Everyone that has been suffering in an accident and that has a personal injury is probably wondering how much is their case worth, or is it at all?
If you have been wondering how exactly you value a personal injury case, we are here for you! The question is difficult and complex but we will give our best to respond in the most precise way possible. Before we start explaining anything, we will tell you how not to value your case!
Back in the 80s and 90s, there used to be an old formula, which sadly, people still try to use today. The thing we can tell you is it doesn’t work, so if anyone mentions that to you, disregard it completely. What people used to do according to this formula is take their medical bills or specials and they used to multiply them by two or three and with that number they made a demand at the insurance company. As you can presume insurance companies disregard that kind of claim because it has no ground in anything and it has no basis for use.
So, when we establish what not to do, let’s try and tell you what you should do, but before that, we need to explain one more thing. Whether you knew, there are two types of damages that you are going to recover for – special damages and general damages.
Special damages will refer to your economical damages like lost wages, medical bills, out of pocket expenses and things like that, which are fully recoverable. The general damages are those that you usually hear about when it comes to personal injury damages. These are damages that can not easily be assigned with a monetary value like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional traumas and similar things. If you want to, you can find out more here!
Now to determine what is a minimum personal injury amount, you need to know everything about how much is the max for everything else. It is only logical, and from there we can somewhat establish the bare minimum you could settle on.
The first factor you want to take into consideration is the injury you have and its severity. This is where that sliding scale enters the story and if, for instance, you have a back sprain or strain it will be on the one side of the sliding scale while the other side will contain more severe injuries like, for instance, herniated discs, broken bones, brain injuries, wrongful deaths even which are all very likely to happen in these cases.
The second factor to look at is how many medical treatments have your injuries required? This again goes two sides – where you don’t have too many medical treatments and where you have severe injuries that require MRIs, physical therapy, surgeries and much more. So, it all depends if you drove yourself to the hospital to get a check-up and got out with a back sprain or were you driven to the hospital for the things already mentioned. As you can conclude the more severe injury and more severe medical treatment you need is directly influencing the higher worth of your case.
There is a third factor that you should consider and it is permanency. This describes or shows just how permanent are your injuries. If you are going to walk with a limp for the rest of your life that is pretty severe against a back sprain of course. But what is even worse is the possibility where you will find yourself permanently attached to a wheelchair or bed; God forbid. So, as you can see there are a lot of things that make that scale slide up or down, and there is always one thing worse or better than the other.
Now to return to the topic at hand and to try and deduce the answer, that is pretty difficult, from everything we wrote.
According to the attorneys, the answer to this question would be – No, there is no minimum, but there is also no maximum amount you could settle a personal injury case. It all depends on the situation and the factors we have laid out for you in this article.
If you had an accident and you suffered a personal injury then, depending on your injury, you can somewhat reduce your compensation. If your injuries weren’t severe, if you do not have outstanding medical conditions and bills then you are entitled to special and general damages that will be determined by the court and specialists. The worst-case scenario is that you will be awarded the minimum amount that will depend on lost wages, medical bills, out of pocket expenses, but that as well does not have a fixed amount.
If you had severe injuries and if you had outstanding medical conditions, bills, treatments and if you have any sort of permanency after the accident then your case may be worth millions. Again, it is a sliding scale and it all depends on factors we have explained before this. The best thing we can advise here is to always, and always, have a good lawyer for things like this. Gigantic multi-billion dollars insurance companies do not believe in handouts and will lowball victims if they are not represented by an attorney. If you have a case and if you have the ability, always consult a personal injury lawyer to try and recover the maximum amount that you can and that you are entitled to.