“How much am I entitled to?” is a question we are often asked by accident victims pursuing compensation. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer: Compensation amounts for Personal Injury claims depend on a host of factors, mostly surrounding the extent of injuries and the degree to which they impact the life of the victim both now and in the future.
It’s safe to assume that an accident victim’s life will be impacted according to the severity of the injury. The more serious, the more their day-to-day life will be impacted.
This “impact” includes everything from the loss of past and future wages, to health care expenses incurred due to the injury, to a decrease in future earning capacity. The purpose of compensation is to account for these changes by ensuring the victim’s quality of life is roughly equal to that which they would have enjoyed had the accident never happened.
Common in motor vehicle accident cases are soft tissue injuries that affect the neck and back. Often these are referred to as “whiplash” injuries and compensation for these kinds of injuries vary according to the severity of the injury and their impact on the life of the individual victim. Though some of these claims are settled for as little as $5,000 if they are very minor in nature, more severe claims (i.e., a victim’s life is impacted over a period of years) can result in up to $100,000 or more in compensation, depending on the physical or psychological ramifications brought on by the accident. When we factor in any lost income (past or future), medical bills and care costs over the course of a lifetime, the appropriate compensation amount can be much higher.
Any accident victim seeking compensation for their injury should be aware that certain responsibilities will fall on their shoulders during the claim process. One very important one is record keeping. In order to obtain the appropriate level of compensation, the courts will need reliable proof of the extent of the injury from a trusted source. This means that each and every visit to the doctor or hospital for a treatment or check-up related to the injury must be documented and kept on file indefinitely. Medical assessments are one of the most effective ways of proving the severity of an injury and its impact on a victim’s life and livelihood. Keeping meticulous records of all medical visits is what allows the courts to chronicle the evolution of the injury and establish a medical narrative.
Soft issue claims make up the majority of accident injury compensation awarded in Newfoundland & Labrador. In 2018, the insurance industry attempted to respond to this by imposing a $5,000 cap on soft tissue injury claims. However, to protect our clients and the many accident victims in our province whose lives and livelihoods are ruined by careless drivers, Roebothan McKay Marshall fought the insurance companies and won. And while we can never guarantee a specific amount of compensation to a client for an injury, we can guarantee that their injury claim will not be capped at $5,000.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer at Roebothan McKay Marshall as soon as possible following the incident. It costs nothing to talk, so make the call.