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   Jeremy E. Martinez 

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DAMAGES CHECKLIST AND CALCULATOR FOR
PERSONAL INJURY CASES


The purpose of this damages checklist and calculator is to assist you in identifying and totaling your alleged damages. Unfortunately, many litigants are especially prone to not understanding their damages. Some litigants that are looking for huge monetary settlements wind up losing money because they can’t substantiate or prove their damages. Others “walk away” from attractive settlements because they just don’t like the adversarial and confrontational nature of litigation.

Using this checklist and calculator will help you get headed in the right direction with respect to understanding the "basic sum and substance" of the damages you may be able to claim and be awarded.

For the purposes here, "damages" refers to the monetary compensation provided to a person who has suffered a loss from personal injury and/or property due to the unlawful act or acts of another person. Ultimately, damages usually fall into one of three categories:
  1. compensatory or "special" damages,
  2. general damages, and
  3. punitive damages
Compensatory (Economic) Damages
In a personal injury case, compensatory (or economic) damages are the losses suffered, for injuries suffered that equate to a monetary value that a judge or jury can determine. Compensatory damages are intended to cover the actual amount of your injury or loss to provide the monetary amount necessary to replace what was lost and nothing more.

General (Non-Economic) Damages
General (or non-economic) damages are additional damages that can be awarded in addition to compensatory (economic) damages where there is no exact dollar value which can be calculated. General damages, therefore, include estimates of loss not involving actual monetary expenditure such as: Physical Pain and Suffering, Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish, Physical Disfigurement, Physical Impairment, Lowered Quality of Life, Loss of Consortium, Inconvenience, Loss of Enjoyment of Life, etc.

Punitive Damages
Punitive damages might be awarded in addition to compensatory and general damages. If allowed, the plaintiff may be eligible for punitive damages which are intended to punish the defendant’s behavior. However, please note that punitive damages are not allowed in some jurisdictions or in some types of cases.


Settlement Estimate Calculator

  Enter the following dollar amounts:


 

TOTAL CURRENT MEDICAL EXPENSES
Hospital bills, Doctor Bills, Medical Treatments, Rehabilitation, Physical therapy, Ambulance Expenses, Prescription Drugs, Medicines, Nursing Care, Domestic Help and Services, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies


   
 

TOTAL FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES
Hospital bills, Doctor Bills, Medical Treatments, Rehabilitation, Physical therapy, Ambulance Expenses, Prescription Drugs, Medicines, Nursing Care, Domestic Help and Services, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies


   
 

TOTAL CURRENT PROPERTY DAMAGES
This is usually vehicle damage in an auto accident case. Leave at "zero" in most other types of cases.


   
 

TOTAL CURRENT LOST WAGES AND INCOME
This is missed work due to your injuries plus any time-off benefits or allowances that you used.


   
 

TOTAL FUTURE LOST WAGES AND INCOME
This is the value of all future work that you will be unable to perform due to your injuries plus the value of your lost future earning capacity, if any.


   
 

MULTIPLIER
Enter a “multiplier” between 1.5 and 5.0 ( Your “multiplier” is your subjective judgment as to how much you think your actual compensatory damages (given the facts and circumstances of your case) should be multiplied by in order to arrive at a reasonable amount for general damages in addition to the amount of compensatory damages. In other words, since general damages flow from the defendant's wrongful action, there is a clear “cause and effect” between the defendant's behavior and the plaintiff's injury. Your multiplier creates the degree to which your case deserves general damages, typically based on the amount of your total medical expenses multiplied by anywhere from 1.5 to 5, in addition to your actual, total compensatory damages. Obviously, the multiplier is a crucial number that will be negotiated in the course of settling the case.


   
       

 

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