When an individual is injured in an accident or due to the actions or fault of another, a few burning question that they typically have are “How can I get compensation from the party that injured me?” and “How much is my personal injury case worth?” Coming up with an estimate is difficult to do because personal injury cases are highly fact specific and no two personal injury cases are ever the same.
It is difficult to make a determination as to how much a personal injury claim is worth without a thorough investigation into the facts of the case. A number of factors go into the calculation of how much a personal injury claim is worth, and that is why personal injury awards and settlement amounts range from a few thousand dollars to the multi-millions. A few of the factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining how much a personal injury case is worth include:
- How extensive the injuries are;
- Whether the injuries are predicted to persist for many years;
- Who can be held liable for the injuries;
- Whether the injured party contributed to the injuries in some way;
- What evidence is available to support the injured party’s personal injury claim;
- Which laws are applicable to the injured party’s case, as some causes of action have limits on how much in damages can be sought and some claims can be eligible for multiples of damages; and
- What types of damages the injured party is eligible for, such as damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future wages or earning potential, etc.
The Amount You Seek vs. What Is Offered
In almost all personal injury cases, there are settlement negotiations that take place before a case goes to trial. During this time, a personal injury victim can make a claim for what they believe is owed in terms of compensation. This claim amount includes past medical expenses as well as future medical expense estimates, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, etc. The other party to the negotiations will likely counteroffer with a lower settlement amount, and this negotiation process continues back and forth until the parties agree or come to an impasse.
If the parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, then the personal injury case will move on to the courts, where there will be a trial by jury. The amount awarded at the trial can be substantially different from the amount that was discussed during negotiations.