Damages Assessments by Expert WitnessesBy HG.org
Damages assessments of the injury and all involved factors generally require calculations and multiplication agents that apply to the specific situation along with the severity and degree of harm. How the expert applies these numbers must remain fair and reasonable, so the judge or jury panel will accept a similar number for the plaintiff.
Many claims against a defendant in a civil case require calculations for damages owed to the plaintiff. The expert may need to weigh various issues such as what the court has in previous situations granted to the victim along with reasonable and fair amounts. However, the specific circumstances often are more important such as severe injury, grievous bodily harm and aggravated factors that expose the victim to disability or the loss of function in the body. Most additional elements will increase the compensation considerably depending on how much it takes to recover. Then, it is important to consult with the client for any added information or to accept the suggested calculation.
The Severity of HarmMost claims for compensation with injuries will look at the severity of harm caused by the perpetrator. The more damage to the body of the plaintiff, the greater compensation it takes to recover. Some instances require physical therapy, future treatment, hospitalization and medication to keep certain conditions from escalating. If the damage is internal, the matter may require a longer stay in an emergency room. There are other factors to include such as an extended lack of work and monthly bills to take care of in the household. The worse the harm to the victim, the less he or she is able to take care of these needs.
Aggravating FactorsSome cases involve factors that elevate the usual compensation claim to another level. Some of these situations involve additional damages owed while others increase compensation through punitive damages that the plaintiff’s legal team may not account for with the judge. Aggravating factors generally involve a greater degree of harm to the victim. Often, these situations revolve around intentional and willful injury. Criminal behavior that leads to the accidental harm of another may not increase damages overall. However, if the criminal behavior is intentional such as assault and battery, then the conduct may merit
Economic FactorsEconomic factors may change based on the state or the circumstances of the injury. However, these generally involve the medical bills necessary for treatment, therapy and medication. Future expense and additional costs to cover these matters increase compensation when possible. The lack of work that occurs for the recovery period adds to the total usually through an average of the wages the person would earn that week for a duration of recovery time along with any negative circumstances that could harm future income such as through disability. Additional factors are usually very specific to the incident and how it affects the individual.
Non-Economic FactorsThe various non-economic factors may encompass a wide range of issues that the person deals with daily after the injury. While in recovery, the injured party will need assistance with routine matters such as getting groceries, someone to drive to run errands, lawn and cleaning care around the house or property and other issues such as pain and suffering that are not calculatable in the usual manner. Some non-economic items may include the need for therapy for emotional trauma, a psychologist for psychological damage from an incident. Through carefully understanding each matter, the expert may provide an assessment of these issues.
Business DealingsDamage calculation may require a valuation of a business, knowledge of how the company experienced and suffered through an injury and how much the matter costs overall. This could include harm to income and revenue streams, reputation and a community that turns its back on the company. For business dealings, this could also involve the overhead, labor costs and connection to clients severed through the incident. Some business entities sustain injuries in the millions from a single accident or intentional action of another person. The expert may require additional time for businesses that suffer through a financial injury.
The Expert’s ProjectionThrough various techniques and tools, the expert may project a certain valuation or amount in damages the defending party should provide based on the injury. Sometimes, the courts will increase or decrease this amount. If the plaintiff is in agreement, the legal team will pursue the projection. However, the victim may feel the matter requires additional compensation for a full recovery.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.