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Countless people on an initial call ask us to determine how much their case is worth. In fact ,often times they tell me they have been told that injury claims are worth three times the medicals, or that they know their case is worth "x" based on what a friend recovered in their case. What happened in another case is not relevant. Further, there is no formula that determines the value of an injury case. Below are four tips that help reach a value determination.
1 What The Medical Records Reveal
First, the medical records will often describe the impact. If it was a small impact adjusters will offer a lower number to settle. Second, the records will show how soon after the accident you sought treatment, your prior medical condition, what the injuries were, whether there were gaps in your medical treatment, how long you treated and if any of the injuries were permanent.
2 Does your Attorney Litigate cases
Next, insurance companies look at who the injury lawyer is that they are negotiating with. Leverage to obtain more in your case comes from a lawyers past results in Court. All major insurance carriers know which attorneys roll over and which attorneys battle them and often win. The latter get better settlements for future clients.
3 The Actual Damages You May Recover
One of the reasons a case can not be valued on the initial call is because noone knows even your special damages. These damages are your actual out-of-pocket losses. They include, actual documented medical expenses (including prescription costs), lost wages, and future medicals or wage loss.
You are also entitled to General Damages. These damages are for your pain and suffering and inconvenience. Factors to determine general damages include how long you treated for and the effect the injury had on your normal routines.
4 Actions Taken That Devalue The Claim
At times on this initial call we learn that the accident victim has already given a recorded statement or has attempted to negotiate the claim on his own. Both of these actions often backfire and cause a claim to be worth less. Insurance adjusters are experienced and are not your friends. Their job is to pay as little as possible. Therefor, hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can properly value your claim, negotiate it and litigate if necessary. Most of the top personal injury lawyers do this on a contingency fee. Therefor, you can retain the best and only pay when they get you a great recovery.
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