FAQ: What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
The value of a personal injury case depends on a variety of factors. Every case is unique and has circumstances that are different from other cases. Generally, a person is entitled to money for all of the damages they suffered in a personal injury. With the assistance of a personal injury attorney, you will be better informed about how much your case may be worth. A personal injury attorney cannot guarantee a specific amount, based upon the difficulty of predicting whether the case will settle or proceed to trial. If a case proceeds to trial, then a jury may determine whether and how much a case is worth.
Not every personal injury claim gives rise to an award of damages. In order to receive compensation for damages, you must be able to prove that the person or entity responsible for injuries was negligent. Negligence is a complex legal theory that includes several legal elements. In general, in order to prove negligence, you must show that a person failed to exercise reasonable care, that this failure caused your injuries, and that you actually suffered damages.
To prove negligence and the legal elements, you must have sufficient evidence for each element. In personal injury cases, any relevant evidence may be used to prove your case. Examples of evidence that may be useful, includes:
- Medical records
- Video recordings
- Police, accident and other incident reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Criminal records
- Toxicology reports
- Expert witnesses
A personal injury attorney can help with identifying relevant evidence and obtaining the necessary information. If evidence is help by the other party or someone else, then an attorney can help retrieve that information through the use of discovery, subpoenas, depositions and other legal methods.
If you have a good faith claim for damages, then a personal injury attorney can help you file a claim. If the other party had insurance and the policy covers the type of incident at hand, then the insurance company may be required to pay some of the damages. Insurance companies are typically limited to how much can be paid and they often seek to pay the bare minimum. If an insurance company will not adequately pay, or if the person responsible for the injuries does not have insurance, then a personal injury attorney can pursue litigation.
Litigation is the process of resolving the case through the court system. To initiate the process, a personal injury attorney will file a complaint with the court and request payment for your damages. Litigation is often a complex and lengthy process, but an attorney can provide valuable assistance. An attorney will negotiate on your behalf to try and reach a fair settlement amount. The majority of cases are settled and do not require a trial. In the rare case where a case cannot be settled, then a personal injury attorney will present your claim to the court and explain why you should be compensated.
Determining the amount of damages is not a simple task. Some damages are easy to calculate, such as medical expenses and property damages. Other damages are more complex and usually require the expertise of various professionals. Some damages, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of earning capacity, and others, lack an objective standard of amount. For these damages, expert witnesses such as economists, accountants, psychologists, and other professionals, may be used to explain your particular situation. Experienced personal injury attorneys will be familiar with different experts who may be used to prove your damages.
Anyone who has suffered injuries as a result of another’s negligence, should consult with a personal injury attorney for advice about your particular situation. A personal injury case will be able to provide insight about how much your case may be worth. They will also be able to pursue a claim on your behalf and advocate for your interests. Because there are time limits on filing personal injury claims, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Contact a personal injury attorney to schedule a consultation if you have been injured in an accident.