How Much is My Case Worth and When Will I Be Paid?
The golden question that everyone involved in a lawsuit or claim wants to know, how much money will they receive? One of the earliest questions that we receive in a consultation is the amount of money any given claim can pay out. The answer to this varies so much that it is nearly impossible to answer. Every case is different so let’s talk about some instances.
What factors & variables come into play within a case –
What is a settlement?
A settlement is an official agreement intended to resolve a dispute or conflict. This would pertain to an individual looking to settle outside of court.
What is a trial?
A trial is a formal examination of evidence before a judge. This would pertain to an individual seeking to go through a formal process of an injury, accident, or anything like that to seek an amount of money for damages/losses.
These are commonly the two end results of a claim. You would either decide to go to trial, or you would decide to settle outside of court with the insurance company. The amount of money, however, depends on the severity of the injury or accident that occurred. For example, if you were in a fender bender and had minor injuries and neither person had been drinking, texting, etc., the payout would be less than if the person who crashed into you had been drunk during the time of the accident.
Another example would be if you happen to lose your leg in an accident. Extremely severe, however, there are still things that can add levels to the payout. Are you in your 20’s or are you in your 70’s? If you have to live for another 70 years without one of your legs, your loss of function is far greater than someone that will likely not live much longer than you.
How much treatment is needed to get you as close to 100% as possible? If you are needing immediate physical therapy to be able to get back to work, or even worse if you are forced to take a lower paying job as a result of the injury, you are likely to receive a higher payout. Will this injury prevent you from working at all? Then you are dealing with another monster in itself. Losing your ability to make a living for yourself and your family is one of the most important factors in cases like these. So take that into account when judging the severity of your claim.
What are the intangibles of a claim or lawsuit?
Intangibles of a lawsuit or claim would include things like BAC levels, text message records, drug tests, driving records, things of that nature. If you were involved in an accident with an elderly woman, and she just happened to veer off the road on accident, she would likely receive sympathy from a judge or insurance company. However, if it were a younger individual who has a reckless driving past, a few alcohol-related charges, the judge is likely to be more severe in the payout/final judgment.
Wondering whether or not to settle out of court?
Another golden question. Should you take your claim to trial? There are few things in play here. Trials are very expensive when all the fees get added up. Not to mention the time. It is a high possibility that your trial could last a few years before the judge reaches a verdict. For this reason, if you need the money sooner than later, a settlement would be in your best interest. Insurance companies often times hope that you need that money for treatment, disability equipment, or hospital bills so that you will settle for less than the potential payout of a trial.
In conclusion, every case and claim is different. To give an estimate of how much your claim could be worth is a difficult question before everything is assessed. For that reason, Brown & Crouppen offers free consultations year round. If you are in need of legal guidance, contact us so we can begin to help you as soon as possible.
Listen to our roundtable discussion on this topic: