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The answer comes down to damages and figuring out what your injuries have cost you physically, monetarily, and mentally (and in some cases, whether the defendant's conduct should be punished). Most insurance companies and injury attorneys rely on a formula to get a starting point for settlement talks.
One common formula employs a multiplier and your medical expenses in order to come up with an estimate of non-economic damages. However, this rule of thumb is rarely followed by juries and a more in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, particularly with respect to liability and your damages claims, is necessary in order to come up with a more reliable estimate of you non-economic damages.
Money damages are paid to the injured person by the person or company who is found to be legally responsible for the accident. A damage award can be agreed upon after a negotiated settlement or may be ordered by a judge or jury following a civil trial. Most damages are classified as "compensatory," meaning that they are intended to compensate the victim for what was lost as a result of an accident or injury.
When the defendant's conduct is deemed outrageously careless, the victim may be awarded punitive damages on top of any compensatory damages award. In some cases, an injured person's role in causing an accident or their inaction after being injured can diminish the amount of damages that will be awarded in a personal injury case.
For quality legal representation, please contact our personal injury attorneys of Sacramento & Elk Grove-based O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm by calling 1-800-722-4176 or send us an email and someone from our office will be in touch with you shortly.
DISCLAIMER: This article is not a substitute for legal advice and in no way constitutes legal advice or gives rise to an attorney-client relationship. Adequate counsel is fact-dependent and requires independent analysis and inquiry specific to your situation and circumstances. This article is simply meant as a guide to explain in general and brief terms certain issues and serves to provide general information. Contact O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm at 916-714-8200 if you require legal help or wish to seek legal advice for your specific legal issue(s).