A common question asked by injured persons with respect to a personal injury claim is: how much is my claim worth? For those who have heard the response from a personal injury lawyer, it was likely something like: ‘it depends’. This is because there are a number of factors that determine the worth of any claim.
This article will discuss some factors that have a direct bearing on a personal injury claim’s worth.
Severity of injuries - it is important to note that not all injuries are equal. The more severe the injuries, the more money an injured person is entitled to recover. Injuries that are permanent are more likely to lead to a larger recovery than injuries that heal within a matter of weeks or months. Injuries that leave significant scars, especially on the face or other visible parts of the body, are also more likely to lead to larger recoveries. Further, injuries that require injections or surgery are also typically result in larger recoveries than injuries that can be treated by standard therapy such as chiropractic sessions, etc.
Medical expenses – as a general rule, the greater the medical expenses incurred the more money the injured person is entitled to recover. However, this only applies where reasonable and necessary medical expenses are incurred in order to diagnose and treat the injuries caused by the negligent conduct of the responsible party. It is important to note that unreasonable medical bills will not be recoverable. Furthermore, the treatment must be necessary. Professional standards of medical practice generally control the determination of whether the treatment was medically indicated or not. Additionally, medical expenses incurred by an injured person may be recovered in order to pay for medical expenses in the future. However, this only applies to future medical expenses that are reasonably certain to be incurred.
Filing the lawsuit - settlement of claims in litigation often results in higher settlements than those in which a lawsuit is not filed. Therefore, it generally holds true that you are more likely to get a higher motorcycle accident settlement after you have filed a lawsuit than without filing one.
Doctors and medical records - it is important to note that documentation of injuries is critical. However, while most doctors are excellent clinicians, their ability to handle and document treatment may be an issue. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that an injured person seek out doctors who specialize in treating people who have been injured in accidents. Such doctors including chiropractors, orthopedists, neurologists as well as pain management specialists. Such doctors are able to clearly document your injuries and are likely to provide objective findings through diagnostic testing and imaging such as x-ray, MRI and nerve conduction studies.
Who is your attorney? - insurance companies generally know which law firms are willing to file lawsuits and which ones settle all their claims. It has been noted that some insurance companies make low settlement offers just to see if the attorney is willing to file a lawsuit. Law firms that routinely file lawsuits are more likely to obtain better settlement offers than those that do not.
Ensure that you seek out a law firm of renowned professionals to handle your case.