One thing nearly every client wants to know when they begin the personal injury process: “How much money is my claim worth.” There is not a quick answer to this question and the amount of recovery is unique to each claim. Many people believe a claim’s worth is simple math. The truth is, there is no quick formula to determine the value of a claim. However, there are factors that help us determine the settlement value of each personal injury claim.
The Severity of a Person’s Injuries
This is the biggest indicator of value. If a person suffers a catastrophic injury, their claim is worth more than a claim where someone only incurs minor injuries. If someone is injured in an auto accident and their injuries heal in a few months, the claim is worth something, but not as much as a claim where someone suffers a permanent injury.
The Amount of the Medical Bills
Typically, the greater the amount of medical bills, the larger the value. However, this comes with a caveat. The medical treatment must be reasonable, and related to the injuries caused by the accident, and the medical provider must bill a customary amount for similar services. This means a client may have huge medical bills, but if the medical provider inflates the bills, then it will not have the same impact on the value of a claim as a reasonable medical bill. This is one reason why having a personal injury attorney is so important. We not only negotiate with the at-fault party, but we also negotiate outstanding medical bills when necessary.
The Monetary Loss Associated with an Accident
When a person is injured due to another’s negligence, and the injured person must miss time from work or loses money in another way as a direct result of the accident, then the value of the claim increases.
The Culpability of the At-fault Person
Suppose someone is injured by a drunk driver who has had multiple DUI’s, the value of the settlement increases. This is because it is difficult for the insurance company to defend someone so blatantly culpable. This factor may not increase a settlement amount drastically, but it can help secure a better settlement than if the accident seems to be a clearly honest mistake that anyone could have made.
Value is Relative
There are important aspects to remember when determining the value of a personal injury claim. The personal injury process is not intended to make a person wealthier than before they were injured. It is intended to allow an injured person to recover what they lost from an accident. Money is not a good substitute for health, but it is the only legal remedy. An injured person should not attempt to drive up the value of their claim for the sole purpose of increasing the amount of their recovery. In fact, when this happens, it often hurts a claim more than it helps. The key is, to be honest about the injuries sustained, obtain the necessary medical treatment, and return to normal life as quickly as possible. The claims process typically works itself out when a person does everything they can to honestly recover from their injuries.
Rep Law is Different
Our team is not interested in exaggerating a person’s injuries. Again, this often hurts a claim more than it helps. Our number one goal is for our clients to fully recover from their injuries and to be compensated a fair amount for their losses. We help clients understand the fair value of their claim, but often we must wait until the client fully recovers, or a doctor determines the injuries are permanent before we can assess the true value of a claim.
We Love Helping People
Money cannot always make up for the losses of a personal injury, especially a death, but we do everything we can to help our clients recover what they deserve. If you are injured in an accident, our team is here to help you recover, both physically and financially.