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How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

Obviously, one of the most common concerns when a person is injured and has consulted an attorney is the ultimate monetary worth of their case. Personal injury cases can cover a variety of cases including those of car accidents, bicycle accidents, boating accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice and more. There are several factors which go into making a determination on the worth of a case, which is why it's literally impossible to provide a quick, simple answer to this question.

  1. First of all, it depends on what type of injury or accident occurred. Certain causes of action and their possible financial recovery may be limited by statute.
  2. Second, depending upon who is legally responsible, the amount of the possible recovery may be limited by their insurance coverage.
  3. Third, the percentage of negligence or fault on the part of the injured party may reduce the total amount that the liable party will be required to pay to that injured party. So, as you can see, a lot of legalese and "it depends" type answers will be laid out by your attorney when you ask them that all-important question, "what is my case worth?"

However, if you are entitled to financial compensation, it will be for the following reasons. Compensatory damages are awarded in personal injury cases when losses have been suffered by the injured party, such as

1) money to pay for medical expenses to treat the injuries sustained,

2) money to pay for property losses,

3) pain and suffering, as a court can put a dollar amount on this,

4) emotional distress such as fear, anxiety and sleep loss,

5) loss of enjoyment of day to day activities like hobbies and exercise, and

6) loss of consortium, or the loss of intimate relations with your partner.

Punitive damages can also be awarded if the defendant's conduct was so outrageous that the court or the law of the state has the authority to punish the defendant for their actions. Remember, that the plaintiff's contributory negligence can diminish the amount of the final compensatory award by the percentage of fault the defendant is assessed. For instance, if the jury or a judge finds that the plaintiff was 20% negligent in the accident or incident out of which the injuries arose, and the total damages were $100,000, then the defendant would only have to pay the defendant $80,000.

So one can see how it is not an easy equation to solve when a client asks, "How much is my case worth?" The best way to determine this is to get with your lawyer that is handling your case, as it really depends on the specific circumstances of your situation.

If you have any questions relating to personal injury matters please feel free to contact us at any time. We would be happy to assist you in any way we can at Law Office of J.D. Smith, PLLC.