Personal Injury Lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL
After an injury, one of the first questions most people ask if they decide to file a lawsuit against the person or entity that was negligent is, “What is my claim worth?”
The most important thing those who are filing a claim need to understand, however, is that every case is different, and it is very difficult to put a price on an injury.
“This is often difficult to evaluate early on, because generally speaking, people have to treat with a doctor for months and months before their injury stabilizes and the doctor can give a prognosis for this future,” says Florida-based attorney Eric H. Luckman, P.A. ”So all these moving parts go into making up the value of an injury case and it is oftentimes very difficult to determine the value of the case early on.”
That’s not to say there haven’t been attempts to do so.
Certain injuries such as amputations have a certain set monetary value, although that value is often tied to salary if the case is a workers’ compensation case.
Calculating damages in general
Liability and damages are the two parts that make up a personal injury case.
If one person or business is 100 percent liable for your injuries – the driver in a car accident, or the business that failed to put safety features in place that may have prevented your injury, for example – that person or entity will cover 100 percent of the damages. If you are in any way at fault, however, that will reduce the value of your case, and any potential settlement you might receive could be reduced or rejected entirely, depending on the state in which you live.
Damages include both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are tangible, such as medical bills, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages, which can be determined by adding up current bills and estimating future bills and future earning potential.
Non-economic losses, however, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress including post-traumatic stress disorder, loss of consortium (the companionship of a spouse or partner) and loss of enjoyment of life are much more difficult to price, and in many cases, more costly because who can put a price on pain and suffering, especially after a life-altering accident?
What impacts damage estimates?
There are several different aspects of a personal injury that will help influence the outcome of a settlement.
Potential damages will be determined by:
- The severity of your injuries.
- The medical treatment you received, and how much more you will need.
- Whether or not you required surgery, since surgery usually increases the value of your settlement.
- The prognosis of your injuries. Are you expected to make a full recovery, or will there be complications?
- The impact your injury has had on your daily life.
Honestly, there isn’t any certainty about the worth of your claim until an insurance company makes an offer, or a jury determines a settlement.
To find out more about your personal case and to get an expert opinion from a personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL, call a law office today.
Contact Luckman Law for their insight into personal injury claims and what your case is worth.