Value Your Claim
Valuing Your Personal Injury Claim
A PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT claim is VALUED by considering and calculating a variery of factors:
(1) FAULT (Liability):
This seems obvious but many people do not realize that you are not entitled to compensation for an accident from another party unless the accident is not your fault. In other words, the number one key to recovering in an accident claim is to have clear proof that the accident and your injuries were caused by the other party. Secondly, you case value can be reduced if your injuries in the accident were partially caused by your own negligence. For example, if you are in a car accident and you failed to wear your seat belt, it is arguable that part of your injuries were caused by your own failure to wear a seat belt. In these cases, your claim can be reduced significantly if the other party can show that most of your injuries would have been prevented had you been wearing a seat belt. Slip (Trip) and Fall Cases are another type of claim where your own fault will be called into question. If you trip and fall at a business premises, the other party will question how much of accident was caused by your own failure to look where you were going? Since there are many difficulties with litigation an accident claim, law firms generally will not take or handle claims where fault is a big question.
(2) TYPE AND SEVERITY OF THE ACCIDENT or IMPACT:
Another key factor to consider when valuing an accident claim is the perceived severity of the accident itself. For example if you are in an auto accident and you are claiming severe injuries, it is important to look at the property damage to confirm whether your injuries could reasonably have been caused by the impact in your case. If, for example, your accident was a parking lot “fender bender” and there is barely a scratch on either vehicle, it will not be believable that you could have suffered severe injuries in such an accident and your burden of proving injuies will be higher. On the other hand, if in your accident both cars are completely totaled and parties had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance or helicopter, then it is more likely that your injuries are genuine and given more weight.
(3) TYPE AND SEVERITY OF THE ACTUAL INJURIES:
In our system, a case is not given any value for speculative damages. In other words, you can not get any compensation for “I almost died” or “I could have been seriously crippled” – you have to actually be injured and have medical bills and treatment in order to get compensated by the other party. So if you were in a massive car wreck, and you walk away from the accident completely unscathed, count yourself lucky!! But if you were not hurt, you will not be getting any money from the insurance company, even if the accident was not your fault and even if the accident was very severe. If you are in an accident and all you had was ‘whiplash’ also known as soft-tissue back or neck strain, you case is not going to valued as highly as someone who suffered a broken arm or contusions and bruising.
(4) The AMOUNT of your medical bills (cost of treatment):
The monetary value of a personal injury auto accident claim is based in part on the total medical bills for your recovery and treatment. So logically if someone has $500 in total medical bills, their claim will be valued less than someone who incurred over $10,000 in medical bills. This does not mean that you should go can “rack up” as much bills as you can because the treatments have to be reasonable.