It’s one of the most common questions a personal injury attorney hears, especially for car accident cases:
“How much is my case worth, and how much will I get?”
Online calculators may give you a ballpark figure, but they aren’t always accurate. You can add up the expenses you already have, but it’s not a complete picture of your losses, especially if your injuries were severe and you need long-term care.
Determining the full value of your case involves multiple factors. That’s why it’s difficult for a personal injury attorney to give you an accurate “quote” until they have conducted a full investigation, including accident-related medical records.
Building Your Claim
The goal of any personal injury claim is to recover losses and make a person “whole” again. Your attorney collects the economic and non-economic losses from the accident to determine the worth of your claim. Economic damages can include:
• Medical expenses, both post-accident and long-term care, medical transportation, therapy, and other needs from the accident
• Lost wages, and lost future wages (if applicable)
• Property damage, such as a personal vehicle, a smartphone (in a slip and fall, for instance) or other property
• Other economic losses, such as home care and assistance and home adaptive costs, such as wheelchair ramps and other necessary modifications
While non-economic damages can include:
• Loss of consortium
• Pain and suffering
• Punitive damages, often awarded in cases with gross negligence, such as drunk driving cases
• Legal fees and court costs
Liability is also a consideration. Are you liable, or is the other party? How much is each party liable? How many parties are involved? These questions must also be answered, and any insurance coverage located.
Because you may not know the value of these variables, consulting with a personal injury attorney will give you a clear picture. Once your attorney completes their investigation, you’ll know what to expect.
The Insurance Company Obstacle
While you and your attorney work to determine the actual value of your case, the other party’s insurance company is working to avoid paying your claim. Because insurance companies are a business, they are always working to save money and cut costs by claim denials.
An insurance adjuster will examine the facts of the case to make an offer. Their job is to deny your claim, not give you a fair settlement. When an adjuster calls, anything you tell them will be used to deny your claim regardless of your losses. Their assessment will not be the same as the one your attorney compiles.
If you represent yourself, the insurer will not treat you fairly or take you as seriously as they would if you had an attorney. Plaintiffs represented by attorneys are more likely to have a much higher payout, even after paying legal fees.
Refer these calls from insurance companies or their legal teams to your personal injury attorney, and don’t say anything about your case or claim to them. Otherwise, you risk losing the necessary compensation.
Have Questions? Call Popham, Your Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer
We’re happy to speak with you and answer your questions after any type of personal injury.
Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in many accident types, from simple fender benders to accidents involving injuries and property damage. We'll be happy to review your case and let you know if you have one and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288, or use our online contact form to get started.