How Case Worth Is Determined
So, you’ve been injured in an auto accident or slip and fall. You’re in pain, haven’t been able to work, and have medical bills starting to pile. You’re looking to hire an attorney, but not sure if it’s worth it. You have no idea how much money your case is worth. We understand your struggle. That’s why we want to help you better understand the valuation process of a claim.
In Step 9 of How To Settle Your Own Claim we address that the amount of money a case can receive is broken down into economic and non-economic damages.
Let’s look at three examples of how much money a case can be worth:
A client is rear-ended in an auto accident. They have full tort coverage, so they can make a claim for pain and suffering. The client has been diagnosed with a neck and back strain with occasional spasms. This client treats with physical therapy for twelve weeks and is then released. This client missed three weeks of work because of the accident.
So, the client’s economic damages will be: medical bills paid by insurance + out-of-pocket medical expenses + lost wages. Let’s say this amount totals $4,000. The client’s pain and suffering now must be determined. Because this client wasn’t hospitalized, didn’t require surgery, the pain and suffering will not be remarkably high. An additional $3,000 is added. So, the client’s total claim value would be about $7,000.
A client is injured when she falls down the steps of her apartment complex after she had submitted written requests for her landlord to fix the loose step several weeks ago. She suffers a broken leg and requires surgery to rest the bone as well as several screws in her ankle. The client treats with an orthopedic specialist and physical therapy for about eight months.
She has been unable to work for eight months due to the injury. Her economic damages are around $10,000, which includes her medical bills, her out-of-pocket expenses and her lost wages. Her pain and suffering equal more than the first client’s due to the length of time involved and the extent of the injury. The client’s pain and suffering add an additional $25,000 to the claim, making the claim worth $35,000.
Let’s look at an extreme injury example. A client is hit head on by another driver. The client suffers a traumatic brain injury and will never be able to work again. He will also need around the clock medical staff to assist in his day-to-day living. This is a case where the economic damages would include future lost wages, as the client will be unable to work again.
Due to the extensive medical treatment along with past and future wage loss, the client’s economic damages total $5,000,000. The pain and suffering for this client is very hard to measure, because his life is forever altered by the accident. His pain and suffering add an additional $17,000,000. So, this client’s total claim value would be $22,000,000.
While these are just examples, you can see how the economic and non-economic damages help determine how much a claim is worth.
If you have questions about how much your case is worth, please contact us today or use the Personal Injury Calculator above!