For victims of personal injury accidents, the compensation from a settlement is crucial to adjusting to life after the event. If you have injuries from an accident that someone else caused, you may be eligible to recover a range of damages under Alabama law.
The first thing you will need to know is how compensatory damages are calculated in Alabama. With this information, you will have a better picture of the potential value of your case and what to expect during the claim-building process. At Morris Bart & Associates, LLC, our injury lawyers will help you understand what damages are available and what you need to do to include them in your claim or lawsuit.
Different Types of Compensatory Damages Are Calculated Differently
In Alabama, compensatory damages are all the compensation you receive if another person’s negligence causes you harm. These damages are intended to compensate you for your losses and differ from punitive damages, which are awarded as a punishment to the defendant for their wrongdoing.
Compensatory damages are divided into two distinct categories—economic and non-economic. They are designed to compensate you for different types of losses. Each category of compensatory damages is calculated differently based on what they compensate.
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Calculating Economic Damages Requires Verifiable Documentation
Economic damages provide compensation for all the verifiable, out-of-pocket losses you have resulting from the accident. The tangible nature of these losses makes calculating these damages a relatively straightforward process. Economic damages may include:
- Medical bills: calculated by totaling all your accident-related medical expenses, such as surgeries, specialist visits, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and costs for mobility aids
- Lost wages: calculated by using your actual rate of pay, usually on an hourly basis, and the work hours you missed because of your injuries to determine the total income you could not earn
- Property damage: calculated by compiling a list of property damaged during the accident and the fair market value for the item or the cost of repairs, such as in the case of car accidents
- Future lost income: calculated by using your income history and estimations of an appropriate loss period where you are expected to miss work because of your injuries
- Replacement services: calculated using invoices, bills, or receipts for the cost of any assistance, such as household services and childcare, that you may need because of the accident
The total combined amount of these losses makes up only one portion of the entire calculation of compensatory damages. Our personal injury lawyers will help you gather all the documentation you need to prove your economic damages.
Non-Economic Damages Can be More Complex to Calculate
Non-economic damages are often more complex to determine because they are based on subjective losses from the accident. These damages are not based on an exact, calculable dollar figure but rather all the ways you have experienced suffering because of the accident. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical discomfort
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional suffering, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or anxiety that you may have because of the accident
- Loss of companionship
A beneficial way to establish the basis for requesting non-economic damages is to keep a detailed record of how your injuries affect your daily life, the pain you may experience during recovery, and any other effects that result from your injuries. We may be able to help you devise a strategy for documenting and establishing the need for non-economic damages in your injury claim.
Factors to Consider When Calculating Compensatory Damages
Awards for Alabama compensatory damages will ultimately depend on the facts surrounding your accident. The damages you receive are unique to your specific losses because of the collision. As you determine your case’s value in your initial demand offer, you may want to evaluate which factors may affect your settlement amount. Different elements to consider include:
- The severity of your injuries: Your case value may be affected if the accident caused broken bones, joint damage, spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), nerve damage, scarring, or disfigurement.
- The duration of your injuries: Generally, injuries that take a long time to heal or are considered lifelong, like a brain injury, will lead to higher medical bills and a higher degree of suffering.
- How the injury impacts your life: Your case value may be affected by the degree to which you cannot live as you did before the accident.
- The intensity of the medical treatment required: Some medical treatment is more intensive and may lead to additional suffering.
- Liability for the accident: Your case’s value may be affected if there are questions surrounding your responsibility for the event.
Our Injury Lawyers at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC, will Help You Value Your Case
We help Alabama injury victims calculate the compensatory damages that may apply depending on the facts of their cases. Our legal team will work with you to evaluate your precise losses and compile an adequate settlement amount.
Call us at (334) 523-0664 to speak with a lawyer about how we can help with your case.
Questions?Call (334) 523-0664
to find a Morris Bart office near you.