When someone in Pennsylvania is injured as a consequence of another's negligence, the injured party is entitled to fair compensation for all the harms that were caused by the negligence. Some of this harm is pretty easy to identify, quantify and prove, like medical bills and lost wages. Other harms can be easy to identify but are less easy to quantify and prove, like pain and suffering, inconvenience, embarrassment, loss of life's pleasures, and the like. If your injuries were the result of your friend's carelessness, the law entitles you to compensation for all these harms.
I can't tell you what amount you should expect because, as cliched as it might be, it's really true that every case is different. Your case is particularly difficult to value because it seems that you aren't done treating and do not yet have a good grasp on the full extent of your injuries and their prognosis.
The good news is that neither you nor your lawyer will rush out after your meeting and declare an amount that should be paid you. Instead, your lawyer will gather your records and seek information about your injuries from other sources. For example, your lawyer will probably want you to describe what has happened to you so far and may ask you to keep a journal as you go forward. Your lawyer may speak to your physician(s). Your lawyer may speak to others who know you and have observed the impact of your injuries.
Your lawyer will also consider other information, such as the liability aspect of the case, the amount of available insurance coverage and other factors that bear on the case's evaluation.
Once your lawyer has completed an investigation and weighed all the information, the two of you will be able to discuss a settlement range and come to an informed decision.
Good luck, Scranton.
I agree that it's very difficult to put a value a case at this point. It's even difficult after more information is known. In addition to medical bills, you may ask for lost wages if you had to miss work or your injury will affect your ability to work in the future. The category of pain and suffering is fairly subjective. The fact that you have a young child is relevant -- How does your injury affect your ability to care for her?
When looking for a personal injury attorney, ask about their past experience and success in cases like yours. You will be focused on telling them about your situation, but don't forget to interview them, as well. Ask about fees, how they keep in touch with clients, what the first/second/third steps are in your case, etc. I'm an Illinois attorney, but I can recommend a good personal injury attorney near you if you'd like a referral. Feel free to give me a call. 1-800-807-9530.
Your questions are good ones. They're addressed to the wrong lawyers, though.
Your local attorney, whom you've been smart enough to address your question to, can answer many, but not all of what you've asked. The only way that anyone can advise you on case 'worth' or value will be to review your medical records; see your latest evaluation from your physician; review the facts of the case; and add that up to a 'gestalt' view of the pros and cons. Ultimately, though, cases are very individual, and there's no 'market price' for pain and suffering or particular injuries.
Best of luck.
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