Verifiable Economic Losses of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims
A personal injury lawyer brings a claim against a negligent driver, defendant, who caused an auto, motorcycle or trucking accident, on behalf of his client, plaintiff. The goals of the personal injury attorney are to make his or her client financially whole again, i.e. to recover plaintiff’s past and future monetary losses; to recover for non-economic losses; and in certain cases to assign punitive or exemplary damages to the defendant. This article, Part I will focus on claimant’s economic losses.
A motor vehicle accident can be a life-altering event. Keeping in mind that the Statute of Limitations in Indiana for filing a motor vehicle accident claim is two years, an experienced personal injury attorney may delay filing on his client’s behalf, to allow his client time to mend and make any necessary emotional adjustments, particularly in cases where their client has suffered catastrophic injuries. When the fog of this life-changing event has cleared and plaintiff’s injuries and prognosis become known, plaintiff’s attorney will begin the process of estimating past and future economic losses suffered by his or her client.
Compensatory damages for economic losses are objectively verifiable losses driven by the facts of the case. Plaintiff’s attorney might take some or all of the following economic losses under consideration:
- Past and future medical and rehabilitative expenses – These include all past and future medical expenses including hospital, doctors, prescriptions, medical devices, physical therapy and costs associated with rehabilitation;
- Past and future loss of earnings – This category encompasses client’s loss of wages during recovery. And in cases where plaintiff’s injuries will affect his or her ability to earn a living in the future, those earnings will also be calculated using an acceptable economic model that may take promotions, re-training, medical benefits, retirement plans, inflation, economic industry outlook and taxation variables into account—just to name a few;
- The costs of living with a disability – These may include medical devices, construction and transportation costs associated with adapting plaintiff’s environment for disability(ies) and domestic services;
- The cost of repairing or replacing property – vehicle and property damaged or lost as a result of defendant’s negligence; and
- Funeral and burial expenses – costs associated with a wrongful death claim.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney — someone who understands the future ramifications of your injuries and how they may affect your life going forward — before the statute of limitations runs. The law firm of Ward & Ward has over 80 years of combined experience in personal injury law. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free evaluation of your claim. Ward & Ward receives no legal fees or expenses unless we collect damages on your behalf. Our attorneys are available to speak with you.