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How do you place monetary value on a 3 inch knee scar?

Brick, NJ |

The scar resulted from a fall that my wife had while entering a store. Her knee required 6 stitches and left a wide scar across her knee cap. The store had wooden planking that was slippery because of rainfall. One of the wooden planks had a rusty nail protruding from it that caused the knee to become infected. When my wife was being escorted to her car workers from the store were quickly putting up yellow caution tape around the entrance of the store. Unfortunately might wife did not video tape this but a witness did confirm it. We have been in contact with the insurance company that represents the store. Our med. bills were about $2,000. As a result of the injury my wife lost about $6,000 in income. How much do you think the ins. co. will offer? How do we negotiate pain and suffering ?

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Attorney answers 2


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.

Click on the name of the lawyer answering your question to see their profile, and then you can click the view website tab to find out detailed information on your personal injury topic. The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


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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