Q: I was hit by a car while I was crossing an intersection on a crosswalk and now I have whiplash. How do you calculate what my claim is worth if I wanted to sue the driver?
A: Though I can’t tell you what your settlement would likely be without more detail, I can tell you some of the things that go into my consideration of what to seek as compensation for your injuries. For most soft tissue or “whiplash” type injuries, the pain and suffering or “general damages” component would fall in a general rang of $20,000 – $80,000. Where your claim would fall in that range depends on the seriousness of your injury, the impact on your life and the length of time your injury persists. Once I had discussed these factors with you, and considered the medical documentation from your physician and other treatment providers, I would look to other cases that have gone to Court in this Province for guidance on how a Court would likely value your general damage claim.
I would then determine what the Court would likely award for loss of housekeeping capacity, lost wages (which get awarded on a “net” basis) and other expenses that you might have incurred following your accident. If it is likely that you will miss future earning opportunities, require ongoing medical treatments (physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatments, etc.) or have a reduced housekeeping capacity after the settlement of your claim, I would need to work with you, your physician and your treatment providers to determine an appropriate amount to ensure these losses and expenses are properly compensated.
Finally, we would then calculate the “judgment interest” payable on your settlement.
As you can see, there are a lot of variables that go into determining the value of your claim and it is difficult to do without a personal injury lawyer.