What Damages Will A Jury Consider In My Personal Injury Case?
I wanted to talk about damages in your personal injury case or your auto accident. We get a lot of people that will come into the office and talk to us about their cases, and how they’ve been hurt.
They talk all the time about, “I don’t want to sue the other person,” or “I don’t think that I want to go after their money or the things that they’ve worked for.” But the reality is that there are a bunch of different ways that people are actually suffering after they’ve been injured in an auto accident. You suffer both financially because you maybe have to pay for treatment or care that you’re getting. You also suffer because you’re out of your vehicle for a while due to your property damage.
You also suffer big for things such as what we call non-economic damages. In the state of Colorado, we have specific jury instructions that actually walk us through what those types of damages are and what you can ask for a talk about within your personal injury case. I want to talk about that for a minute. I will walk through that with you so that you have a clearer understanding as you’re going forward and your personal injury case, on what kind of damages you can actually ask for if you’ve been injured to no fault of your own. So let’s take a look at those here for you.
The jury instructions. These are a segment of the jury instructions that talk about personal injuries for adults. And then, the jury, in determining such damages, has to consider the following types of damages. The first one is going to be any non-economic losses or injuries that the plaintiff (which would be the injured party here) had to the present time or which the plaintiff will probably have in the future, including physical and mental pain and suffering. So pain and suffering. So the question is, did this emotionally hurt you? Did you have anxiety? After driving? Did you have to go see a therapist? Did you have issues after the case that you didn’t have before the accident?
Also, to any sort of inconvenience, a lot of times, people are put out quite a bit because they have to go get a rental car or they cannot. I always use the example of somebody that might have been in a bowling league prior to the accident, but then their shoulder was injured during the accident. Then while they were getting treatment, they actually couldn’t participate in the league. So they had an inconvenience their job emotional stress. Is it hard for you to sleep? Are you having nightmares about the accident? Things like that.
And then there is impairment of the quality of life. We’ve had clients in the past who were able to do landscaping quite a bit on their own. After the accident, they had a lot of difficulties doing the hobbies that they could do prior to the accident that they can’t do now going forward. So non-economic damages really have a factor here. So it’s important after you are injured in the accident, to jot down and think about those things that you couldn’t, that you could do before the accident, that you can’t do now. Maybe you can do them, but you can’t do them as well because you’re having discomfort or pain, things like that. So really pay attention to those non-economic damages, and keep a journal or a log as you’re going through your case.
And I think it’s really helpful to mark those.
The next one is economic data losses or injuries, which are going to be things like lost wages, the loss of earnings, and any sort of medical or hospital bills or expenses. Those seem a little bit more straightforward, right? So if you had lost wages or lost earnings, or if you had to use PTO, or sick days or personal time at work, keep track of that time but then also keep your pay stubs readily available so you can present that whenever you’re presenting your demand at the end of the case. Additionally, make sure that your billings are correct for your medical, your hospital bills, anything that you had to go get treatment for your chiropractor, your physical therapists, and things like that.
And then lastly, is there going to be any sort of physical impairment or disfigurement, where are you so injured that you are actually scarred? If you were, you want to make sure that you have photos of that and that you present that as well in your demand letter, added to any sort of physical impairment question. Are you different now than you were prior to the accident? Did the accident cause a physical impairment to you? And if it did, that is actually damage that you can talk about and try to get compensation for.
So again, just to recap, the types of damages are going to be non-economic damages, economic damages, and then also physical impairment or disfigurement, per the Colorado jury instructions. I wanted to throw this out there because I think that, ultimately, I can help everyone make a succinct and clear argument in their demand letters if they’ve been injured in an accident to no fault of their own.
Make sure, too, that after you’re injured, you keep a journal and a log of any of those non-economic damages. But also make sure then too, that you’re tracking your billing. Keep track of your lost wages or time missed at work. All of that is important because it’ll help you make a better solid case whenever you go to present it and try to negotiate. Hope everybody has a great day, and we will talk to y’all later. Bye!
Don’t wait to get in touch with a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney if you’ve been hurt in a car accident. Get the legal assistance you need right away to ensure that you receive the settlement you are entitled to, as there are stringent deadlines for submitting injury claims. You may contact us right away for additional information or visit our website for more details.
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- Five Signs of Bad Faith Insurance Practices
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