How Can I Determine the Value of My Florida Personal Injury Case?
The most common question we get asked by clients who have been injured in a Florida car accident, or any other type of accident, is “What is the Value of My Case? The answer we most commonly give is “It Depends?” This is not our attempt to evade the question. The truth is, there are many factors that go into determining the value of any personal injury case. But before discussing some of these factors it is important to first address a common myth associated with injury claims.
Every Case Is Different!
When talking to us about their personal injury case, people will often compare their case with someone else’s that they know. For example, we will hear such things as “my friend was in an accident just like mine and she got paid the maximum amount of insurance and it only took a short period of time.” Our usual response to this is, “that’s great, tell us more about your friends claim.” Of course, the client or person we are speaking with is usually unable to provide any additional information regarding their friends’ case. Even if they can provide more information, they quickly realize that their friends’ case is very different than their own.
The fact is, every case is different. This is true even if they sound the same. There are usually different injuries involved, and people will have different medical histories. More importantly, you will usually be dealing with different insurance companies. Even if you’re dealing with the same insurance company, you’ll likely be dealing with a different insurance adjuster. All of these things can affect the value of a case, so be careful if an attorney tries to compare your case with others, or over promises how much you could earn for your case. Estimates made based on the value of cases similar to yours may not always be accurate.
What Factors Should be Considered in Valuing My Personal Injury Case?
The value of your case is dependent on quite a few factors. The first would be the medical bills from your accident. You won’t know how much those bills are in total until you are finished with your treatment. Next, you may be entitled to recover “lost wages.” That is simply the amount of money you would have made if you weren’t injured and therefore able to do your job. This calculation could include what is called “loss of future earning capacity.” This comes up when you are no longer able to do your job because of your injuries, such as if you lose the use of one of your arms and you were a surgeon.
Even after all those numbers are added up, there is no mathematical formula that can be used to determine the exact value of your case. Here are some additional factors that must also be considered in determining the value of your case:
Are you at fault for any portion of your accident?
Your total medical bills to date
The amount of your medical bills that remain outstanding
Estimated future medical expenses
Loss of future earning capacity
Are your injuries permanent?
Any scarring or disfigurement?
How your injuries affect your activities of daily living
Did you have surgery?
Is surgery anticipated?
Prior medical history – did you have the same or similar complaints before and, if so, when in comparison to the accident?
Does your doctor relate your condition to the accident?
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered in valuing your personal injury claim. Most cannot even be addressed until well after your accident, and after you have been treating for your injuries. Unfortunately, despite this, there are lawyers who will try to tell you what your case is worth at the initial consultation when they are trying to secure you as a client. These are lawyers that should be avoided. An experienced personal injury attorney will refrain from discussing value until the time is right, and only after he/she is able to assess many of the important factors that will affect the value of your case.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813)419-3866 to talk directly to a Ruskin personal injury attorney now.