In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
How Is Compensation For Personal Injury Calculated In New Hampshire?
In the state of New Hampshire, there is not a standard formula for calculating the monetary value of a personal injury compensation claim. Each injury claim is different from the next, and there are a number of different factors that a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer will take into account with how an insurance provider, who is usually the one paying an injured victim, will calculate a monetary value for a personal injury lawsuit.
How Liability Is Assessed
An experienced NH personal injury lawyer will assess the circumstances and facts surrounding an accident to determine who the at fault party is. If liability cannot be clearly established, then an injury claim’s value may be diminished by the culpability degree of the injured plaintiff or party. For example, if a motorist were driving recklessly, which contributed to the cause of the accident, then the defendant’s insurance provider can deduct the contributory fault percentage from the full value of the personal injury claim. A $50,000.00 injury claim with a 40% contributory fault could have its value reduced by as much as $20,000.00.
If more than one party contributed to the cause of an accident, then each party’s degree of fault will be apportioned.
NH Personal Injury Compensation Values
A New Hampshire personal injury claim’s value is considerably influenced by the extent and nature of a victim’s injuries. For example, if a victim receives a soft tissue injury to the neck or back, most insurance providers will classify this as a minor injury and only offer nuisance value or several thousand dollars in compensation. Alternately, they may question whether or not the victim suffered an injury at all.
Soft tissue damages or injuries, such as back or neck strains, often cannot be diagnosed through standard diagnostic tests, like MRIs or x-rays, and are often dependent upon the victim’s subjective complaints.
As a general rule of thumb, the more visible an injury is, the more monetary value will be appropriated to the claim. Torn ligaments, broken bones, disc injuries, scars, internal injuries, and brain damage can be independently verified through traditional diagnostic tests.
Furthermore, monetary compensation is awarded based upon the extent of a victim’s injuries. An injured herniated disc that causes problems for months or years without surgical intervention will be considered more valuable than a broken arm that heals within a few weeks. An injury that produces a disabling, permanent condition is an element that can significantly increase a claim’s value, especially if it prevents the victim from performing their job functions or going about their day to day activities.
Finally, an NH injury attorney must be able to prove that their client’s injury resulted directly from the accident.
Claim Damages In Personal Injury Lawsuits
The reasonable monetary value of one’s damages is an influential factor in determining the value of an NH personal injury claim. Special damages is the category that includes out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and other various medical expenses that are directly related to the accident. The nature of a victim’s medical cost is also influential in calculating value as well. Furthermore, a victim can be reasonably compensated for necessary and foreseeable medical costs and treatments, if a medical expert deems it necessary.
Other forms of special damages can include past and future loss of earnings and property damage. An injury which prevents a client from working for months on end can increase overall settlement or injury value when general damages are being analyzed. With regards to lost earnings, if an individual is prevented from returning to their pre-accident occupation and have lost their prior earning capacity, a forensic economist can provide expert testimony as to the value of the lost earnings.
When calculating a personal injury claim, general damages are often the singular most important factor in determining value. This element is generally referred to as “pain and suffering”, and it is primarily subjective to how value is calculated.
Several of the indicators used by personal injury attorneys and insurance firms, when it comes to calculating pain and suffering, include the following:
§ Loss of life enjoyment
§ Emotional suffering
§ Physical pain
§ Loss of consortium
There are certain forms of injuries that can considerably impact a victim’s quality of life. The more adversely a victim’s life has been affected, the more monetary value is placed upon this element of damages.
Other Influential Factors In Personal Injury Settlements
There are multiple other factors that can decrease or increase the value of a claim. A plaintiff who has a drug or alcohol addiction, multiple felony convictions, or a shady employment history will not be viewed as “presentable” as an upstanding mother of three or an individual who has worked for the same company for 25 years.
Another resource utilized by New Hampshire personal injury lawyers are various publications that list monetary compensation awarded by NH juries for physical and emotional injuries and factual scenarios that are similar to the type of claim being pursued.
Hire an Experienced NH Personal Injury Lawyer
An individual who has been injured in an accident must contact a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer. Sadly, a number of victims try to settle personal injury claims on their own. For minor injuries, this may be suitable, but even minor injuries can result in serious complications. Settling a claim too early will prevent a victim from pursuing any future compensation.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that victims who retain the services of a personal injury lawyer collect more net monetary compensation for their claims, even after legal fees have been deducted. Contact our law firm today to ensure that your legal and personal rights are protected.
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This site does not constitute legal advice. An attorney client relationship is formed only after an agreement is entered into between an Attorney of Liberty Legal and a client is reached. Past results do not guarantee future results.
Disclaimer: Some cases are referred to other law firms with consent of client.
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