What Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
When we’re valuing personal injury claims, we’re looking at a couple of different components and then we’re adding them all up to figure out what a dollar amount value will be for your claim.
So, here’s what we’re looking at. The first question we have to answer is, what is the money available? If you’ve been in an auto wreck and somebody else caused an accident but that person doesn’t have any insurance for whatever reason, or they don’t have a penny to their name then the value of the case is gonna be very limited because there isn’t any money to go get. On the flip side, if you’ve been in an auto wreck and the person who hit you has a million dollar insurance coverage then you know that is not gonna be an issue. Then there’s gonna be enough money available to compensate you for the full value of your claim.
The second question we ask is, what are the total medical bills in your case? So, the personal injury claim by its very nature has injuries. And injuries are treated in hospitals or urgent cares or by chiropractors or by orthopedists, and they’re all done in a medical setting and they all have medical bills associated with it. And so, these are economic damages and we want to know what the total economic damages are in your case, the total medical bills. And we also want to know what your total out of pocket is. In other words, what has insurance covered or what has your PIP insurance covered if it’s an auto accident claim?
We next want to find out what your lost wages are. This is another sort of economic damage, right? It’s something that we can put an actual, to the penny we can figure out what your lost wages are. And so if you had to leave work under doctors orders and you weren’t able to work for a couple of weeks and you make 20 bucks an hour, then we can figure out the exact dollar amount of your lost wage claim.
Now the next question, and this is the big one in an injury case is, what is your pain and suffering? And this is an intangible amount. It’s not like medical bills where we can say, “Your pain and suffering was worth to a penny, this particular number.” It depends, k? And what it depends on is, how has this accident affected your life? And there are two different places that we’re looking at.
One is, what are the things that you used to be able to do and you can’t do now? What has been taken from you? Maybe you used to go to the gym every day or maybe you used to run every day and now you can’t do that. And so that is a part of pain and suffering, that we’ll sit down and figure out a value to do the best we can to compensate you for what’s been taken from you.
The second part is, what are the things that you still do ’cause you have to do them, but they’re really hard to do right now? So for example, if you gotta work and you still have to go and drag yourself into the office every day or whatever it might be, but it hurts now. You have to do it, but it stinks for you now. It’s painful. The only way you can get through it is to take a bunch of pain med in the morning and then when you go home you pay for it. We call these, the technical term is duties under duress. But we want to know what those are because that’s a big portion of your pain and suffering claim.
The last question we want to know is, what is the liability in your case? So is it 100% clear that this injury that you have, that the accident was caused by somebody else? So for example, you have your motor vehicle car wreck where somebody runs a red light and plows into you while you’re just parked. In that case, we know that liability is 100% clear, right? It’s not your fault at all. Or, is it the situation where it’s vague or maybe there was a sideswipe and it’s a little bit harder for us to prove the liability at 100%? We want to know that because it factors into your claim.
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