How the Value of a Personal Injury Case is Calculated

July 29, 2022

The value of claims for injury and damage is based upon the evidence. Once all evidence has been collected and assessed, then the strength of a claim can be ascertained.

There are important things to keep in mind as the value of a claim is being determined. A claim for damages is the combination of the objective and the subjective.

It must be realized that the intent of Minnesota law is to not create a windfall for those who have suffered loss and damage resulting from an accident. Rather, the intent is to restore the claimant to their position before the accident. In other words, to make the person whole as if the accident had not occurred. This includes a person’s position today and in the future.

This blog will set out the practical approach to evaluating the evidence and bringing value to a claim.

The Pragmatic View

A person who has experienced loss and injury as a result of an accident is entitled to be compensated. It must be proven, however, that the injuries and the property damage were the direct result of the accident.

These are the factors your attorney will have in mind when your case is being evaluated.

Basic/Economic Damages

Economic damages are objective and easily proven. These damages are quantifiable by receipts for amounts paid out of pocket for vehicle repair and for medical treatment. Lost wages are economic damages and are recoverable.

In addition to lost wages, your attorney will determine how the accident will affect future employment and earning capacity. If the accident caused injuries that prohibit your performing the job position held prior to the accident, and an alternative position pays less, then the future lost wages are also recoverable.

These are a few examples of actual, objective losses resulting directly from an accident. The total value of the economic damages is the least amount of the claim’s worth.

Exceptional/Non-Economic Damages

This damage category is often the much more profound. These types of damages, can include: the loss of an eye or a limb, the death of a loved one, or having to live with incurable pain for the rest of one’s life.  Evaluating the value of such damages can require the expertise of an experienced trial lawyer.

Your attorney will be representing you and defending your position against the insurance companies and, perhaps, in court where a favorable ruling by the judge is necessary to win the damage award.

To establish the right to these kinds of exceptional/non-economic damages, requires the expertise of an attorney specializing in personal injury cases.

To determine the total value of a personal injury case is both factual and intuitive. However, the amount claimed for damages must be reasonable, defensible and specifically resultant from the accident.