The personal injury lawyers represent accident victims who were injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Personal injury law encompasses a wide array of different claims such as car accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, mass torts and defective products. The value of your personal injury claim will depend on the unique circumstances of your claim.
The most common question clients ask us is “what is my personal injury claim worth?” Even with the benefit of years of experience handling solely personal injury cases, this is often a very difficult question to answer. And usually, not something we can answer at an initial client meeting. The reason for this is the value of your claim will depend on a multitude of factors. Some of these factors will not be discovered until weeks or months into your claim. A list of some of the most significant factors that influence the value of a personal injury claim are provided below:
- Who is Liable for the Incident? Was the tortfeasor (or negligent party) completely liability for the accident or does the victim share some portion of liability? If the victim shares a percentage of liability, his or her claim will be reduced or possible barred depending on state law. A personal injury lawyer can help advise you on the law applicable to your case.
- What Damages Did You Incur? How severe are your injuries? How long did it take you to recover? What are your economic damages (these include losses such as loss of earnings or earnings capacity, hospital bills and property damage)?
- Is there Enough Insurance? Sometimes, the most significant factor in determining the value of the claim is whether there will be sufficient insurance to cover the victim’s losses. In many instances, such as car accidents, a defendant’s state minimum insurance policy will fall drastically short of fairly compensating a personal injury victim
- Where will the Case be Litigated? It may come as a surprise to most people that the venue of litigation is often a significant factor in determining the case value. If your case venue is in a conservative county, you should expect the settlement value of your case to be less than that of major metropolitan areas. This is because insurance companies are willing to bet that conservative jurors will be unwilling to fairly compensate an accident victim and therefore, will may want to take the case to trial.
- Who is the Defendant and what did they Do? Some defendants are more sympathetic than others. For example, a sweet, elderly grandmother may have more appeal to a jury than a repeat DUI offender. Additionally, a high degree of negligence or reckless conduct will play a factor in what a claim is worth. Your attorney will certainly take this into account when making a determination of the value of the claim.
Disclaimer: This webpage is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.