I believe that you could drive to the court house and ask the clerk for results of past cases, but if I want to find out what the award and verdicts for similar cases and similar injuries and damages, can I find out online or a website that I could read through the cases? I found one but it involved cases outside of California and were limited cases. I'd like to find out more about cases in my county.
It is difficult. Most verdict reporting services are not free but, require either a yearly subscription or a one time user fee.
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There are verdict reporting services that cost money. As far as cases that settle (don't go to verdict), there is not much public information about those. Even cases that go to verdict may settle for a different amount than the verdict. Settlements can be confidential. Even if they aren't confidential, they are normally private and not publicly reported.
I am not your lawyer unless we enter into an engagement agreement in writing. This is general information that is given for legal education only. It is not legal advice, and it may not work for your specific situation. I strongly encourage you to consult with a local lawyer to get legal advice and help with your specific situation at your earliest convenience. I am licensed to practice law in Arizona.
There are verdict and settlements company out there but they are expensive. You may want to consult with an attorney to get an opinion.
Case values are very fact specific and one persons herniated disc can be worth ten times more than another person. Generally, the verdict searches that are most valuable deal with Appellate cases were the higher courts have modified (either up or down) a jury verdict. In some legal libraries there may be a book on damages relating to cases in a particular venue.
There is a company called, I believe, Jury Verdict Research. They will research your type of case for a fee. Chances of finding similar cases in your county may be slim to none, but you might be able to get a general feel for a range of damages.
If you have been injured:You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. You can access my Legal Guides through my profile page.
Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Even with the help of the subscription services that the other responses have referred to, assessing case value is a skill that takes years for an attorney to develop. Just to name a few factors, one must consider the nature and extent of the medical treatment, the medical expenses, the kind of injury, whether the client has made a full recovery and how the injury affected the client's life. Then you must consider the courthouse location as even a few miles distance can put you in a very different jury pool.
You should speak to a personal injury lawyer. Most of us offer free consultations. Even if you have no intention of hiring one, and you just want to know how much to ask for. I don't speak for everyone but I don't mind these calls, it just creates goodwill for a more important case in the future.
While that is certainly relevant information, that is how the insurance companies and defense attorneys assess risk and evaluate claims to make unconscionable settlement offers. Rules of thumb and benchmarks can be helpful, but I prefer to focus on the individual and on what makes a case unique and consequently more valuable. In other words, I focus on the human side of a case and not on old data from different cases; I don't buy into the insurance industry's paradigm. Also, keep in mind that those verdicts were won by attorneys, not by unrepresented plaintiffs. The insurance companies take advantage of unrepresented claimants / plaintiffs.
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