This is the question that a lot of people want to know during an initial consultation. The answer is nearly impossible to determine at the beginning of a case. Many factors affect case value including: the nature of the injuries, severity, permanency; amount of medical bills, future medical expenses; past and future wage loss; effect of injuries on daily activities and recreational activities; and intensity of pain and suffering. Age can play a large role as well. A neck injury requiring surgery and resulting in permanent injury is worth more if the victim is 25 rather than 65. Why? Life expectancy, the amount of time both can be expected to live with the pain, plays a large role.
There is no neat and easy formula such as three times medical bills. Take for example an individual who has a back injury with a lot of expensive diagnostics such as CT and MRI that eventually improves without surgery and another who loses an eye. The eye case will have far lower medical expenses than the back case but there is little doubt that the eye case is worth far more.
The bottom line is your case is ultimately worth what six people in the county where the injury occurred says it is. Getting that number means taking your case to trial. Insurance companies and an experienced trial lawyer generally have an estimate of the range of a potential jury verdict. A good trial lawyer gets your case settled in the upper end of the range or beyond. When you, your lawyer, and the insurance company can’t agree on a fair figure, the jury decides.
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