Posted by Sansone / Lauber Trial Lawyers on March 6, 2015SHARE IT
The image above is from a workers’ compensation graph to tell the amounts paid out for lost limbs in different states and how they compare to other states. See How Much is my Limb Worth. Too many people these may be shockingly low numbers for the loss of an arm or a leg. However, under workers’ compensation laws in Missouri and other states, the recovery amount is primarily set by regulation.
The workers’ compensation approach for valuing an injury is completely different than civil negligence cases such as car accidents or medical negligence lawsuits. In most states, including Illinois and Missouri, a jury determines the value of a victim’s injuries on a case by case basis. There is no mathematical formula to determine the value of a body part or disability caused by injury, such as the workers’ compensation approach.
The best personal injury lawyers know what factors a jury will likely consider the most, and how to focus on those factors. Those factors include: the negligent person or company’s remorse or admission of fault and when they actually admit that fault. The degree of negligence or recklessness involved in causing the car accident or other injury. Did the defendant lie? Is what the Defendant did a wrong action or rule violation that the jury should care about? Is what the defendant did need to be corrected to protect the community from such safety violations in the future? Did the defendant injure the victim as a result of a clear violation of an important rule, i.e. ran a red light. Was the at fault driver a drunk driver who caused a car crash? Those aggravating circumstances change the likely verdict amount from a jury.
After focusing on the Defendant and their conduct, then it is time to focus on the victim’s injuries. As a St Louis personal injury lawyer, in my experience, the most important overall factor is the long term problems with physical mobility. Most injuries cause some limitation of mobility and many injuries can cause serious and permanent restrictions on a victim’s mobility. Limitations in mobility are coupled with pain and the inability to do certain activities of life. Not being able to do certain activities leads to lost wages from work and lost enjoyment from life by not being able to live life as the victim did before the car accident or injuries.
Under workers’ compensation, the biggest argument is the percentage of disability to a certain body part, once that percentage of disability is determined then a mathematical formula determines the amount the employer must pay through their work comp insurance. This is in stark contrast to negligence cases outside the workplace, where the value of injuries is determined by a jury of 12 people.
Both the general personal injury claim for damages and the workers’ compensation claims for damages require experienced accident lawyers to ensure maximum recovery under each cases unique circumstances. If you have been hurt at work or in a car accident, talk to our injury lawyers for free and we will show you how we will maximize the value of your case.