How Can I Determine How Much My Claim Is Worth?

If someone is liable and negligent and they are capable of paying the damages, then you need to determine what your losses are. In the case of medical expenses, you can know to a certain extent what you can expect. But, if the injuries are very severe, requiring extended treatment, perhaps for the rest of your life, the costs must be estimated. There is also the matter of pain and suffering. One rule of thumb, that some use, is the tripling of the medical costs as a general scale for pain and suffering. Of course, this can vary considerably, given the wide range of circumstances, which might surround any individual case.

For purposes of settlement, a claim is valued upon an estimate of what a jury would likely believe the case to be worth, taking into account the severity of the injury, the effects of the injury on your life and the negligence of the other party. Any settlement will be reduced if there appears to be a good chance that the claim will not be successful. Other factors that may reduce the damages include past medical history, pre­existing injuries, and prior claims history.

Considerable compensation may be commanded if your injuries are severe requiring extensive medical treatment, absences from work and permanent injuries. This is especially true if you were a healthy, productive, young worker prior to the accident. That is because an important factor in the value of your claim is the difference between your quality of life before the accident as compared to after the accident.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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