If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s bound to come up sooner or later: what is your claim worth? After you’ve been living with the effects of an injury for any length of time, it’s hard to imagine being able to put a price tag on a good night’s sleep, or being able to stand at your sink and do your dishes without having to worry about a back spasm, but your personal injury lawyer’s job is ultimately to do just that.
It may come as no surprise that putting a valuation on a personal injury claim varies a huge amount from person to person, but whether it’s through settlement or litigation, the final number is far from a random figure plucked from thin air. Personal injury claims have developed through the court system over time, setting out clear ground rules for what is and is not compensable after you’ve been injured, and how to get to those final figures.
A simplified approach is to look at losses that can be quantified with a dollar figure, and those that can’t.
In the first category, we’re looking at what expenses you’ve had to incur that you wouldn’t have had to if you hadn’t been injured. Some of the common examples are lost wages if you had to take time off work or go on reduced hours, or out-of-pocket treatment expenses for physiotherapy or massage therapy. It’s one thing, when reviewing receipts and ledgers, to know how much an injury has cost you up to a particular point in time, but a personal injury claim is not only about what you have suffered, but what you are likely to suffer as well—that means part of your personal injury claim may include a future lost wage or future care cost component, to account for limitations you may have after the legal part of your claim has concluded.
Housekeeping capacity can also be a major part of your personal injury claim. As anyone who has been injured in an accident can attest, little things around the home that most people take for granted, like doing the laundry or shovelling the front steps, can become big obstacles when you’ve been injured. That reduced capacity is compensable.
The other side of the personal injury claim is what’s referred to as the non-pecuniary damages—the damages that cannot be as easily quantifiable, and are often referred to as pain and suffering. This is no easy task, but an experienced lawyer gets to know the real you, and looks at the actual ways in which an accident has affected your life. By comparing your situation to others that have gone before the courts, we are able to get you what you deserve.
The golden rule, when someone has been injured as a result of negligence, is that the responsible party is obligated to put the other person in the position they would have been in, but for the accident. A lawyer is not able to heal your injuries, but we are able to fight for the monetary compensation that, within the framework that exists in Newfoundland and Labrador law, brings you as close to that resolution as is possible. Our team of lawyers are well versed in the leading precedents from this province, and are not afraid to make it our fight.