The value of your case depends on a number of factors.
One of the first things that many people with a potential personal injury lawsuit want to know is how much their case is worth. There isn’t an easy answer to this question, and different personal injury attorneys may come up with wildly different numbers. However, there are some general guidelines that you can use to determine how much your case may be worth.
After an investigation, the next step in many personal injury cases is to write a demand letter to the person who caused your injuries — or their insurance company — explaining how you were hurt, why you believe that they were responsible, and what you are seeking as damages. This letter is the basis for the entire case, often leading to negotiations for a settlement or ultimately a lawsuit if the parties can’t agree on a number. So how does an attorney come up with the value of your case?
Looking at the Damages
There several types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit, including those for tangible loss (such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage), intangible loss (like pain and suffering), and punitive damages. In personal injury cases, punitive damages are rarely awarded because they are meant to punish a wrongdoer. Most personal injury cases involve questions of negligence, not intentional acts, and so punitive damages are not usually given out in these cases. For example, if a person was momentarily distracted and caused a car crash, that is not a good case for punitive damages because it was mere negligence, not an intentional act. If someone purposefully ran into your vehicle, however, then punitive damages may be appropriate.
A lawyer will start the process by examining the facts of your case. How did the accident happen? Were you at fault for what happened in any way? Even if you were, you can still likely recover — but your damages may be reduced by how much you were at fault for the accident. Your attorney will also look at your injuries. Did you require hospitalization or other medical treatment? Was your property damaged? Will you require future medical treatment or care? Did you have to take time off of work because of the accident? All of these items will be considered when determining what your losses were.
Next, a personal injury attorney will think about what you have suffered as a result of your accident. It can be more difficult to come up with a number for these damages, but an experienced attorney will understand how to value a claim for loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and more.
A personal injury case will typically include damages for lost wages, medical expenses (including future medical costs), pain and suffering, emotional distress and property damage. The ultimate valuation will depend on the facts of your case and where the accident occurred, as judges and juries in different places are known to give very different awards to people hurt in accidents.
At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have nearly 40 decades of experience helping people recover for their injuries. While we cannot guarantee that you will recover a certain amount, we can state that we will work hard to ensure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you, and initial consultations are always free. Contact us at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment to talk to one of our skilled attorneys today.