WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?
As you may imagine, one of the most frequent questions we receive is “What is my case worth”?
The real value of any case is the amount a judge or jury awards you at trial. The difficult part is trying to determine the value of a case prior to trial so that a decision can be made whether to settle or whether to go to trial and let a jury decide. In order to value a case, insurance companies and lawyers use their experience in handling these claims and their knowledge of what juries in that locality have awarded in similar cases in the past.
Many factors are taken into consideration when evaluating the value of a personal injury claim, including but not limited to:
- The amount of medical expenses
- Present lost income and future income
- The severity of your injury
- How your injury affects your life
- Whether the injury limits your activities
- Whether the injury causes you difficulties performing your job
- Whether your injuries are permanent including whether you have any scarring or permanent disfigurement
- Whether your injuries are new injuries or old injuries that were aggravated by the wreck
- Whether your injuries required hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy or other medical procedures
- The severity of the wreck, including how badly the cars were damaged
- Whether any evidence can be presented by the defense to show that you may have been partly at fault
- Your ability to make a good impression on the jury and your ability to express how the accident and injuries have adversely affected your life
- The quality of your witnesses and their ability to relate to a jury and explain to the jury how the accident and your injuries have affected your life
- The severity and length of time you endured pain, suffering, inconvenience and were generally unable to follow your normal course of affairs
- Whether or not you were involved in other accidents after the one you were hurt in
- Finally, the attorneys' familiarity with the area where the case will be tried is also very important. It is extremely helpful if the attorney lives and works in the community where the case will be tried.