New Hampshire Injury Lawyer: Valuing Damages in an Injury Case

Date:May 16, 2016

In personal injury cases, the term ‘damages’ refers to the amount of money that should be paid to an injured party (or plaintiff) who suffered harm due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional act of the defendant.  It is intended to make the plaintiff whole after the incident and put the plaintiff in the position they would have been if they had not been injured.

Valuing your personal injury case is an essential part of your injury claim.  It is often hard to put a dollar figure on an injury if it involves, for example, pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life – although these losses can be very significant.  Many injury victims consult with a New Hampshire injury lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC to discuss what their case is worth and how personal injury damages work.  Fortunately, personal injury damages can be categorized and simplified to give you a better understanding of the injury claims process and your real case value.  An experienced New Hampshire injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman can help in valuing your case so that you can make informed decisions about any settlement offers or court proceedings.

General and Special Damages

The two categories of losses in your personal injury case are general and special damages (often called non-economic and economic damages).

General damages are those damages which flow naturally from a claimant’s injury.  For example, if you were injured in a car crash, the defendant should be responsible for all injuries you sustained.  In addition, if you had a pre-existing injury which was worsened by the crash caused by the defendant, the defendant should be held responsible for those damages as well.

These are the types of general damages in a personal injury case.

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Physical disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Mental anguish or emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lowered quality of life

Computing general damages depends on the type of injury you have sustained and the nature and extent of your injuries.   What a jury will award and what you could be awarded in a settlement varies depending upon the facts of each case.  An experienced New Hampshire injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman can guide you through the damages valuation process and give you a realistic idea of what your case is worth.

Special damages refer to your actual out of pocket damages, such as medical bills or time off work, because of your injuries.  These are more readily quantifiable. Each personal injury case is different as to what type of special damages a personal injury claimant can claim, but these are the categories of special damages that you can expect in a personal injury case.

  • Repair and replacement of damaged property
  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Loss of irreplaceable items
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Any limitation on ability to work because of the accident or injury

It is important that you quantify these damages.  For example, if your car was totaled in a car crash and you had to take time off work to recover from your injuries, it would be important to have a verifiable value for your vehicle, your medical bills, and evidence of lost wages as evidence in your case.  The use of experts or documentary evidence is helpful in presenting your special damages.  A New Hampshire injury lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can advise you as to what is the best evidence to prove your claims.

When reviewing your personal injury claims, it is helpful and advisable to have an experienced New Hampshire injury lawyer assess the value of your case.  It will help you make informed decisions about your case and how to proceed.

 

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