Basic Albuquerque Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown: How Much Goes Into My Pocket?
June 9, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you were injured by another party’s negligence, you may be anxious to recover fair compensation and get your life back on track. But, you might be confused about what type of compensation you can reasonably expect to recover – and how much actually goes into your pocket.
Our personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers can discuss the particulars of your case during a free consultation. After conducting an investigation and compiling reports about the damages you have suffered, they can also give you a better idea about the potential compensation that might be at stake in your case.
But in the meantime, to give you a better sense of what compensation you may be able to recover, review the personal injury settlement breakdown below.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
The key component to determining the potential compensation you can recover in a personal injury case is the amount of damages you suffer. Damages are losses you suffered because of the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Damages include economic damages, which can be tied directly to a monetary loss, such as:
- Medical expenses for emergency treatment and transportation
- Long-term care, including hospitalization
- Surgery and rehabilitation costs
- Physical therapy
- Aggravation of a pre-existing condition
- Lost wages and employment benefits
- Permanent loss or reduction in earning capacity
- Property damage
If you are filing a wrongful death claim, these damages might include things such as funeral expenses, burial costs, and loss of inheritance.
Damages also include losses you suffer that cannot be as easily quantified, which are called non-economic damages. Examples include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Nature, extent, and duration of your injuries
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These various damages are added up to determine an approximate value of your claim.
Additions to the Value of Your Claim
There are several factors that can affect the potential value of your claim. Some of these can add to the value, such as:
Evidence of Causation
Generally, the clearer the evidence that the defendant was at fault for the accident, the more valuable the case. The insurance company may agree to a higher settlement because they may be afraid a jury will award a higher amount if the case goes to trial.
If multiple parties are involved, you may be able to file multiple claims, and multiple insurance policies may be involved. This can increase the potential compensation you can recover for the accident.
Punitive damages are different from other types of damages because they are not meant to compensate victims. Instead, they are meant to punish the wrongdoer and prevent similar conduct in the future.
If punitive damages are awarded to you, you could recover additional money for the case. However, these damages are rare and reserved for cases involving particularly egregious behavior.
Deductions From the Value of Your Claim
There are also some factors that can reduce the value of a claim, such as:
Most personal injury cases are resolved through an insurance settlement. However, insurance companies will only settle cases up to policy limits. Therefore, even if you suffer damages that exceed this amount, the limited amount of insurance may reduce the potential value of your settlement.
New Mexico uses a pure comparative fault system, which allows plaintiffs to recover compensation for their injuries from negligent parties even if they also contributed to the accident. However, their damages are reduced by their own degree of fault. Therefore, if you contributed to the accident, your compensation could be reduced.
Costs and Fees
You will have to pay for the costs and fees associated with your case, which might include:
- Attorney’s fees, usually calculated as a percentage of your recovery
- Case costs, such as copy costs, medical record fees, court filing fees (if applicable), costs to obtain police reports, and deposition fees
- Subrogation claims for money your insurance provider initially paid for your damages
- Medical liens if healthcare providers provided medical services in exchange for receiving money as part of your settlement
A personal injury lawyer can explain how these costs are calculated.
An Example of a Personal Injury Case Breakdown
Here’s an example of how this calculation may work:
Let’s say you were injured in a car accident. You suffered $100,000 in damages and were awarded that amount in a settlement agreement. Your contingency fee agreement states that your lawyer receives a 30% fee if they recover compensation before filing a lawsuit. You had a medical lien of $5,000 and case costs of $667.
You would add these costs ($30,000 + $5,000 + $677) and then subtract that amount from the total settlement amount. In this case, $64,333 would go into your pocket.
If you have any questions about your case or how compensation might be calculated, an experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyer can help.
Contact the New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you were injured in an accident such as a premises liability, dog bite, or a medical malpractice case in Albuquerque, NM, and need legal help, contact our Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
5151 E Broadway Blvd. Suite 1600
Tucson, AZ 85711