What is my claim worth?
What is my claim worth? In personal injury cases, you have two parts, liability, and damages. If there is no liability, your recovery is zero. The first thing to be evaluated in answering your question is whether you will win the lawsuit. If liability looks good, you move to the second part of the question dealing with what would be a fair amount to be awarded for the injuries you have suffered.
The settlement value is based upon an estimate on what a judge and jury would award should your matter go to court. The jury will hear all the evidence including testimony from your treating doctors. The insurance company defense attorney will usually have you examined by another physician who will also testify. The insurance company doctor will often downplay your injuries or the cause of your injuries.
The jury will be told to award you money for the economic loss including loss of wages, loss of income, medical expenses and future expenses that can be fairly linked to the defendant’s wrongful acts. The jury will also be told to award money for the noneconomic loss such as pain and suffering. If you have a permanent disability that will affect your future ability to earn that will also be considered. As you might guess the more serious the injuries, the more the jury will award.
Often you will read about formulas that can be sued to calculate damages. Using formula is a quick, easy and often wrong way to approach the topic. We look at other jury verdicts that are similar and can give you a good estimate based on real research and our experience.
When you ask what your claim is worth you are interested in the amount that would represent a fair settlement before trial. You would accept a little less now if you can avoid costly trial years from now. However, you don’t want to give away the farm. You should be careful not to allow the insurance company to take advantage of your lack of experience in valuing your claim.
Call us for an opinion of the value of your case before you settle.
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