What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Just as each person’s injury could be slightly different, each person’s claim could yield a different amount. What your claim is worth will depend on a variety of factors and circumstances, including the type of accident.
An insurance adjuster will likely try and devalue the full extent of your claim. Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums, not paying for compensation. The adjuster will, therefore, try and beat the value of your case into the ground. If your case actually is filed in court, the judge will have little to no say in the value of your case. He or she is only there to act as a neutral party to make sure the entire process proceeds fairly. However, the judge usually has to approve settlements.
The insurance defense attorney stands to make a significant profit from the litigation, and they do their best to ensure a back and forth quality case. Insurance defense attorneys are also there to ensure the plaintiff isn’t attempting to exploit the company.
All the parties involved, including the defendant’s wealth, determine what the case is ultimately worth. The defendant’s wealth matters because if they don’t have money, then there is no way to attain recovery. While you can certainly garnish a certain percentage of the defendant’s paycheck, that can be highly time-consuming and usually not worth an attorney’s time.
Largely, the factors that go into the calculation of determining your case value depend on your medical bills. The higher and more extensive your medical bills are, the greater your injury is perceived to be by the system. The only problem with this tendency is that sometimes the plaintiff undergoes all the medical treatment necessary and doesn’t want to continue to seek treatment for something that will not improve. For example, if someone attains a facial scar during an accident, he or she could get plastic surgery to fix it. However, the plaintiff may not want to undergo surgery to potentially repair the scar, which could include a number of potentially dangerous anesthetics.
Likewise, the possible income you are going to earn over your lifetime and how the injury has affected that possibility will weigh in as a factor. For example, a high school teacher income wouldn’t be comparable to one of a CEO multinational conglomerate. Therefore, the impact on the revenue of the teacher would be smaller than that of the CEO and would be compensated based on the lost potential.
Lastly, the lifelong effect of your injury will be taken into account. The calculation for this is probably the most difficult. How does a court determine the dollar amount of a lifetime of potential pain and suffering? The court either values it too low or too high, and the insurance adjuster wins when your claim is assessed at close to nothing.
If you’re curious about your particular case, we recommend you speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney. Christopher G. White has been fighting for victims of negligence for years after being motivated to attend law school following his own accident at the hands of an irresponsible driver. Trust him with your case and questions. Contact us at (434) 660-9701 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today.