Unexpected and preventable accidents injure thousands of people throughout the state of Indiana each year. These incidents can take a variety of forms, including car accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, farm accidents, medical malpractice, accidents involving defective products, dangerous drugs, and others.
Regardless of the way in which an injury-causing accident occurs, when victims can show that their accident was the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, they are generally entitled to compensation under Indiana law. Notably, however, under Indiana’s contributory negligence law, their recovery can be reduced in proportion to their fault for the incident. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 20 percent at fault, he or she would only receive 80 percent of his or her award.
The first question that many accident victims ask us is how much compensation they will be able to recover. This should come as no surprise, as many injury victims incur significant medical expenses, lose income from being unable to work, and experience substantial physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Because every personal injury case is different, it is impossible to talk about an “average” case. In some instances, victims may have sustained a few thousand dollars in expenses while, in others, victims are legally entitled to millions of dollars. Some of the factors that affect the amount that a person can recover include the severity of their injuries, their income, their age, the prognosis, and whether he or she was partially at fault for the accident. In addition, in certain cases, a plaintiff may be able to pursue punitive damages, which can significantly increase the amount of compensation they receive.
Here are some of the specific losses that are often recovered in Indiana personal injury cases.
In many personal injury cases, medical expenses make up the bulk of any settlement or award that victims recover. Medical treatment can be extremely expensive, and it is not uncommon for victims who have been hospitalized or undergone surgery to have medical bills well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
New rules for personal injury claims include a revision to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services diagnostic coding in 2015, which added thousands of more specific codes that help attorneys identify accident-related treatment and dispute unrelated charges.
It is important to keep in mind that certain injuries can require ongoing treatment or result in disabilities that may affect victims for years or even decades. For example, individuals who have sustained severe traumatic brain injuries may develop cognitive or physical disabilities that keep them from living independently. For this reason, it is important for victims to pursue future medical expenses in addition to the bills they have already incurred. In many cases, establishing these kinds of damages requires the use of expert analysis and testimony.
Many personal injury victims are prevented from working for a significant period of time as a result of their injuries. Just as with medical expenses, victims are able to recover for future lost income if they are unable to return to work or are required to work in a diminished capacity.
It is important to keep in mind that determining future lost income may not be as simple as multiplying a victim’s income from the number of months or years he or she will be out of work. It is often necessary to determine how much a person would have made over the course of his or her career had it not been for the injury, which often involves accounting for career advancement and annual salary growth.
For this reason, victims should always speak to an attorney when seeking damages for future lost earnings.
Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are compensable losses under Indiana law. These kinds of damages can be difficult to establish due to their subjective nature, especially when a victim’s injuries are not visible or apparent, as is the case with emotional injuries or physical injuries like whiplash. As a result, it is critical for accident victims seeking damages for pain and suffering to retain an attorney familiar with representing injury victims in Indiana personal injury cases.
If you’ve been in a car accident, we have additional information on filing a claim, how a claim is calculated, when a claim is denied, how mediation works and what to expect in court.
Many injury-causing accidents result in significant property damage. For example, people who are involved in car, truck, or motorcycle accidents may face tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and may even result in a totaled vehicle. Similarly, defective product cases involving appliances or household furnishings can result in significant damage to a person’s home or personal property.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by someone else, you should have an attorney review your case immediately. An attorney will be able to evaluate your case, determine whether you have a claim and how much compensation you can expect to recover. Our results include settlements or verdicts of $4 million in a truck accident case with severe injury, $960,000 in a birth injury case, and $1.6 million in a motorcycle fatality case.
To schedule a free consultation with an Indiana personal injury lawyer, contact us today.