When we meet a client, it is common for them to ask: “What is my personal injury claim worth?”
As I have pointed out in other posts, this question is harder than it seems. Every claim is different, and there are many things that affect a claim’s value.
Here are just a few of the things that affect the value of your injury claim:
The Strength of The Evidence of Your Claim
An insurance company is not going to settle, or a jury is not going to award you damages unless you have strong evidence of the following:
- The defendant owed you or people like you a duty of care;
- The defendant breached this duty;
- By breaching this duty, the defendant injured you;
- You suffered damages
If your case is missing any of these elements, you don’t have a claim. If there is weakness in your proof of any of these elements, you are going to recover less. Claims with strong evidence are more valuable than claims in which liability (the defendant’s responsibility) or the value of damages is not clear.
What are some examples of strong evidence?
- Medical records
- Medical Bills
- Accident or Police Reports
- Photos or Videos of the Accident Scene and Your Injuries
- Employment Records
- Witness Statements
- Pain Journal Entries
We at Dennis and King investigate your claim and gather the evidence you need to maximize the value of your claim. We understand the complexities of personal injury claim value factors and can help you maximize your award.
Most personal injury claims are settled for an amount within the defendant’s insurance limits. The insurance company will only typically pay up to the limits of coverage.
Here is how that works. Say the defendant driver who hit you had insurance limits for $50,000. This means the most the insurance company is ever going to pay is on your claim is $50,000 dollars, no matter how bad your damages or injuries or how negligent their insured driver.
How Clearly at Fault is the Defendant?
If it is clear and obvious that the defendant acted in a negligent or reckless way, the claim is worth more than if you can barely show the defendant was at fault. Also, if the defendant acts with reckless disregard for your life or safety, punitive damages may be available if you sue the defendant.
How Do Attorneys Determine the Value of Claims?
One thing a good Georgia or Tennessee personal injury attorney should do is identify all the potential sources of compensation for your claim and, eventually, as the evidence develops, assign a value range for your damages.
Some damages are easy to put a number on:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses due to your injury
On the other hand, pain and suffering is harder to assign a number. Basically, it is ultimately what a jury thinks it is. It can hinge on small things such as the client’s likeability, the extent of the client’s injury, whether the client recovered and the “shock value” of the injury.
Each claim is different and involves unique factors. Contact Dennis and King to discuss your Tennessee or Georgia accident claim.