What Is My Personal Injury Case Going to Be Worth? How Is That Calculated?
There’s a lot of different factors that affect the value of a personal injury claim, including:
- The extent of the person’s injuries
- The cost related to treatment of those injuries (whether it’s for past treatment that they’ve already incurred or for future treatment)
- Whether they have any health insurance or Personal Injury Protection insurance?
- Other out of pocket costs
- Lost wages
- The amount of treatment and the types of treatment they’ve gone through (which can have an impact on the pain and suffering by causing emotional distress or mental anguish)
To be honest, the amount of coverage that is available in the case is also a major factor of what your case is worth. Even if your case is valued at a million dollars, if there’s only $10,000 in coverage and there’s nowhere else to seek that compensation from, then, unfortunately, the case ends up being worth $10,000 because that’s the only available money to get. Even if you were to go after the at-fault person personally, if they don’t have any assets to collect from, then it may be a lost cause. You may never see a dime, regardless of the value of the claim.
All of those factors affect the value of the personal injury claim, but as far as what it’s actually worth, each case is different. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on what they believe the value of your claim is. Another way to help determine the value is to look at past jury verdicts and see what juries have awarded for similar injuries to what you’re experiencing.
How Are the Costs of Potential Future Medical Treatment Taken into Account?
The cost of future treatment is not per se a mathematical equation because it’s something that’s going to happen in the future. It’s not an absolute that has happened or that absolutely will happen. The cost of potential future medical treatment in a personal injury case is usually proven through testimony in the lawsuit setting, though it’s sometimes done in the pre-suit setting, as well. In the pre-suit setting, it’s done through estimates of recommendations for surgeries, injections, or whatever the medical treatment will likely entail. But it’s through testimony that you’re actually going to get awarded for that future treatment in a personal injury lawsuit.
The testimony is usually provided by either the client’s treating physicians or other expert witnesses. In catastrophic injury cases, a life care planner is sometimes required. A life care planner is an individual, usually a nurse, who develops a plan for meeting the needs of those who have suffered catastrophic injuries, debilitating diseases, or other medical issues that require long-term care. Their whole job is trying to map out the long-term care a specific client will need after suffering a catastrophic injury. What they do is look at all kinds of issues and the projected evaluation for cost of care, including medication, orthopedic needs, home care, any surgical treatment that’s going to be needed, wheelchair needs, diagnostic testing, recreational equipment, and the cost associated with therapy, chiropractic care, or physical therapy, whatever the case may be.
In a lawsuit setting, this life care planner would prepare a plan and then testify as to how they came up with the figures for this plan, which is presented to a jury as what the future care holds for this particular client.
For more information on Value of a Personal Injury Case in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 490-8712 today.
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