One of the most popular questions is what any case is worth. Courts allow damages in certain categories which can vary state-by-state. To summarize, the ultimate settlement range includes evaluation of the following:
Total dollar amount of all medical bills.
Itemization of portion of medical bills that are outstanding or must be paid through liens.
Length and extent of any total disability.
Length and extent of any 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. There must be medical support for each factor, stating that each 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 own personal injury settlement retains an experienced personal injury attorney in their jurisdiction.