How to Value a Personal Injury Case
As a personal injury trial attorney I’m always asked, ‘What is my case worth?’ and I answer by demonstrating how to value a personal injury case. When you’ve been involved (and injured) in any type of accident, there are several things to be considered and the process is often lengthy and complex. Two things must be present to pursue a lawsuit: Liability (determining the at-fault party) and damages (the ability to derive monetary compensation from the at-fault party and/or an insurance company). If there’s a death resulting from the accident, referred to as wrongful death, the stakes may be higher.
There are up to seven (7) factors that a Personal Injury Attorney will evaluate in a personal injury case. Ultimately a dollar figure is assigned to all that apply and considered part of total damages. These variables are often the source of discussion and negotiation between the attorney representing you and the insurance company of the ‘at-fault’ party, or possibly your insurance company (even if you didn’t cause the accident).
Seven Factors to Value a Personal Injury Case
- Medical Expenses (ME): medical expenses from date of injury to present.
- Future Medical Expenses (FML): future treatment needs (how long and how many).
- Lost Wages (LW): Lost time from work
- Loss of Earnings Capacity: can’t return to work, loss of income through working lifetime
- Physical Pain (PP): any physical pain resulting from the injury in the accident
- Mental Suffering (MS): emotional suffering as a result of the injury in the accident
- Permanency of Injury (PI): End result of your injury/condition throughout your life indicated by an impairment % affecting your regular activities of daily life (ADL)
The seriousness of the accident impacts the time it takes to recover and the extent to which recovery is defined. It not only affects the person injured but the family or caregivers of the injured party. This can be devastating financially, physically and emotionally. It’s always best to contact an experienced attorney when an accident occurs, and injury has been sustained to review the unique circumstances and determine whether or not a case may materialize.
Click to listen to Trial Attorney Steven T. Snow on How to Value a Personal Injury Case:
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Attorney vs. Trial Attorney
What is there a difference between an attorney and a trial attorney?
The main difference is a trial attorney has expertise and aggressive willingness to pursue your case in court before a judge and jury. Not all attorneys want or have experience in going to court because it’s generally a longer haul. Settling a case can be achieved at many levels. The question is, who will you want to represent you in a personal injury claim and how far will they go to pursue the case? Verdicts and settlements of past winning cases provide a benchmark for attorney success. Do your own due diligence in seeking and retaining the right lawyer for your legal issue. It will be worth it!
Contact 30-year veteran trial Attorney, Steven T. Snow, and initiate a complimentary consultation to evaluate your personal injury situation.