Jill Kolodner | November 26, 2022 | Car Accidents
Being injured in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. Not only do you have to deal with the physical and emotional pain of the injuries, but you also have to worry about how you will pay for the mounting medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, if you were injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Types of Compensation Available in a Baltimore Car Accident Claim
There are a few different types of damages that can be sought in a personal injury claim in Baltimore, MD, including the following:
Economic damages are intended to compensate an injury victim for the financial losses they have suffered as a result of the accident. This could include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, and any other quantifiable financial losses that are incurred as a result of the accident.
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate an injury victim for other losses they have suffered as a result of the accident, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are more subjective than economic damages and can be more challenging to quantify.
Punitive damages are not awarded as frequently as economic or non-economic damages because they require a showing of malice on the part of the defendant. Punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party and deter future negligent behavior.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, one of the first things your Baltimore car accident lawyer will do is try to determine the value of your case. This includes calculating non-economic damages.
Per Diem Method
One common method for calculating pain and suffering damages is the per diem method. This method uses a daily rate to determine the total amount of damages. For example, if the daily rate is $100 and the victim suffers for 30 days, the total damages would be $3,000. This method is often used in personal injury cases, as it can help to simplify the calculations.
When calculating the per diem rate, some insurance adjusters use actual daily earnings when choosing the number, but the extent of the injury should be taken into account as well.
Another method that attorneys and insurance adjusters often use is the multiplier method. This involves taking the total amount of economic damages (hospital bills, lost wages, etc.) and multiplying it by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of the injuries, with 1.5 being the least severe and 5 being the most severe.
For example, if the total economic damages were $10,000 and the multiplier was 3 due to moderate injuries, the pain and suffering damages would be $30,000. While this method is not perfect, it can help arrive at a fair estimate of pain and suffering damages.
Factors That Can Affect Your Baltimore Car Accident Settlement
Regarding car accident settlements, several factors can affect the final value.
Severity of Injuries
One of the most important factors is the severity of the injuries sustained. In general, the more serious the injuries, the higher the settlement will be. This is because medical expenses and lost wages tend to increase with more severe injuries.
Fault – Pure Contributory Negligence
Another factor that can affect the value of a settlement is fault. If fault is clear, then the other party that caused the accident will likely be willing to pay more to settle the case. However, if it is less clear, it may be more difficult to reach a settlement.
In the state of Maryland, if you are found to be even partially at fault for an accident, you will be barred from receiving any compensation for your damages. This is known as pure contributory negligence, and it can result in very unfair outcomes.
For example, if you were rear-ended by another driver but were going slightly under the speed limit, you could be found to be 5% at fault. Even though the other driver was 95% at fault, you would be prevented from recovering any damages. This can leave accident victims with significant medical bills and no way to pay them.
Contact a Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Car Accident Claim
Ultimately, the best way to determine the value of your case is to consult an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney who can evaluate all the relevant factors and provide you with a realistic assessment of what you can expect to recover. Contact an attorney today to schedule a free consultation.