What Are Future Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

October 26, 2020

If somebody’s negligence gave you an injury that will impact you for the foreseeable future or the rest of your life, it would not be fair to only receive compensation from that person for your past or current losses. You should not have to pay out of pocket for any of the losses you sustain because of someone else’s negligence. This includes future losses. The civil justice system’s solution is to allow plaintiffs to seek future damages during an injury claim.

What Do Future Damages Refer To?

During a personal injury case, damages can refer to any type of losses the injured victim (plaintiff) suffered in an accident. If you are bringing a negligence claim against one or more parties in Arizona, you have the right to seek compensation for all of your economic and noneconomic damages. Many of the damage categories available during a personal injury case in Arizona allow compensation for both past and future losses.

Medical Costs

Medical costs are a significant category of future damages. The lifetime medical costs of your injury could range into the millions if it is catastrophic, such as a spinal cord or brain injury. Rather than only obtaining compensation for your existing medical bills, you could also qualify for projected future medical bills if you will continue to need medical care for your severe injury.

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

Many injuries take a victim out of work temporarily or permanently. If an accident gave you a permanent disability that interfered with your ability to work, you could seek compensation for the full value of what you made in wages before your accident and what you can make now because of your injury. You can seek lost future wages for the projected timeline of your recovery – or for life, depending on the severity of your injury.

Future Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is a damage category that covers all intangible or noneconomic losses connected to an accident. These often include physical pain, chronic pain over your lifetime, the inability to perform daily tasks, lost quality of life, mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, inconvenience and loss of consortium. Rather than only requesting compensation for your past pain and suffering, you can request an amount that also addresses your foreseeable future pain and suffering.

How Do You Calculate Future Damages?

A request for future damages is more likely to succeed in a case involving a catastrophic or permanent personal injury. In these cases, the victim is more likely to suffer future financial, physical and emotional damages. You may need an attorney’s assistance to evaluate the worth of your past, current and future damages after an accident in Arizona. Your lawyer can use many types of evidence to help you establish the existence of future damages.

  • Past medical bills and expenses
  • Statements from your doctor
  • Medical predictions and injury information
  • Your prognosis for recovery
  • Your personal injury journal
  • Testimony from friends and family
  • Testimony from your therapist
  • Medical expert testimony

A lawyer can use one of two calculation methods that are common among juries to estimate future losses: the Multiplier Method and the Per Diem Method. The Multiplier Method estimates your future pain and suffering by multiplying the total amount of your economic damage award by a number from one to five that represents the severity of your injuries. The Per Diem Method calculates future damages by multiplying a daily rate – commonly your daily wage – with the number of days you will foreseeably experience pain and suffering.

Without a lawyer representing you, you may accept less for your future damages than your case is worth. A lawyer can help you accurately estimate the future losses associated with your personal injury. Learn more about future damages during a personal injury case in a free consultation with an attorney in Phoenix.