Same Injuries, Different Case Results
One of the most often asked questions we hear from clients is "what is my case worth", and it is the most difficult to answer. A good personal injury attorney can put his experience and knowledge to use and make an informed prediction of the cases value, however, there is no way of knowing for certain what a case will bring in a jury verdict or settlement. This is explained by the fact that personal injury cases are about personal injuries, which are, by nature, different for everyone. No personal injury is the same, therefore, no personal injury case is the same. There are special circumstances to each that can change the value of the case. There are outside factors including juries, judges and insurance companies. They look at each case as individuals regardless of similarity to any others.Baselines
Often, personal injury attorneys use what is known as baseline figures to evaluate each cases value. One of these baseline figure formulas is to add all economic damages together, this includes lost wages, medical bills, etc. That figure is then tripled to represent noneconomic damages and added to the first figure. This represents a baseline figure for settlement claims. In no way does this represent the actual settlement amount but instead, serves as a starting point for negotiations. Victims can have thousands of dollars in medical bills as well as thousands in lost wages. These baseline figures can be very high.
This type of formula is not used by every attorney and it is often adapted to the situation. For instance, a child suffering a devastating injury that will leave life-long effects on the quality of life is entitles to a higher amount of both non-economic and economic damages. Also, if the breadwinner of the family is injured and it will affect the quality of several lives for years to come, that factor has an effect on the settlement figures. The formula is just a jumping off point to begin negotiations on a fair settlement figure.Monetary Value of Injuries
Factors like medical bills and lost wages are easy to calculate. Injuries themselves, however, are difficult to place a monetary value on. Injury values depend on the injury themselves but also on individual circumstances. Also, injuries that are easy to deal with for one person may incapacitate another. Attorneys basically concentrate on how the injuries effect personal relationships and the victim’s whole way of life when calculating claim damages. If the victim dies from his injuries, the process becomes even more confusing and emotional, becoming virtually impossible to complete without an attorney.
It is virtually impossible for any personal injury to tell you exactly what your case is worth. Some of the above factors can give you a good idea of what to expect but there are many, many variable factors that can determine the outcome. Focus instead on putting the pieces of your life back together and an attorney handle the details and stresses of your case.