How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
So many factors go into determining the value of a personal injury claim that it is impossible to reduce such a case to a number in advance. How clear liability is, and the nature and extent of the injuries, are obvious factors. Here are some other factors that will affect how much you may recover.
VenueCulture varies from country to country, sure, but also from region to region, state to state, county to county, and even neighborhood to neighborhood. The jury pools in different counties have different cultures, view personal injury litigation differently, and exhibit persistent differences in how they rule in these sorts of cases. Bringing your case in a "good" venue can dramatically improve its value over bringing that same case in a "bad" venue.
Evidence of the InjurySome injuries are hard to see, but others are easily visible. Whether or not you have pictures of your visible injuries can have a significant effect on your case's credibility and the willingness a jury has to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.
Age of the Injured PersonMedical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering are all recoverable in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, and that recovery should include both past damages and future damages. In the context of a permanent injury, all else being equal a younger person is going to have more future damages than an older person. Juries can be especially sympathetic to injured children, and jury sympathy has, rightly or wrongly, a significant influence on the value of a case.
Insurance or Other Ability to PayLiability, damages, and ability to pay are the three legs of a viable case. Even if liability is clear and you have significant damages, if the defendant cannot pay for the damages (himself or with insurance), the case's value may be limited or non-existent. The worst-case scenario is to suffer a catastrophic injury at the hands of an uninsured person with no assets. No matter how strong your case is on liability, and no matter how devastating your injuries, some people are simply "judgment proof." Because these people exist, you should always keep a close eye on your own insurance to make sure you have coverage if you are injured by somebody who has no way to take financial responsibility for those injuries.