How Much Money Can I Sue For
Generally, your personal injury case is calculated by adding up a number of different categories of “damages.” The term “damages” is a catch-all term the courts use to describe the total amount of money an injured person should be paid to compensate them for the injuries they have suffered. So, a rough method of calculating how much money your Utah personal injury case is worth would be to add up all the categories of damages below.
- Past and future medical expenses. For a serious injury, past and future medical expenses can easily reach into the millions of dollars. Consider surgeries, checkups, future surgeries, medications, whether in-home care will be required, etc. Because of the inherent difficulty in determining future medical needs and expenses, often an expert medical doctor will assist in this calculation.
- Lost Wages. Often the injured person has had to miss work due to their injuries; if this is the case, the amount of lost income can be recovered.
- Lost earning capacity. If the plaintiff loses certain skills or abilities due to their personal injury, and the injury prohibits them from continuing on in their line of work, or forces them to look for other employment that pays less, the plaintiff may be entitled to “lost earning capacity.” So, in short, the plaintiff must show that because of his injury he can’t earn as much money as he used to.
- Property Loss. This is typical in many different types of Utah personal injury cases, but especially in car accident cases where a plaintiff’s vehicle has been damaged. In addition to compensation for physical injuries, a plaintiff can receive compensation to repair or replace property that was damaged as a result of the same act that injured him.
- Pain and Suffering. Damages are available to plaintiffs for pain and suffering when the plaintiff shows that they have experienced pain and discomfort because of their injury. The amount of damages this is worth depends on the degree and scope of the pain and suffering—how severe it is, and if it occurred during the accident, shortly after, or if it is ongoing and may continue on throughout life (e.g. many back or neck injuries forever plague the injured person).
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life. These damages can be recovered when a plaintiff shows that because of her injury, she is unable to enjoy certain aspects of her life that she enjoyed prior to her injury, such as hobbies, exercising, playing with children, etc.
- Loss of Consortium. Loss of consortium damages refer to the impact the plaintiff’s injury has on their spouse (e.g. loss of companionship, loss of ability to engage in sexual intimacy).