How Much is my Case Worth?
How much is my case worth? It’s a question we hear a lot after an injury. When your personal injury lawyer needs to determine the value of a case, he or she will ask several questions about your case.
What was the cost of your medical treatment?
Sometimes, the answer is pretty straightforward, like the total cost of your medical bills or the number of workdays you missed.
Sometimes, the costs can be more difficult to determine. Did you have a preexisting condition that interfered with the treatment for your injuries? Alternatively, did the accident aggravate a preexisting condition in addition to causing new injuries?
Your lawyer and paralegal will gather your medical records and evaluate what the scope of your medical treatment looked like.
How have your injuries affected your life?
Not every cost comes with a billing statement. Injuries can take other, more abstract tolls on your life. Some examples of questions your lawyer will ask you include:
- Did your injury keep you from staying physically active?
- Were you able to continue your hobbies?
- Were your relationships affected?
- Can you go back to work?
- Will you still make the same wage?
- Do you require more medical care going forward?
The same type of injury can affect people differently depending on their circumstances. There is no formula out there that says, “A _____ injury is worth _____ dollars.”
For example, we know that multiple concussions can lead to brain damage but there is a difference between suffering your first concussion and your tenth.
What’s the cost of living the rest of your life with a physical impairment? The answer for a 20-year-old versus a 70- year-old is very different, which is why consulting an attorney is vital.
Think about opportunities you’ve missed out on. Maybe the injury delayed or even prevented a promotion at work. Maybe you’re a high school athlete and your injury ruined the chance at a college scholarship. These factors all have an economic component and may have long-term financial impacts on the future.
What about your own conduct?
Were you completely blameless in the accident or were you speeding, texting, or even worse? Did you go to all of your medical appointments, or did you skip a lot of them without good cause?
If your case goes to trial, the jury’s perception of you, your conduct and your demeanor can become a large factor in determining how much your case is worth.
Each case is unique and so is its worth.
A personal injury case is not a windfall and it’s not a lottery ticket. We all start at sea level. An accident puts you underwater. We want you back to sea level, not at the top of a mountain. Our job is to make sure everything taken away from you is restored to where it was before the accident.
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