How much is my case worth?
This question is one of the most frequently asked questions and is also very difficult to answer in the early stages. It is virtually impossible to predict the value of a case until all of the information has been collected and you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement from your injury. There are many factors that determine the value of a case. They include:
a. The actual amount of all of your medical bills.
b. How such medical bills were incurred; that is, from diagnostic tests, treatments, physical therapy, hospital stays, prescription medication, over the-counter medication, chiropractic care and other treatment.
c. How much income and other employment benefits were lost as a result of your injury. This would include lost pay, sick leave used, vacation time used, loss of insurance benefits and other losses resulting from your injury.
d. The actual extent of your injury and how such injury affected your daily life. This would include limitations of household activities, sports and leisure activities, and social life.
e. Whether or not any aspect of your injuries is permanent. This would also include permanent disfigurement such as scars, blemishes and other disfiguring characteristics.
f. Whether any of your injuries required hospitalization.
g. The extent of liability on the part of the potential defendant.
h. Whether there is any evidence that you were partly at fault for your own injuries.
i. The status of the law as it relates to your case.
j. The quality of your witnesses, including those who will testify about the incident, your injuries, and your medical treatment.
k. Other factors such as pain, suffering, inconvenience and loss of consortium (how the injury affected your marital relationship).
l. Which insurance company is involved in the case.
The above are just a few of the factors that must be taken into consideration in determining a settlement value. Some factors are more important than others and because insurance companies require specific documentation, it is your responsibility and that of your lawyer to provide the insurance company with as much clear information as possible to support your claim.