Personal Injury Lawyer
One of the most common questions attorneys hear from clients is, “What is my case worth?”
It is often difficult to initially determine, but factors that play a role in a final financial outcome include the details of the accident itself, the extent of any injuries, evidence, insurance coverage, including the policy of the person liable for your injuries and damages.
What Compensation Can I Get?
Those who are seriously injured in an accident or those who are filing suit on behalf of family members who have died as the result of an accident are likely to receive a higher settlement, based on:
- The type of injury suffered, as well as the medical treatments used to address them, including surgeries.
- The length of recovery time.
- Lost work.
- The amount associated with medical bills and other medical expenses.
- Whether your injury resulted in permanent scarring or disability.
- Witnesses who may provide evidence after the accident.
- Medical experts whose opinions can help bolster your case.
How Settlements Start
Initially, insurance companies and personal injury attorneys will use a standard formula to determine a settlement that reflects how much money the injured party would accept in order to avoid taking further action against the party at fault.
That number is generally determined by both the attorney for the plaintiff and the opposing party’s insurance company. If the numbers are close, negotiations are more likely to be successful. The more far apart the numbers are, however, the more likely a personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL, will gather evidence to determine whether or not there is a good chance that the case will be successful at trial.
There are a variety of different factors that go into calculating your final settlement. One commonly used formula takes total expenses (medical expenses, property damage, lost earnings, and future lost income as well as estimated future medical expenses) and multiplies that figure by either one or one and a half to get an estimate of non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering, which could be added to economic losses for a final settlement total.
To get an estimate that will give you a general idea of what kind of number your attorney and the opposing insurance companies might be talking about, consider the following expenses:
- Medical expenses: The total amount of your medical expenses, even those that are unpaid.
- Property damage: Calculate the expenses associated not only with damage to your property such as automobile damage as the result of a car accident, for example, including the cost of a rental vehicle.
- Lost earnings: If you missed work due to your injuries, the amount lost is calculated without taking into consideration benefits such as unemployment of short-term disability.
- Future lost income: If you will be unable to continue working at the same job or at any job after treatment for your injury ends, estimate those lost earnings.
- Estimated future medical expenses: If you will require long-term treatment – such as that associated with a spinal injury, for example – try to estimate your future expenses.
- General damages: Pain and suffering are the most difficult aspects to calculate, and are usually 1 to 1.5 times the total of all other damages.
Thanks to the law office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into calculating the value of your personal injury case.