This is the million-dollar question. My most frequently asked question as a Personal Injury Attorney is “What is My Case Worth?” And rightfully so. Let’s face it, you are the victim of someone else’s negligence and you are forced to live with the consequences of someone else’s negligence daily. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries. I want to be clear here that it is unethical for any attorney to talk to you and promise you a dollar amount for your case’s worth. Every case is unique and must be considered on a case-to-case basis.
There are multiple variables which impact the outcome of how much to expect from a car accident settlement – for example, types of injuries, extent of medical care, length of recovery time, cost of medical bills, eyewitness testimony, opinion of medical experts, etc.…. What I can do, is talk to you about what you expect, compare previous settlement amounts for similar cases, and work with you to come up with a ballpark figure that you would like for me to fight for you to receive. If anyone tries to tell you an exact dollar amount, please know that attorney is specializing in false promises.
Is there a Formula to Assess Case Worth?
The honest approach to assessing case worth is to utilize the following formula and to fight hard to try to reach the best results for a client: Liability + Damages + Ability to Pay. I will spell out each step in this formula.
Who is at fault for the accident? What did the other person do that was wrong? If you are involved in an accident that is 100% the other party’s fault, the value of your case increases. If the liability (or fault) is less than 100%, then your claim and the claim’s value decreases.
Should you pursue a claim if the accident was partially your fault? The best answer, is talk to an experienced personal injury attorney during a free case evaluation. Even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you could still receive some compensation under a personal injury claim. Insurance companies will try to trick you into admitting some fault. Claims adjusters are often trained in using questions that will make you guess at elements of the accident that you may not know or discuss injuries that are outside of your area of expertise. You do not have to handle the insurance companies alone and you are not required to answer their questions right away. Work with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney who can represent you when speaking with the insurance companies.
The severity of your damages directly impacts the value of your personal injury case. This makes sense – if you require more care to recover, this will be more expensive, and you should be compensated at a higher rate to cover the costs associated with your recovery. Essentially, the law says that if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, then you have the right to be put back into the same condition that you were in before the accident. Conversely, if you were not injured, then you have incurred no losses, and you are unable to receive any personal injury compensation.
The cause of the damages is very important to your case. Can we prove that your damages are directly linked to the accident? This is why it is critical for you to receive medical care immediately after the accident; any delay in medical care or medical evaluation can make it more difficult to link causation to the accident. If you have pre-existing injuries or medical conditions, this link can be even more difficult. Insurance companies will try to say that you are blaming the accident on causing problems that already existed. Again, if you’re in an accident, go to a medical professional right away. This immediate medical evaluation can make or break your case. I encourage you to go even if you do not notice pains right away, often the body starts to feel pain several hours or several days after an accident.
Here is a list of Types of Damages to consider for a Personal Injury case:
- Medical Expenses – current and future
- Lost Wages
- Have the injuries caused inconvenience to you or your family?
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Physical Impairment
- Property Loss
Ability to Pay:
Can the person responsible pay for their negligence? Unfortunately, there are many incidents where liability is clear and the damages are excessive but there is inadequate insurance to cover the costs. Collecting money outside of an insurance policy is extremely difficult; realistically, the majority of uninsured or under-insured individuals do not have sufficient funds to cover the costs associated with a major accident. If the person responsible is under-insured, you may be partially compensated. If the person responsible is un-insured, you may not be compensated at all. I encourage everyone to carry uninsured motorist insurance coverage. This coverage protects you if you are injured by someone who is uninsured or under-insured.
If the person responsible does have adequate insurance, then there may be sufficient coverage to fight for fair compensation of your losses, injuries, and damages. You will get the best results when you work with a Personal Injury Attorney who is adept at fighting the big insurance companies.
What to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?
While I can’t answer the specific question, “What compensation can I get?” with an exact number, I can commit that our legal team will work to help you determine the types of monetary damages that you are entitled and that we will fight for your fair compensation. When you hire the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr., our personal injury attorneys will initiate the investigative work immediately to help you get the most for your accident. We will take on the insurance companies and take care of all the details (accident reports, surveillance videos, eyewitnesses, medical experts, etc.…) necessary to give you the best strategy for your case.
In a personal injury case, money should be awarded to the injured person by the person or company who is found to be legally responsible for the accident. I promise that we will go to battle for your fair compensation and that you will not be charged until we win your case. The insurance companies know our reputation, our law firm is committed to our clients, even taking several cases to the South Carolina Supreme Court. We have a history of success at trial.
In conclusion, every case is unique and if you have any other questions about how much your personal injury case is worth, please contact us for a free consultation at www.fcwlaw.com or 803-324-7200. The Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. – Big Enough to Fight, Small Enough to Care.