Lawyers and adjusters help decide the settlement value of a personal injury lawsuit based on analysis of the facts and law.
Many factors impact the value of personal injury claims. Insurance companies evaluate the details of each claim when deciding how much to pay. Adjusters and lawyers perform an analysis of all the information available and historical data collected over many years of adjusting claims. This summary discusses some fundamental factors considered when deciding, “How much money should be paid to fairly compensate for a personal injury?”
WHAT IS MY PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT WORTH?
The value of a lawsuit generally depends on evaluating three things:
Liability is the legal extent to which the defendant is obligated to pay damages. Causation is whether the wrongful acts and omissions of the defendant, and not something unrelated, are the cause of the damages claimed. Damages are the amount of money legally owed for each type of harm caused by the defendant’s wrongful acts and omissions.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT VALUE AND LIABILITY
Lawyers estimate the strength and weakness of a liability case based on the law and evidence. The law may provide different standards that must be met. For example, a defendant can be held liable through the concept of negligence. This raises the question of whether the defendant has acted with less care than a reasonable person would act under the same circumstances. The amount of care and caution that an ordinary person would use in a particular situation is known as the reasonable person standard or the reasonable man standard. If there is good evidence that this standard was breached by the defendant, then the chance of recovery increases and so does the settlement value of the legal case for damages.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT VALUE AND CAUSATION
Causation is analyzed by looking at the conduct combined with the alleged harm. This often requires evidence provided by medical records and testimony. For example, a physician will report whether there were injuries sustained in a car wreck. A defendant may dispute this with medical evidence showing that the reported injuries are related to prior injuries or unrelated medical issues. If the injured party can show it is more likely than not that their injuries were caused by the car wreck, then they should prevail at trial. If the evidence strongly supports this outcome, then the value of the lawsuit increases in the minds of the lawyers and insurance adjusters evaluating it.
VALUE AND DAMAGES
Damages directly relate to the amount of money owed, assuming the injured party can prove liability and causation. The law provides the damages that may be legally recovered. This includes items like property damage, medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, mental pain, and loss of enjoyment of life. Damages can be proven through testimony of witnesses and medical experts. Records also provide evidentiary support for damages. The greater the damages, the higher the settlement value.
VALUE AND TRIAL LAWYERS
In addition to the above, insurance companies consider many other many other factors when deciding how much money they will pay to settle a personal injury claim, including whether you have hired an attorney. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney before you settle your injury claim. Insurance companies seek to pay the least amount they can in exchange for a release of all claims, even if those injuries cause permanent damage and future medical expenses. An experienced trial lawyer negotiating with the insurance company will maximize the settlement value of your personal injury lawsuit.