Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

damage amount question

I was flying on an airline when hot tea was spilled on my back causing a first degree burn. The airline would like to know a settlement amount. How would I go about to figure this amount out. Is the a formula? Thank you.

Asked on 9/06/02, 4:39 pm

6 Answers from Attorneys

JEB Pickett Wynne Law Firm

Re: damage amount question

There is no "set" formula for such. You should include lost wages, if any, for time missed at work due to the burn, medical expenses (even if covered by insurance) and a sum for emotional pain and suffering. One "rule of thumb" for pain and suffering damages is 3x's medical expenses.

As an alternative, you may propose two different settlements, one for a dollar amount as configured above and, if you travel frequently (or would like to) ask for non-date restricted, fully transferable, travel vouchers in an amount about 1.5x's higher than your proposed dollar figure.

It would be cheaper for the airline to give you this and may constitute a greater settlement for you in the end.

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Answered on 10/10/02, 3:41 pm
Armen Tashjian Law Offices of Armen M. Tashjian

Re: damage amount question

This sounds like the McDonald case - LOL. On a serious note though, your case should be evaluated based on certain factors that will include your special damages (medical billis, lost time from work and related activities, future cost of medical bills, if any, etc.), plus your general damages for pain and suffering.

Talk to a lawyer who specializes in this filed of law. If you do not have a lawyer than call me (323)782-0099.

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Answered on 10/10/02, 4:09 pm
Chris Johnson Christopher B. Johnson, Attorney at Law

Re: damage amount question

A general rule of thumb (not always followed) is three times the damages (medical bills, lost wages, future expected medical bills)--this settlement amount includes reimbursing the medical providers. Each case is different, but the 3x rule is a general goal.

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Answered on 10/10/02, 5:46 pm
Jeffrey D. Olster Russakow, Ryan & Johnson

Re: damage amount question

Though the insurance industry sometimes uses formulas to value damages, there is no set formula under the law. Each case must be evaluated on its own merits.

The only way to properly value an injury case is to consult with an experienced attorney. The factors include:

1. The amount of past AND FUTURE medical bills.

2. The amount of past AND FUTURE lost wages.

3. How much pain, suffering and inconvenience the injury has caused.

4. The impact the injury has had on your life (eg, can you no longer engage in activities, hobbies, etc. that you could before the injury?).

5. Any emotional distress caused by the injury.

6. Any scarring or disfigurement.

7. Any reduced earning capacity.

Also, if you are married, your spouse may also be entitled to compensation.

Other relevant considerations include the location of where the lawsuit would be filed, credibility/likeability of the victim and the extent of the negligent conduct by the defendant.

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Answered on 10/10/02, 6:13 pm
Amy Ghosh Law Offices of Amy Ghosh

Re: damage amount question

It sounds like a good case!!! You need to take into account lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering.

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Answered on 10/10/02, 6:30 pm
Alvin Tenner Law Office of Alvin G. Tenner

Re: damage amount question

No formula. What matter is the amount of medical bills, scarring if any, pain and suffering. I will not give an evaluation without said information.

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Answered on 10/10/02, 9:20 pm

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