There is no magic formula, no charts or tables to consult. A case is evaluated based on the severity and permanence of the injury, the amount of medical bills and lost wages, the age or youth of the injured party, and whether there is a spouse and dependent children. All this is balanced against the strength of the liability in the case and then further assessed by the amount of insurance coverage or assets available to pay a settlement or verdict. The final factor is the settlement and trial experience of your lawyer in handling similar cases.
There is no substitute for the experience a competent attorney will bring to your claim. Insurance company studies have proven that claimants will recover substantially more money with an attorney than on their own. This game has changed over the years. 30 years ago in my experience it was much easier to find common ground on valuation with the adjusters and there was much more money available to claimants. This is simply not true any more, we have to fight for every penny, especially on the smaller claims with modest injuries.
I agree with the above answers. Also, know that insurance companies do not use the same sources and backgrounds as personal injury attorneys to evaluate a claim. Some insurers even use a computer program that tells an adjuster what the case is "worth" based on the information that is entered into the program. If you are having concerns about the value of your claim, then you should consult with an experienced attorney. I wish you the best of luck.
Arthur D. Leritz
Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Leritz is licensed to practice law in the State of Washinton. The response herein does not constitute legal advice nor does it seek to establish an attorney/client relationship, but rather offers educational insight only.
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There are no magic formulas. One of the best predictors of value is the experience of your attorney, knowing the climate in your local courthouse for plaintiff's claims and also knowing the facts of your case.
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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.
Many factors go into this consideration including but not limited to the medical bills, wage loss, nature and extent of injuries, length and nature of medical treatment, any disfigurement, disability, impact on life, impact on future earning capacity, liability considerations. A lawyer will look at the totality of your case in determining the amount of damages. David Roth