The golden question right – because this dictates if you will be able to pay your out of pocket expenses, if your pain and suffering will be compensated for.
The same factors that can dictate the speed with which a personal injury lawsuit can proceed at, also guide us as to what the value of the claim will be. Here are the most critical:
1. Liability plays a role – Do you have any fault- or comparative fault, your recovery can be reduced by your share of fault.
2. What is the available insurance policy? – There are times when the value of your damages can exceed the insurance policy and you’re likely limited to that amount. Or, there can be a much larger policy and you can recover much more for the same injury and damages.
3. What are the economic damages? – what were the medical bills, the out of pocket costs that insurance didn’t cover, what are your lost wages both up to date AND in the future.
4. What is your pain and suffering worth? And this includes loss of enjoyment of your life – so how have the injuries you suffered affected your life? What has been TAKEN from you as a result of the accident? What can’t you do the SAME anymore? This is NOT a mathematical formula – which is something I ALWAYS make sure that my juries are comfortable with analyzing and placing a fair value on.
5. Lastly, what have the Appellate Courts determined? Our justice system is based on precedent. The Appellate Courts have seen all types of injuries and they set guidelines what was is “sustainable” for a given injury, specifically what the pain and suffering amounts can max out at. This will come in to play after a trial verdict as opposed to a settlement, because at trial we have an objective jury (not an insurance company adjuster) as the people who hear the facts of the case and will actually attempt to make the plaintiff whole again – and fair juries will WANT to make sure the injured party is properly made whole again – unlike the insurance company.
So now you have some background as to what determines the value of your case.