It’s not surprising that one of the questions asked most often by plaintiffs in personal injury cases is the most obvious one: “What is the value of my personal injury case?”
The honest answer is also an obvious one: “It depends.” While many things can factor in to determining the value of a personal injury case, there are a few things to consider when trying to assess how much your claim may be worth.
For example, no matter how serious your injuries are or how large your medical bills have become, the amount you can recoup in a personal injury case is limited to the amount of available insurance and the defendant’s assets. While laws can vary from state-to-state, a personal injury case is most likely limited to the amount of available insurance. If your car is hit by a driver who carries only the minimum amount of insurance – let’s say it’s $25,000 – and no other insurance policy is available, the most you can realistically recover may be that amount, $25,000.
If the driver who hit you carries only the minimum amount of insurance mandated by your specific state, and your policy includes underinsured motorist coverage, you might be able to pursue an uninsured motorist claim for additional money. Check with your attorney to see how much you can recover, based on your policy.
This is just one of many reasons which underscores the importance of retaining the services of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney. He or she will look at all applicable insurance policies to make sure you recover the largest amount possible for your personal injury case.
When it comes to being compensated for any harms and losses you’ve experienced as a result of your injuries, you can get a ballpark idea of what you might recover by looking at the total damages of your claim. When your insurance company makes an offer to settle your claim, they will take into account several things: lost wages, your total medical bills, any out-of-pocket expenses incurred – as a result of your accident, along with any pain and suffering you experienced from your injuries.
The total amount of your settlement offer for pain and suffering will be calculated by the extent of your injuries, along with the type of medical treatment you went through. Some injuries are so severe they need surgery and many months of physical rehabilitation. Other injuries are less serious, requiring a lower threshold of medical care. It all comes down to one thing: the more involved your injuries were, and the more elaborate the medical care you required, the more money you should be offered to compensate for your pain and suffering.
As you’ve no doubt figured out, there are many factors in play when trying to determine the value of your personal injury case and what your settlement offer may be. Although it would be impossible and improper for a lawyer to promise a specific settlement amount at the beginning of your claim, a good attorney will be able to consider the various components of your case, and make an educated guess as to the value of your claim. He or she will come up with a plan for the best way to maximize your specific case to obtain the best possible settlement.