Did you recently get hurt by another party’s negligent, reckless, or malicious behavior? If so, you probably know you can seek money for your injury-related losses in a personal injury case. But you might not know how much to demand as part of your settlement.
Determining how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement is essential. You need more than enough to cover your medical expenses and income losses. You deserve sufficient compensation to account for your suffering and secure your future. At De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, we can help you get it.
What to Expect from a Personal Injury Settlement
The personal injury claim process might seem overwhelming when you get hurt due to someone else’s bad behavior. Understanding this process can ease your concerns and equip you for the journey ahead.
After an injury, your first steps should include seeking medical attention and documenting how the injury affects you. Then, you should hire a personal injury attorney who will advocate for your interests and handle interactions with the opposing party, usually an insurance company.
The next step is evidence collection. Here, your attorney gathers medical records, secures witness statements, and compiles relevant information. This evidence supports your claim and allows your lawyer to determine its value. Once your attorney understands your case, they will send a demand letter to the opposing party. This letter lays out your losses and the compensation you’re demanding.
From here, negotiations can begin. Negotiation is the core of any settlement process. Insurance companies often counter with lowball offers to keep their profit margins healthy. As a result, negotiation often takes time and requires persistence. A good attorney will argue relentlessly for just compensation, accounting for medical bills, lost wages, and personal suffering.
Remember, not all personal injury cases settle outside of court. If negotiations stall, the case might go to trial. However, most personal injury claims are resolved before this stage, as both parties generally want to avoid the time and expense of going to court.
Types of Compensation Available in Personal Injury Cases
If you suffer a preventable injury in Nevada, you can seek monetary compensation from at-fault parties to offset the injury’s various consequences on your life. Each type of compensation or “damages” addresses a specific harm or loss you’ve experienced.
Types of compensation your lawyer might pursue in a personal injury settlement include:
- Medical Expenses: The costs of any medical care associated with the injury. This can include hospital bills, medications, surgeries, and rehabilitation. It also includes any future medical expenses you will likely incur due to the injury.
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses: These are miscellaneous expenses directly related to the injury, such as travel expenses for medical treatment or assistive devices.
- Lost Wages: If the injury caused you to miss work or reduce your earning capacity, you can claim compensation for lost income. This also encompasses future earning losses if the injury affects your long-term ability to work.
- Pain and Suffering: These are non-monetary damages that account for the physical pain and emotional distress from an injury. Calculating this type of compensation requires considering the nature of the injury, the extent of the pain, and the duration of suffering.
- Loss of Consortium: If an injury adversely affects the intimacy, companionship, or support you provide to your spouse or family, you might be eligible for these damages.
- Emotional Distress: Separate from pain and suffering, this type of compensation addresses the psychological impacts of an injury, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma.
- Permanent Disability or Disfigurement: If the injury leads to a long-term disability or alters your appearance, you can seek compensation for the profound life changes and challenges you’ll face.
- Punitive Damages: Unlike other damages that aim to compensate you for your losses, punitive damages are awarded to punish defendants for particularly egregious or malicious conduct. Nevada law allows for punitive damages but imposes specific criteria and dollar limits.
Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?
It depends. Here’s a breakdown of the taxability rules for personal injury settlements:
- Nevada State Taxes: Nevada does not levy a state income tax so that you won’t owe state taxes on your injury settlement in Nevada.
- Compensation for Physical Injuries or Illnesses: According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), any money you receive as compensation for physical injuries or physical sickness is generally not taxable. This applies whether you received the compensation from a court judgment or an out-of-court settlement. So, if you collected settlement money specifically for a physical injury or sickness, it typically does not count as taxable income.
- Emotional Distress or Mental Anguish Damages: Compensation for emotional distress or mental anguish is tax-exempt only if it originates from a bodily injury or physical sickness. Compensation may be taxable if it’s for emotional distress or mental anguish with no direct tie to a physical injury. For instance, your award could be taxable if you sue for emotional distress alone.
- Compensation for Lost Wages or Profits: These types of compensation are not taxable at the federal level.
- Settlement Interest: Sometimes, interest can accrue on your settlement amount, especially if there’s a delay between the judgment and the payment. This interest is generally taxable.
- Punitive Damages: These damages are generally taxable, regardless of whether they relate to a physical injury or sickness. If you receive punitive damages in Nevada, you’ll typically need to report it as “other income” on your federal tax return.
Talk to a Las Vegas Personal Injury Firm Today
Pursuing a personal injury case without legal representation can lead to missed opportunities and undervalued settlements. At De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers, we’re passionate about defending our clients’ interests and demanding maximum compensation for their losses. Contact us for your free initial consultation to learn more.