As a victim of an accident in Iowa or elsewhere, you may wonder how much your case is worth. The insurance company will say one thing, your lawyer another. You may agree with neither assessment.
Final judgments will come from negotiation, settlement, judge or jury. What anyone can prove will impact decisions. Here’s a review of what factors can affect an injury claim’s awards.
Compensatory damages are monetary awards provided to plaintiffs. These awards are compensation for the cause of injury that affected a plaintiff’s lifestyle.
There are types of damages taken into account in personal injury cases:
Loss of income: If you lost or will lose salary or wages as a result of an injury, a plaintiff could receive compensation based on “loss of earning capacity.”
Medical treatment: Lawsuit decisions often include medical expenses for treating an injury. There’s reimbursement for the already received treatment and possible compensation for future medical care.
Property loss: Any repairs or loss of property included in awards is an assessment based on fair market value. Pain or discomfort suffered during and after the incident is likely to end up as a matter of compensation.
Determination of punitive damages is based on the defendant’s actions. If the actions behind an injury appear outrageous, irresponsible or egregious, the defendant could pay a hefty penalty.
These things might impact punitive damages:
Mitigating damages: Plaintiffs have to provide evidence they took the necessary steps to manage the financial impact of their injury.
Comparative negligence: Most states will adhere to standards linking damage to a degree of fault.
Contributory negligence: If determined a plaintiff played any part in the incident that caused the injury, a final decision could involve reduced or no compensation at all.
One key factor for filing a personal injury claim is to know the statute of limitations. According to section 614.1 of the Iowa Code, a plaintiff has two years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you suffer an injury on the job or in an accident, it’s important to perform your due diligence and know your rights.