It is not a good idea to try to settle a case yourself, because unrepresented people generally get 11% of the money people represented by lawyers would get. The value would depend on a number of factors including the impact of that scar on her life and work. For example, a person who is a professional pianist and loses a finger is going to get more money than an office worker. We have settled scar cases from 10k-210k, and the amounts varied based on the professions of the people, locations of the scars, etc. Just get a lawyer with a low contingency fee, so you are left with the bulk of the money, not your lawyer.
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No fair evaluation can be approximated without reviewing all facts regarding the damages, including all medical records. There is a general formula that is based on a number of variables. I evaluate personal injury claims every day and have published an article on the topic. Having tried many cases both to juries and to judges in “bench trials” I have seen what works and what doesn’t. Among the factors that must be evaluated prior to determining the final settlement range are:
Total dollar amount of all medical bills.
Amount of medical bills that are outstanding or must be paid through liens.
Percentage of bills for treatment versus diagnostic tests.
Length and extent of any total and/or partial disability.
Residual loss of function/disability.
Age of injured person.
Activities of daily living of individual, pre and post injury.
Permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Potential need for future treatment.
Diagnosis of all injuries.
Lost wages/lost earnings capacity. (Documented, not speculative. “Under the table” earnings do not count.)
Each factor must be clearly documented, with medical support for each factor, stating that it was caused by the accident.
The existence of prior injuries of any type and previous insurance claims adds a wrinkle to any case, but can be dealt with. The personal injury attorney must know about this from the outset and not learn about such factors only after the insurance adjuster slaps us in the face with it. I can deal with almost anything with a forthright client.
Finally, the insurance industry's own publications acknowledge that once an attorney becomes involved in a bodily injury claim the value at least doubles. Nearly all personal injury attorneys give a free consultation. Therefore, anyone serious about optimizing their personal injury settlement retains an experienced personal injury attorney in their jurisdiction.
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This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.
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