How Much is my Case Worth?
Posted on Thursday, July 5th, 2018 at 4:48 pm
One of the number one questions we get, and it’s a very common question, and I understand why people ask this, it’s “how much is my personal injury case worth – such as a car accident or a slip and fall accident?” Truth be told, no attorney that is skilled and competent in handling personal injury attorneys should give you a figure for what your case is worth when you come and just met with them before they had the chance to collect all the evidence, collect all the medical reports, do any interviews they need to, visit the scene, take photographs, talk to any necessary witnesses, collect expert reports. So those are the things that go in to determine what’s the value of a personal injury case?
Each case stands on its own and there are a number of factors that go into affecting what the value is for a personal injury case. A lot of times, one of the factors for a car accident case is how much available insurance is there? In Philadelphia, unfortunately, there are a lot of drivers that have a minimum policy of $15,000 for when they injure somebody in a car accident, if they don’t have any other assets or there is no under-insured motorist coverage with the injured individual then even if it’s a catastrophic injury that could be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, if there is only $15,000 worth of insurance coverage and there is no personal assets to go after it for the responsible individual then unfortunately that’s a major factor that would affect what’s the value of a case, so it’s not just alone “how severe is your injury?”
Other things need to be taken into count: did you sustain any wage loss? Meaning after the injury where you able to work? Did you have to miss time off work? Did you have to go back to work in a light duty capacity? And make less money? Other factors are if you can’t work, are you able to be going back to work? Will you ever be able to get back to the job that you had? What we call that is a decrease in your earning capacity and that will be a major factor to determining what the value of your potential case is. Other questions that to be answered or what’s the extent of your injuries? Are any of them permanent? Are any of them curable? Do you need surgeries to fix any of those injuries that you sustained? Again those are all big factors that go into what’s a personal injury case worth? So it’s very hard to determine that until the lawyer has an opportunity to gather all the facts, see all the reports, speak with everybody and be able to come up with a clear understanding of what exactly is going on in the case.
People also jump to what the case is worth based on what their injuries are. In every liability case, whether it’s a car accident or slip n fall or products liability case, you need to determine who is at fault? And whether or not there is a comparative fault meaning the person injured or client is to blame for the accident. Sometimes you have a situation where there is a small percentage that can be put on the injured individual and that’s a fact that needs to go into evaluating how much a case is worth.