When involved in an accident and faced with the decision to pursue a personal injury claim, the first two questions people often ask are “how long does it take to resolve a personal injury claim?” and “how much is my injury claim worth?” Understandably, you want to know if pursuing a personal injury claim is worth your time and trouble. We get it.
Since we have already addressed a personal injury claim timeline in a previous article, we will answer the frequently asked question about how much an individual injury case is worth. Some personal injury attorneys will promise you a small fortune early on to persuade you to hire them. But, once they look into your case, it may not be worth as much as they promised.
8 Factors Affecting How Much a Personal Injury Case is Worth
At Petro Accident & Injury Attorneys, we want to be honest and upfront with you. And the truth is, the value of your injury claim depends on several factors and is difficult to determine before digging into the complexities of your accident. We may give you a rough estimate or a range of what is reasonable to expect. Still, we do not make any promises about the value of your injury case until we have researched these eight factors.
- Where you file the lawsuit
The state, city, and county where you file your injury lawsuit can impact the value of your case. Some areas place higher importance on different factors during a claim. Plus, the value can depend on case precedence in the state or area, as well as the feelings of the judges and jurors.
2. The severity of your injury
As you would assume, the severity of your injury has a huge impact on how much your personal injury case is worth. Generally, minor injuries receive less compensation than more severe injuries due to the medical treatment and expenses needed with a severe injury. For instance, hard injuries, such as broken or fractured bones and head injuries, may raise the value of the settlement as opposed to soft injuries like sprains or bruising. Similarly, permanent injuries, like scarring, disfigurement, diminished mobility, or permanent loss or use of a body part, are generally awarded a larger settlement.
3. The pain and suffering multiplier
When you are injured in an accident, some of your damages, such as medical expenses and time away from work, are easy to calculate. Other damages, such as emotional or mental trauma, are not as easy to match to a dollar value. Insurance companies and courts often use a pain and suffering multiplier to assess mental or emotional damages. A multiplier in a personal injury case can be anything from 1.5 times the amount of medical damages to 5 or more times the amount of economic damages.
4. Medical documentation
Not collecting records and/or documenting medical treatment is one of the biggest mistakes a personal injury victim can make. The amount of medical documentation you have supporting your personal injury can impact the final value of your claim. An insurance company will need to see clear and strong evidence of your injuries and related medical expenses before it will offer a fair settlement. Collecting copies of your medical records, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, and treatment plans can help you receive greater compensation for your personal injury.
5. Proof of negligence
In a personal injury case, we must prove negligence to hold a person or business legally responsible for your injuries. To prove negligence, we will need to show three things:
A person or business did something careless, illegal or otherwise wrong.
– How the act of wrongdoing caused harm to you (directly or indirectly) led to damages, such as bodily injuries, medical bills, forced time off work, depression, etc.
The person or business who caused this harm or their insurance company has the money to pay you damages.
Clearly proving that your injuries were the fault of the defendant is essential in getting fairly compensated for pain and suffering. In cases in which the other side is clearly at fault for a victim’s injuries, settlements will usually be higher. On the other hand, if the defendant proves that you were partially responsible for the injury, the value of your case could be diminished.
6. Available insurance
The amount of insurance available is a significant factor in the final value of your case. If the negligent party does not have adequate insurance, you may not be able to recover as much compensation for your losses.
7. Multiple victims
If the accident involved multiple victims who are filing against one entity for compensation, the maximum coverage on the defendant’s insurance policy could be reached quickly. This often means the victims will turn against each other to prove who deserves more compensation for damages.
8. Multiple defendants
One way to combat an issue of lack of insurance is to identify more than one at-fault defendant. This will give you numerous insurance companies from which to seek damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you “think like an insurance adjuster” in order to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
The bottom line is that an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of insurance policies, Alabama law, and ultimately, maximize the amount of compensation you receive to cover your damages. Don’t go at it alone!
Call Mark Petro of Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys
Mark Petro has built a reputation of being the go-to guy to get personal injury claims handled in a manner that maximizes the amount of recovery so that you get what you deserve sooner rather than later. Call Mark Petro of Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys for a free consultation about your case. Let us fight for you!