Many times, one of the first questions a client asks is “what is my case worth?”. This a complicated question and I never give an answer in the initial meeting. There are several areas that will affect the value of any settlement that will be unknown at an initial meeting. Below are several but not all the factors that affect the value of a Persona Injury settlement.
- Medical Bills: The first and most obvious factor in determining the value of any personal incur case are the medical bills. If you are not that severely injured, the odds are that you will not incur significant medical bills. The more serious the injuries the more medical bills. Many times these medical bills will start accumulating right after the accident. An ambulance will take a victim of an accident to the hospital, where they conduct x-rays and possible more testing. After the hospital the victim will have to seek follow-up treatment and may even be referred to a specialist. This specialist may recommend surgery. Medical bills can accumulate quickly and it is important that you let your attorney know of any doctors that you see for injuries because of the accident. The more severe the injuries and greater the medical bills the higher the value of your case.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering is the legal term that refers to the physical and emotional stress put on the victim by the negligence of another. In terms of quantifying a value, pain and suffering is the hardest component of any settlement. Many factors go into pain and suffering. These factors include the loss of enjoyment of life, grief, insomnia, and overall inconvenience. All these factors share the fact that they do not have a dollar value attached to them. Pain and suffering is different in each case and the more significant the injuries, the value of the pain and suffering portion of the settlement will increase.
- Lost Wages: Many times clients are severely injured and must miss work either due to the severity of their injuries or to get medical treatment. Under Florida PIP law, PIP will reimburse you for 60% of any loss wages due to the accident. To recover the other 40% and any other lost wages that PIP did not reimburse you for, you and your attorney will have to include in your demand to the At-Fault party’s insurance. Any lost wages will increase the value of a claim.
- Future Medical Expenses/ Loss of Future Earnings: When a client has severe injuries, they may need continued medical treatment even after their personal injury case has settled. On a client’s final narrative, the treating physician will include future medical expenses the patient can reasonably be expected to incur. The victim should not be responsible for these future expenses. Your attorney at the Brooks Law Group will include these future medical expenses in your demand to make sure the At Fault insurance company will pay for them in your settlement. In even more severe instances a victim of an accident will not be able to continue their career or must pursue a new career because of the injuries sustained. These damages can have a huge impact on the value of any settlement and must be discussed with you attorney.
- Prior Accidents/ Injuries: Whenever a client has had multiple accidents or injuries the insurance company will use those prior injuries or claims against the client. If a victim is complaining about back pain in this accident but has a history of back pain, the insurance will diminish their current claim and blame the injuries on the prior back injury. This is where being honest and open with attorney from the very beginning and letting them know of all prior accidents and injuries can help them get a leg up on the insurance company.
As you can see many factors go into valuing a case and each case and victim is different. Your attorney will discuss these factors along with several others when you have completed treatment to help determine the value of your case. The Brooks Law Group has over 25 years of handling personal injuries for victims of Tampa Bay automobile accidents.
If you or a loved one need a Tampa Attorney, Winter Haven Attorney, or Lakeland Personal Injury Attorney please contact the Brooks Law Group at (863) 299-1962 for your free consultation