One of the most important things to take into account during the claim evaluation process is the cost of medical expenses. However, as an indication of case value, medical expenses leave much to be desired for the purposes of compensation, because they do not demonstrate the extent of a claimant’s pain, suffering, and inconvenience that is experienced during his or her recovery. This is especially true in cases that involve self-healing injuries and those that do not require much medical involvement.
As knowledgeable NJ injury lawyers will tell you, your lost earnings should also be taken into account during the evaluation process, as these amounts represent the actual out-of-pocket costs of the claimant that, had the accident not occurred, most likely would not have been incurred. A claim adjuster will probably make a distinction between “gross” loss of earnings and “net” loss of earnings by deducting from the gross loss those amounts that the claimant will not have to pay as a result of the loss. Moreover, the adjuster generally deducts a flat 20 percent from any amount of lost earnings that you submit to him or her.
In general, claimants are entitled to recover all other necessary out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the accident. Some of the more common expenses, such as childcare costs and rental cars that are used in place of a claimant’s damaged automobile, are typically accepted by the adjuster unless the amounts and necessity for such expenses require additional proof. If you do not have readily-available receipts for these payments, the adjuster may say that you have a “lack of documentation” and, accordingly, refuse to reimburse you for them.
With regard to general damages, the amounts received will differ greatly depending on the adjuster’s opinion and determination of the validity and necessity of the above-mentioned factors. When using the formula “value equals damages times liability,” the sum total of the special damages (which consist of economic losses like medical expenses and lost income) accepted by the adjuster and his or her evaluation of proper general damages is what gives you the settlement offer.
If you need a team of qualified NJ injury lawyers, please call Zager Fuchs, PC today.