It is common for the news or law firms to announce multi-million dollar settlements for victims injured or killed in truck accidents, fires or other human-made catastrophes. Some of these cases are worth more and more money. The common question for many is: What makes these settlements worth millions? Several factors go into determining if there are damages and the award.
Factors in a personal injury suit
Every case is different, but there are specific measures used in assessing the value of the victim’s injuries:
- The cost of medical treatment
- The ongoing expense of rehabilitation and care
- Lost wages from not working
- Repairs to a vehicle or other property
An attorney will collect receipts, bills and other documentation and then present it all as part of the case. The defense can try different tactics, but they cannot alter the costs of the above if there is documentation.
There are also many less easy to quantify factors that an attorney will also look at. These include:
- The severity of the injury
- The ongoing pain and suffering (also known as non-economic loss)
- The life-changing impact of the physical injuries
- The emotional distress or mental anguish
- The continuing economic impact years down the line
- Suffering by victims’ family members
Attorneys tailor their case
The attorney looks at many of the above factors as well as other things like the age of the victim – younger victims get more significant settlements because they will live with the injuries longer. He or she may also look at the circumstances of the negligent party and previous history that is related to the facts of the case. They will present their arguments to the judge and jury in the clearest and most persuasive manner possible. In short, a lot goes into determining the value of these cases.