What determines the monetary recovery in a personal injury case?

Asked about 1 year ago - Rochester, NY

If a broken femur was the result of a commercial auto incident, and the other party is determined to be at fault, how would it be determined how much this type of injury would be "worth"? There seem to be many companies who specialize in obtaining settlements without having to go to trial, and I would like some parameters to determine whether the lawyers I am considering would be looking out for my best interest and not just looking for a quick/easy settlement. The insurance limits of the company that is involved is quite high, and they have assets beyond the insurance coverage.

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Theodor Kaplun

    Contributor Level 16

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is difficult/impossible giving an exact answer without looking at all the treatment, medical and weighing other factors including the lasting effects of the injury, my suggestion is find a personal injury attorney that is not afraid to go to trial if you both feel the offer is not adequate, if you would like a referral of a NY attorney feel free to contact me; best of luck.

    The above answer is for information only; and does NOT constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute,... more
  2. Andrew Lawrence Weitz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . How likely is it that a jury will assign a percentage of fault to you? how much? Your award will be reduced by the percentage of faulta assigned to you. How old are you? What do you do for a living? Are you in a union? Are you married? Do you have any children under the age of 18? Do you have any underlying health conditions that may affect your life expectancy? Do you have an intermedullary rod? Is there any shortening of the leg? These are just a few questions that need to be answered before we may begin to evaluate the case. Further, there are many firms that prefer to settle cases rather than try them (no matter what discount they might offer on their fee, you need to evaluate if the discount is enough to cover what you may give up in value). It costs a lot less to settle than to take a case to trial. To get full value, you need to retain a firm that can take the case to verdict.

    The opinions expressed in this answer are not intended to be taken as legal advice. These opinions are based on... more
  3. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Contact a local experienced personal injury lawyer. Value of case depends on extent of injury, lost wages, medical treatment, skill and reputation of lawyer., amount of coverage, value of case in your jurisdiction, court backlog, and present value of money. Lawyer handling a case on a contingency is looking for best outcome subject to your approval.

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  4. Alfred C. Laub

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . In determining value, some of the things to consider are:
    Liability (who is at fault);
    Damages (the actual injury, surgery, if any, permanency, continuing disability, loss of earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.)
    the venue of the lawsuit (ie. Dutchess vs. the Bronx for example), as jurors in some venues are more willing to give substantial money damages;
    the assigned judge;
    the willingness of both the client and the attorney to see the case through to its conclusion;
    the reputation of the attorney representing you.

    In short, there are a number of variables which must be considered in arriving at a satisfactory settlement value.

    Sincerely,
    Alfred Laub

    The underlying facts for each situation are unique. Any responses given are for informational purposes only and... more
  5. Marco Caviglia

    Contributor Level 19

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The others answering the question have set forth a valid list of the multiple factors affecting your case. Of interest to me is your reference to "settlement companies." Companies cannot practice law unless you are using a misnomer. You should be weary also of firms that wholesale cases by settlement which may not bring you what your case is actually worth.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for... more
  6. Edward A. Ruffo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The value of the case will be directly related to the extent of damages, i.e. the period of pain and suffering plus any economical damages sustained by you (and spouse, if applicable). A broken femur requiring surgery has seen results in the high six to even seven figure level if the full measure of damages is present, although the "average" recovery is less.

  7. Joseph Edmund Gorczyca

    Contributor Level 6

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . There is no "bluebook" value on fractured femurs and the value depends on a variety of factors. It is impossible for anyone to give you an accurate assessment based on the very limited information provided. The first issue is liability (the legal term for what happened and who caused the car wreck). Was it a rear-end crash or did someone run a red light? While the difference might not seem significant to you, an insurance company factors the liability scenario into their analysis.

    The second issue is the extent of the injury. A fractured femur is a very horrific injury, however, some insurance companies are callous in their analysis. The insurance company's first questions typically are: Did the injured person require surgery and what are the "residual issues"? "Residual issues" are simply the long-term effects of the injury. For example, does the injured person require a cane or do they have a limp. Also, the age of the victim is extremely important for a variety of reasons.

    You also mentioned that this car wreck involved a commercial vehicle. These companies often have "black boxes" that record speed and other details. They also might have cameras in the vehicle. This is critical evidence in nearly every case.

    I would highly suggest that you contact a leading NY personal injury firm. Any reputable firm will be able to tell you the value of the case after they have reviewed all the records.

  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . More info is needed to evaluate. Best bet is to retain a good lawyer with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you don't get hurt twice.

  9. Tatiana Kadetskaya

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You would want a good insurance lawyer.

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