What is my claim worth?
If you have recently been the victim of a car accident, you will eventually start questioning what your car accident case is worth. Determining the value of your case is a crucial aspect of any car accident, both for you and your attorney. It affects many decisions, including when to settle versus when to go to trial. The following are some factors your attorney will take into consideration to determine the value of your claim.
Three different types of damages available to you when evaluating the worth of your case. They are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are those capable of being proven to an exact amount. Usually, they are established with the help of bills and receipts. Economic damages typically consist of medical bills, medications, and other medical equipment such as bandages, heating pads and more. They also include lost income, lost sick leave, lost vacation and travelling expenses to and from medical checkups.
Non-economic damages are difficult to prove and quantify. They refer to the “pain and suffering” experienced from the accident. This includes emotional harm such as anxiety, stress and depression. It also includes missing out on family events and social life. Permanent physical disability is also non-economic damage. There is no formula for assigning the value of these types of damages. Many attorneys and insurance companies will use multiple of your economic damages to come up with a number.
The third category of damages is punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded by the jury to punish the wrongdoer. Typically, they are added on top of the other two types of damages. However, they are harder to get and are not available in every kind of car accident case.
• The Defendant’s Insurance Coverage
When you sue another driver for damages sustained in a car accident, it is the defendant’s car insurance company that pays the compensation amount you expect for your injuries. So, the defendant’s policy determines how much money you can realistically recover. If the defendant’s car insurance policy only states a certain amount of money as the maximum coverage and the defendant has no other significant income or assets, then your case’s value will be equal to the defendant’s policy limit.
• The Strength of Your Case
Many issues affect the value of your case, and each case is different. You should always have a candid discussion with your attorney regarding what may increase or decrease the value of the case before you attempt pre-suit settlement negotiations or going to trial. Your case has to be very strong and depends on many factors such as your age, general health at the time of the accident, the cost of your past, present and future medical treatment, property damage and even witness statements. Each one of these factors can be complicated to put a monetary value on but with the right attorney, he can sift through all the evidence, reports and testimony and make sure that you get every penny that you are entitled to in your case.
This means the court or county where your case could be filed. Usually, metropolitan counties are more favorable to complainants than rural counties, which are more conservative. But, depending on how your attorney presents your case and you make a very genuine, sympathetic witness for yourself, rural, conservative judges are known to award more money.
The bottom line is that your car accident case is probably worth more than you think it is. The only way to know for sure is to consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible.
You can also find more information about auto accident by clicking this link. If you or a loved one are involved in an accident due to the negligence of another party, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney. Contact one of our experienced attorneys at Thompson Law. We offer clients a free case evaluation and will help you get the proper medical treatment and compensation for your suffering. Call us 24/7 at 844-308-8180.