One of the questions often asked when people hire a personal injury attorney is, “How much is my personal injury case worth?”
Any lawyer will probably tell you that it’s difficult to determine the exact value of your personal injury case initially. Each case is different, and there are several factors that affect the value of your claim.
Sometimes, a claim might have a lower initial estimated value immediately after the accident, but then become a higher-value claim after a few years as additional side effects and long-term damages become evident.
For example, you might have sustained minor injuries after an accident such as a strained neck, pulled muscles, and soft tissue injuries. Initially, this case is likely to receive a lower settlement offer due to the type of injuries sustained. However, after a few years, your doctors may discover that you need shoulder surgery due to damages from the original accident. In this example, the value of the case has increased due to the increase in damages.
To help give you a rough estimate of your case’s value, below we outline some factors to consider.
How to Roughly Determine the Value of Your Case
In personal injury cases, the injured person’s losses will often fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages include financial losses that you have suffered due to your injuries. The losses may be caused directly or indirectly by the accident. These may include your medical bills, property damage, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and out-of-pocket costs.
Non-economic damages include those that are not financial. This may include emotional distress, mental health complications, and loss of consortium.
The following questions will allow you to assess the damages:
What type of injuries did you sustain?
There are different types of personal injury cases, and they all vary in degree. The value of your case will depend on the kind of injuries you sustained in the accident.
Here are some of the most common personal injury case types:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Slip and fall
- Workplace accidents
- Dog bites
- Product defect
Whatever your case is, it’s important to get the assistance of a personal injury attorney so he or she can carefully assess the severity of your case.
What kind of treatments did your doctors prescribe?
The answer to your question “How much is my personal injury case worth?” also depends on the medical bills and costs that you paid for, even if it’s not paid directly by you as an out-of-pocket expense.
As a general rule, the person who injured you (i.e., the at-fault party) will be responsible for paying all the damages resulting from the accident. These damages include your medical treatment, such as hospital bills, medicine, medical devices, physical and pain management therapies, and transportation costs to your physician.
The value of your case depends on the severity of your injuries and the kind of treatments that your doctor will prescribe. As mentioned earlier in the example, minor injuries that require minor treatments won’t result in a significant settlement. However, serious injuries that require more complex medical attention (e.g. surgery) are more likely to have higher settlement values.
How much income did you lose due to the injury?
If you’re unable to work due to your injuries, that’s another factor to add to the evaluation of your case’s potential value. If you can’t work, you’re entitled to compensation for the income that you lost because of your injuries, as well as the days of work absence because you were undergoing treatment for those injuries.
If your injuries have reduced your capacity to work, then you have a right to be reimbursed for the difference between your earnings before and after the injury.
If your injuries are permanent and have completely prevented you from being able to work, then you have a right to receive compensation for 100% of your lost income.
Because the facts of each case are unique, it’s best to consult a personal injury attorney to properly examine your situation and determine the potential value of lost income and earning capacity.
Did you suffer from mental health complications and emotional distress?
It’s normal to experience psychological trauma after an accident. Emotional distress and mental health complications can even delay your physical recovery. This is because emotional distress can cause lack of sleep, weight loss, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
These are some of the most common types of emotional distress:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Since emotional distress is non-economic damage, the injured party’s suffering can’t be measured specifically. Instead, the compensation amount depends on the impact that it has on the injured party’s quality of life.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Determining the potential value of a personal injury case involves evaluating several factors. If you’re still asking yourself “How much is my personal injury case worth?” then a personal injury attorney can help you look at the facts of your case. They can provide an idea of what your case might be worth.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, and you’re wondering what your case might be worth, please reach out to the attorneys at 801-INJURED. We’d be happy to discuss your situation and help you get the compensation you deserve.