, you can expect to discuss certain specific issues with your attorney before you determine how much compensation you'll request from the negligent party:

1. What permanent injuries did you suffer? If your back was strained or sprained, you may take a long while to heal and be functional again -- but that still doesn't compare to the permanent problems that you may have if you broke several vertebrae in the accident. Similarly, permanent disfigurement or scarring of your face, hands or body -- including surgical scars -- can entitle you to significant compensation.

2. What verifiable economic damages have you endured? Economic damages are any cost associated with your injury. That includes things like lost wages, a missed promotion, damage to your car or other property in the accident, your medical bills and therapy bills.

3. What economic losses do you expect in the future? This can be a little harder to determine, but it's an important consideration, especially if you aren't able to return to your previous job at the same number of hours you used to work due to your injuries.

4. What other areas of your life are affected? This is the part of an injury claim that is often the most highly disputed because it includes "soft" losses -- things that are subjective and different for everyone. For example, pain and suffering are important considerations but hard to assign a value in dollars and cents. Similarly, if you don't enjoy your life as much as you once did because your injury is limiting or left you in chronic pain, that's also something that should be part of your claim -- but probably something you can expect the other side to dispute.

For more information on how much your personal injury claim might be worth, talk to an attorney today.

Source: FindLaw, "Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries," accessed May 05, 2017

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