If you were hurt in a car accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or any other serious accident, you’re probably wondering “how much is my personal injury case worth?” That’s understandable. After all, when you’re hurt, you don’t want to start a legal battle for no reason.
An experienced personal injury attorney at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers can help you understand the value of your case. Just call to schedule a free consultation to learn more.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Determine How Much My Case is Worth?
After you’re hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, getting fair compensation can be one of the most important things you ever do. But how do you know what your case is worth?
Most injured parties don’t know what their personal injury case is worth in the beginning.
Unfortunately, insurance companies use their resources to avoid paying large settlements. They might try to blame the victim or minimize the extent of your injuries. Our experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers have 65+ years of experience helping clients get what’s fair.
Our attorneys can help by:
- Engaging medical experts who can testify about your need for ongoing future care
- Fighting back when the insurance company tries to use the Florida contributory fault rules to reduce your settlement
- Negotiating to reach a settlement that accounts for both past and future expenses
Below are some key considerations that go into establishing the value of your personal injury claim. Our lawyers are here to discuss your specific case whenever you’re ready to explore the possibility of establishing an attorney client relationship.
Factors that Impact the Value of a Personal Injury Claim
In any case, the value of your compensation award will increase with more serious or permanent injuries. If your recovery is particularly difficult, you may be entitled to a higher damages award.
Accident victims are generally entitled to compensation for all financial, physical, and mental losses. You might even be entitled to punitive damages designed to punish the defendant if the accident was especially shocking.
Several factors are relevant in determining how much your personal injury case is worth, including:
Level of Economic Damages
Economic damages include actual financial expenses caused by the injury. You’re entitled to compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- Pain management
- Property damage
- Future medical costs
- Transportation to and from the doctor
- Any other out-of-pocket costs caused by the injury
Your economic damages are the total of all expenses you have incurred because of the accident.
Need for Future Treatment
Your injuries might not have fully healed when you eventually agree to accept a settlement offer or file a personal injury lawsuit. Despite this, you do have the right to compensation for the future cost of medical treatment.
Arriving at a fair estimate of what your future treatment will cost isn’t always easy. We’ll work with your doctor and other medical experts. They can provide their educated opinions about your likely timeline for recovery and the types of care you’ll need going forward.
Those costs are added to your economic damages award.
Whether You Are Able to Return to Work
Some accident victims are never able to return to their previous occupation. If you’re able to work in a lower-paying job, you’re entitled to compensation to make up the difference between your pre-accident and post-accident earning capacity.
Other injury victims might not be able to work in any field. When your injuries prevent you from accepting any work, you’re entitled to compensation for your future wage loss. Calculating this requires both examining your pre-accident earnings and estimating any future increases you would have received over time.
What Factors Affect the Value of Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?
A serious injury can impact your life in more ways than one. The financial aspect is only one part of the equation. When determining how much your personal injury case is worth, our attorneys will also seek damages for your noneconomic damages, including the pain and suffering the injury has caused.
The value of your “pain and suffering” is subjective. Every patient is different. Some types of pain and suffering damages include:
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety and depression
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Diminished quality of life
- Permanent disability
- Loss of a loved one’s company
You don’t have a receipt that you can submit to the insurance company to establish the value of these intangible losses.
Arriving at a fair value for pain and suffering involves analyzing a number of factors, including:
- The type and severity of the injuries you sustained
- The length of your recovery period
- Whether your injuries were permanent
- Whether you were disfigured or permanently scarred
- The types of medical treatment required and whether you were in pain
- The duration of your follow-up therapy and care
- Your likely prognosis
- Your age and general health prior to the accident
To generalize, an injury that is a catastrophic injury or is permanent in nature will result in a higher pain and suffering award. If you require multiple surgeries to correct the damage, your award will be higher than if you suffered a simple fracture.
Additionally, younger victims of serious accidents often receive higher awards. This reflects the fact that the damage is likely to impact them over a longer period of time.
Impact of Economic Losses on Pain and Suffering Awards
Assigning a value to pain and suffering is always a complex and subjective process. Because of this, insurance companies usually use a “multiplier” to arrive at the value of your non-economic damages.
The multiplier is usually between 1.5 and 5. Your financial losses are simply multiplied by the multiplier to arrive at your assumed pain and suffering. For example, if the insurance company agrees to a multiplier of 3 and your economic damages are $200,000, you can receive an additional $600,000 for pain and suffering.
More serious injuries receive higher multipliers. It’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side to advocate for the highest possible value in your case. To learn more about this process, call our personal injury attorneys at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for legal advice today.
How Can Contributory Negligence Laws Impact the Value of My Personal Injury Case?
The modified comparative fault rule in Florida allows accident victims to recover compensation if they were 50% or less responsible for their own injuries. The value of your personal injury case can be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to your actions.
For example, assume you were hurt in a pedestrian accident. If you were crossing the street outside of the crosswalk and were struck by a car, the insurance company will try to argue that the accident was at least partly your fault. If it turns out that you were 20% responsible, your personal injury case will be worth 20% less because of the shared fault rules.
However, if you were 51% or more responsible for the pedestrian accident, you’ll be unable to recover any compensation for your injuries.
For Answers to Your Questions, Contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Most injured people ask “how much is my personal injury case worth” during their first consultation with a lawyer. It’s a difficult question to answer upfront. Valuing your personal injury case can be a challenge. You need a strong legal team on your side to fight for what’s fair.
Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Give a call to Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers today at (727) 787-2500 to speak with an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer who can even the playing field.