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Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC
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How Much Is My Accident and Injury Claim Worth?

As a California personal injury attorney, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is “How Much is My Accident Claim Worth?” This is never a question that can be answered at the outset of the case because it depends upon a lot of things including what the final diagnosis and/or prognosis is for the injured party and what the final costs of medical expenses (including reasonable and necessary future care) is and will be. This is not known until the client has been examined and treated for their injuries (which usually takes some weeks or months). However, what I can describe is the general guidelines for recovery of compensation in an accident claim which are as follows:

Economic Damages: What Medical or Other Bills Have I Incurred or Will I Incur As A Result of the Accident?

Economic damages (or so called “out of pocket” expenses) include the following:

  1. Medical Expenses: Reasonable costs of both present and future medical treatment. These costs usually involve a range of treatments from initial ambulance, trauma and emergency room expenses to later follow up care, which could include physical therapy or surgery costs.
  2. Lost Income: Lost earnings both present and in the future are damages for which one may be compensated. This can include wages lost due to time out of work for the initial trauma and time missed to attend doctor’s appointments, have surgeries and/or recover from surgery.
  3. Loss of the Ability to Earn Money: If the injury is severe enough that it causes a person a loss of the capacity to earn money, this can be calculated and awarded.
  4. Loss of Ability to Provide Household Services: If the injury results in an inability to perform normal household chores like cooking and cleaning, the reasonable value of these services can be granted as damages.
  5. Damage, Loss or Destruction of Real or Personal Property: This includes the cost of repairing or replacing a motor vehicle; personal items such as cell phones, computers, etc; or even “real” property such as land or homes that have been destroyed or damaged as a result of another person’s negligence.
  6. Lost Profits: Loss of profits from the operation of a business may be compensated if they can be reasonably calculated.
Non-Economic Damages: The Money For Pain, Suffering and Emotional Distress Related to Negligence

The law says that, if a party is found to have caused injury to another party due to negligent conduct, the jury or judge must award damages for the following:

  1. Pain Due to Physical Injuries
  2. Mental Distress
  3. Loss of the Enjoyment of Life Activities
  4. Physical Disfigurement
  5. Physical Impairment
  6. Inconvenience Related to Injuries
  7. Grief Related to Injury or Death
  8. Anxiety, Humiliation and/or Emotional Distress

These are much harder concepts to which one may attach a monetary figure. A quality personal injury attorney needs to find out as much information as possible about exactly what the client has been through (physically and emotionally) as a result of the accident to determine what is a reasonable amount to seek. In general, the more severe the injuries and the more they have impacted a client’s ability to conduct normal day to day affairs both at work and at home with their family, the higher these damages will be.

Note: That damages in wrongful death claims differ from what is stated above to some degree. For more information on wrongful death claims in California, click the link here: California Wrongful Death Attorneys.

Client Reviews
I have known Steven for some time now and when his services were required he jumped in and took control of my cases. I had two and they were handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. He went the extra mile regardless of the bumps in the road. I can not see me using any other attorney and I would recommend him to any of my family and friends. Josie A.
Steven was vital during our most trying time. He was referred by a friend after an accident that involved a family member. While he was critical and lying in the hospital, Steven was kind, patient and knowledgeable about what we were going through. Following our loss, Steven became a tough and aggressive negotiator and made sure that we receive a huge compensation. I would refer Steven in fact, this happened 2 years ago and I still speak highly of his service. Cheryl S.
Mr. Sweat is a pitbull in the courtroom as well as settlement negotiations - You can't have a better equipped attorney in your corner! It is a pleasure working as colleagues together on numerous cases. He can get the job done. Jonathan K.
Because of Steven Sweat, my medical support was taken care of. Plus, I had more money to spare for my other bills. Steven is not only an excellent personal injury lawyer, providing the best legal advice, but also a professional lawyer who goes beyond his call of duty just to help his clients! He stood up for me and helped me get through the process. I would definitely recommend. I couldn't think of any better lawyer than him. MiraJane C.
I must tell anyone, if you need a great attorney, Steve sweat is the guy! I had an awful car accident and had no idea where to turn. He had so much to deal with because my accident was a 4 car pile up. Not to mention all the other cars were behind me and they were not wanting to settle in any way! He never stopped working for me and had my best interest at heart! Audra W.
I believe I made the best choice with Steven M Sweat, Personal Injury. I was very reluctant to go forward with my personal injury claim. I had a valid claim and I needed a professional attorney to handle it. I felt so much better when I let Steven take my case. His team did everything right and I am very satisfied. Stia P.
I have to say that Steve has been exemplary! I met Steve at a point with my case that I was ready to give up. He took the time and dealt with all of my concerns. Most importantly, he was present and listened to what I was going through. He was able to turn things around, put me and my case on the right track! The results were better that expected! Highly recommend!! Cody A.