When another individual or a business causes injury or property damage, they have liability for the consequences.
For example, if one person causes a car accident, they have liability that their insurance helps cover. Property owners have liability if someone falls down their stairs due to a loose handrail. Business owners have liability both for their facilities and for the products or services that they provide to the public.
If you have a personal injury claim against an individual or a business, it’s important to understand what kind of compensation you can seek. How much is your personal injury claim potentially worth?
Establishing the financial impact of an injury
Determining how much an injury or incident will cost you can be a complex process. Some of the losses people incur in personal injury cases are obvious.
There is a fixed value for the medical care someone has to receive or the repairs their vehicle requires. Even wages someone doesn’t earn because of an injury are easy enough to calculate. However, there may be other losses that you have to consider as well.
For example, a vehicle involved in a crash and then repaired will have diminished value on the secondary market, meaning you could lose thousands of dollars. Someone with lasting physical symptoms from an injury may have reduced earning potential even when they do go back to work. Those unable to perform work in their own homes anymore might have to establish the value of the services that they can no longer provide to their loved ones.
Insurance often determines what compensation you can receive
In Hawaii, there are many kinds of mandatory insurance that could impact your personal injury claim.
For example, those driving motor vehicles have to carry at least $10,000 worth of personal injury protection coverage for themselves and the passengers in their vehicle, as well as liability coverage. The state mandates at least $10,000 worth of property damage coverage and $20,000 worth of medical coverage for one injured person, an amount that increases to $40,000 if multiple people get hurt in one crash.
Homeowner’s insurance and business policy typically also have coverage limits that dictate the maximum amount a claimant can receive. When the estimated losses you calculated exceed the insurance coverage available, then you may need to consider a lawsuit against the other party.
Getting help reviewing the insurance policy that applies and estimating the financial impact are both important steps to take early in a personal injury claim.