There is no simple formula or magic trick to figuring out how much your injury case is worth. If things were that simple - both sides would always agree on the value of a case, injured accident victims would not need to hire a personal injury lawyer, and there would be much fewer lawyers.
The simple truth is - injury cases are very subjective and each case too unique to arrive at a formula. The same type of injury may affect one person differently than it affects another. For instance, a guitar player who loses a finger may have a substantial lost income claim if he or she can no longer perform but a cashier with the same injury may have very little or no lost income because having one less finger does not negatively impact job performance.
Why is so hard to tell what my case is worth?
Ultimately, the value of your case is what a jury may feel is fair to award or what you are willing to accept. But we never know that figure until the jury reaches a verdict or you decide to accept or reject a settlement offer.
Making things more complicated - separate juries would likely arrive at different awards even when presented with the same exact evidence. Juries are made up of individual persons, each with different backgrounds, experiences, and philosophies about awarding damages for injuries. Each jury is different.
From a settlement perspective – you may accept one amount on one day but a lower or higher amount on a different day. We simply do not know until we are faced with the decision!
Generally speaking, your personal injury damages include some or all of the following that impacts the case’s worth:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Past and future mental and physical pain and suffering;
- Past and future loss of enjoyment of life;
- Past and future loss of income or earning capacity;
- Loss of consortium;
Agreeing on the value of intangible damage such as mental and physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and disfigurement is difficult. Your results may vary greatly depending upon your attorney’s skill and experience, trial presentation, the location of your trial, and how you present.
While the elements of damages are generally determined by the severity of a victim’s injuries and the resulting impact on your life, other factors also come into play:
- Your credibility and likeability;
- Was the defendant’s conduct a simple mistake or reckless behavior;
- Do you have any portion of fault;
- Did you have pre-existing injuries to the same areas of the body;
- Are the injuries permanent;
- Has your income been affected at all, temporarily or permanently;
- How much is past medical treatment;
- Do you need and how much is the cost for future medical treatment; and
- the parish where the case is filed (some parishes are considered more conservative, others more liberal).
With so many variables affecting the value of a given case, you can see why no two cases are truly alike. Even if the injuries seem identical, other circumstances are not. Properly evaluating a personal injury case requires the knowledge, experience, intuition, and skill gained through years of involvement in handling them.
HURT IN A WRECK – GET HELP NOW!
If you are trying to figure out if you have a reasonable offer, you need to speak with a local personal injury attorney who can help you figure it out! Loyd J. Bourgeois stands ready to help. Contact us to schedule your FREE legal consultation – (985) 240-9773.