How much is my case worth?
This is arguably an injured person’s most common question, but it is also one of the most difficult questions to answer. In fact, if the same person asks this question of five different lawyers, he or she is probably going to get five different answers. Here’s why.
The value of a case is determined by numerous factors, which include:
- the severity of the injury;
- the complexity and cost of the medical treatment;
- whether there were brand new injuries, or an aggravation of a prior or existing injury;
- whether the injured person will be able to work now, or in the future;
- the skill and experience of the injured person’s attorney;
- the likelihood of prevailing at trial;
- collectability – this is often an overlooked factor, but regardless of value, there must be an adequate source of money to collect from.
The value of a case is not predetermined, and it can vary widely from one person to the next because any of the above factors can impact value either positively, or negatively. This is why it is so important to hire a personal injury lawyer who has the knowledge, experience and skill to determine the fair value of the case, who will be honest with the client about the value, and be able to fight to ensure the client receives that fair value.
Insurance companies – as evil as they are – are sophisticated, and they collect, register and reference thousands of prior settlements and verdicts to evaluate the value of the case. But, they don’t stop there. They keep tabs on attorneys too. The insurance companies are aware of which lawyers will call their bluff, and will fight for fair value.
So, while this article never once referenced specific values (we’re sorry), we hope that it provides you with the analytical framework to help you better understand the mechanics of evaluating a case, and most importantly, arm you with information – combined with your own commonsense and good judgment – to help you select the right attorney for you.