Landover, MD Personal Injury Lawyer
Injuries happen to everyone at some point in their life. Most of the time, these injuries are a non-issue that will heal on their own. However, serious injuries require seriously intensive medical care for the unfortunate victim to recover as fully as possible. The medical bills for this sort of care can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that is not counting any costs for physical therapy or potential long-term professional care. On top of that, serious injuries can have a tremendous mental toll on victims. All of this can be a lot to deal with, and you may be wondering what your options are in such a situation.
Fortunately, our lawyers are here to help. We will focus on fighting the legal battles you need to get justice for your injuries so that you can focus all of your efforts on recovering from your injuries and living your life.
For a free case review, call (410) 694-7291 and talk to Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s personal injury lawyers.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is when someone who got injured takes the party responsible for their injuries to court to hold them liable under the law. Most personal injury lawsuits have the plaintiff alleging that the defendant was negligent. In law, the term “negligence” means the defendant was careless and injured the plaintiff. There are four parts or “elements” of negligence that our personal injury lawyers need to prove in order to have a successful case. They are duty, which means that the defendant had an obligation to act in a safe way around you; breach, meaning that the defendant did not uphold their obligation to you; causation, meaning that the defendant caused your injuries; and injury, meaning that you were actually injured.
If you are successful in your lawsuit, the defendant will need to pay you damages – the legal term for financial compensation for your injuries.
Damages in Landover, MD Personal Injury Lawsuits
Damages are how courts reward successful plaintiffs. Unlike in a criminal case, where the goal is to punish wrongdoers, the goal of a civil lawsuit is to place the plaintiff back to how they were before the events that brought forth the lawsuit transpired. Depending on the nature of the injuries, it may be impossible to literally put the plaintiff “back where they started,” so money damages are frequently used as an alternative.
When you set forth how much you want to ask for in damages in your personal injury lawsuit, it is good practice to break down your damages based on why you are requesting that amount. Some of the most common categories for damages in a personal injury lawsuit are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages have a relatively easy to determine value. That means things that have receipts, bills, or other evidence of their value. Common items enumerated in economic damages include the cost of medical bills from things like surgery and medication prescriptions, property damage, and the cost of long-term care.
Lost wages can also factor into economic damages. This can take a number of forms. For example, you could get damages based on what you would have earned from time not spent working when you were recovering from your injuries. You could also get economic damages based on your predicted future income if you can no longer work or if you had to take a less well-paying job based on the difference in pay between your prior and current position.
When compared to economic damages, non-economic damages are tougher to quantify. They cover things that do not have a quickly obtainable monetary value. Non-economic damages cover things like physical pain, mental anguish, and the general distress and discomfort that comes with dealing with personal injuries. In the event that you are filing a wrongful death claim, this could also include loss of companionship or consortium from a spouse or immediate family member.
Because it is hard to pin a value on something like physical pain or the joy of being able to do a certain activity, you and our lawyers will have to come up with a sensible amount to ask for in non-economic damages and convince the jury that your case is deserving of that amount.
Unlike economic or non-economic damages, punitive damages are not necessarily based on the extent of your injuries. Instead, punitive damages care about how the defendant acted. Punitive damages are meted out when defendants do things that are particularly bad. Generally, this requires that you prove something more than mere negligence on the part of the defendant, often requiring that you show that the defendant intentionally set out to hurt you with some form of malice. If you are going to ask for punitive damages, you need to do so in your initial complaint and have a compelling argument for doing so.
How Damages are Calculated in a Landover, MD Personal Injury Lawsuit
There is no set-in-stone way for attorneys to calculate damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are two main methods used.
The first method is called the multiplier method, where our lawyers simply take your economic damages and multiply them by a given factor to come up with your non-economic damages. This method is mostly used when your injuries are expected to be permanent. The other method is called the “per diem” method. Essentially, you and our lawyers come up with a “daily pain amount” for each day you deal with your injuries, the aggregate of which is your non-economic damages.
Have a Conversation with our Landover, MD Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s personal injury lawyers are ready to give free case reviews when you call us at (410) 694-7291.