In many of the initial meetings I have been asked the question “how much is my case worth?”. There are many factors that determine the worth and settlement of a case, therefore, it is a question that always goes unanswered. Some people have come to our office and have had very high expectations and think that they will get a check with the full limits on the policy; however, there is a lot more that goes in to it than they may expect. Here are some, but not all of the factors that affect the value of a Personal Injury settlement:
- Medical Bills: The higher the medical bills, the higher the value of your case.
- Medical bills and the injury suffered go hand in hand, the more serious the injury the more medical bills will be accumulated. For example, if you are taken to the hospital by ambulance it is likely that they will take x-rays and other tests and then order the patient to seek follow-up treatment – at this point the patient may be referred elsewhere for other purposes, like therapy, which escalate the amount of medical bills.
- Pain and Suffering: This is different in every case, the more serious the injury the higher the value of pain and suffering portion of the claim.
- These factors don’t have a dollar value attached to them which makes it the hardest component of any settlement. Pain and suffering includes: loss of enjoyment of life, insomnia, grief, and other inconveniences.
- Lost Wages: Any lost wages will increase the value of a claim.
- Lost wages can occur from either the severe injuries or the medical treatment required, under the Florida PIP law, PIP will reimburse you for 60% of your lost wages. To recover the other 40%, you and your attorney will have to include it in the demand sent to the at-fault insurance.
- Loss of Future Earnings or Future Medical Expenses: These damages can have a huge impact on the value of your settlement.
- In some cases, because of the severity of the injuries they incurred, clients will have to continue treating after their case is settled; or even worse may not be able to continue their career or have to pursue another career. In these cases, Brooks Law Group includes the future expenses into your demand to the at-fault insurance – you should not be responsible for these expenses.
- Prior Injuries or Accidents: This factor can potentially hurt the worth of a case, therefore, it is very important that you are honest with your attorney since the beginning.
- Insurance companies use prior injuries or accidents against the client. For example, if you have history of back pain and are complaining about back pain insurance companies will blame the injuries to the prior injuries acquired.
Have you ever wondered why some cases are worth more than others? Well, as you can see, the factors that determine the worth are case specific. Brooks Law Group has over 25 years of experience handling personal injury claims resulting from car accidents, semi-truck accidents, and slip and falls.