How Much Is Your Injury Worth?
Placing a monetary value on a prospective personal injury claim is something I’m always reluctant to do. Mainly, because it adds fuel to the fire of the negativity surrounding personal injury attorneys. However, if people actually give the time to understand injury compensation by examining the facts objectively, they will see the good in the law and the protection it provides our society.
The Numerous Factors:
Despite contrary belief, it takes more than a sympathetic jury to produce a healthy compensation award. In fact, in most cases, the jury isn’t even involved because the case is settled far before getting to trial. Before trial, the victim’s personal injury lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company. Through the negotiation process, the two parties look at a number of factors to decide what a jury might potentially award the plaintiff. After they reach an agreeable number, they then deduct the legal fees and costs that they would save by avoiding a costly trial. To reach this point, they debate the merits of a number of factors.
First they look at liability. They will consider exactly how much responsible should lie with the defendant. The more responsible, the greater the potential award for the plaintiff.
The next thing the conflicting parties will examine is the extent of the injury. How serious is it? Is it permanent? Was it treated by a doctor?
Then the venue, or jurisdiction, will have to be taken account. Some states like Florida have less compensation cap restrictions than other states like Illinois. So naturally, the monetary value will vary by location.
As you can see, there’s MANY factors that account for the monetary value of an injury compensation claim. Plus, keep in mind, that the settlement amount is reached through negotiation between the two parties. If the settlement amount is outrageous, it is unlikely to be agreed upon by the insurance companies. Furthermore, if a jury does award too high a verdict at trial, it is often overruled by the judge, or struck down on appeal.
If you’ve been injured and you’re trying to determine how much your case may be worth, there is really only one way to be sure: by consulting with a qualified and experienced accident lawyer in your State.