What is the Maximum Value of a Personal Injury Case?

The maximum value of a New Port Richey personal injury1 case depends upon a variety of factors. Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rule or “magic formula” that can be employed to determine exactly how much you can or will be paid in economic and/or non-economic damages.

If you or someone you love has sustained personal injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, such as in a motor vehicle, trucking, pedestrian, or bicycle accident, our experienced New Port Richey personal injury attorney are here to help.

Our experienced personal injury attorneys will know which elements to consider when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your case. We can discuss all of the facts and circumstances of your case with you, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and help you to maximize the monetary value of your personal injury case.

You should keep in mind that the insurance companies, generally speaking, are not on your side. While insurance adjusters may seem friendly and nice at first, their primary goal is to keep as much money as possible in the insurance company’s pockets – and out of yours. Our skilled New Port Richey personal injury lawyers have the necessary legal knowledge and expertise to help you obtain a good result, either via settlement or litigation.

Factors that Affect the Value of a Personal Injury Case

Settlement negotiations in a personal injury case usually begin when the plaintiff’s attorney submits a demand package to the insurance adjuster. The demand package typically includes copies of all related medical records and bills, as well as a monetary demand for damages. In Florida personal injury cases, the demand is not usually submitted until the injured plaintiff reaches a level of maximum medical improvement – or a point beyond which his or her medical condition is not expected to improve.

Recovery in a personal injury case depends upon the amount of insurance coverage available – and maximizing the amount of that coverage. A good New Port Richey personal injury lawyer will be able to seek out all available insurance policies that are in play, as well as the limits of insurance coverage for each of those policies.

Obviously, the amount of available insurance coverage plays a large role in determining the maximum value of a personal injury case. Some other factors which help to determine the value of a case include the following:

The identity of the at-fault party – Every personal injury case has two components: liability and damages. Liability refers to fault. Damages refer to the amount of monetary compensation awarded to a plaintiff to compensate him or her for injuries sustained in an accident. If the insurance company is disputing or denying liability (i.e. alleging that its client was not at fault), that can obviously weaken the value of a personal injury plaintiff’s case.

The amount of property damage sustained – Generally speaking, the greater the property damage, the more the case is worth. Good color pictures depicting the property damage to the plaintiff’s vehicle can go a long way to increasing the monetary value of a personal injury case – and increasing the plaintiff’s monetary recovery.

The seriousness of the plaintiff’s injuries – The more serious the plaintiff’s injuries, the more valuable the case. In other words, personal injury plaintiffs who sustained broken bones or fractures or who underwent surgery will generally have a more valuable case that someone who merely sustained soft tissue back and neck injuries. The cost of any past or future surgeries may also increase the settlement or judgment value of a personal injury case.

The extent to which the insurance company paid medical bills – Whenever an insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid pays health care costs for treatment of personal injuries sustained in a car accident, that entity is usually entitled to a lien – or a portion of the recovery obtained by the personal injury plaintiff via settlement, trial judgment, or arbitration award.

The amount of time missed from work – When an injured plaintiff is required to miss time from work as a result of injuries sustained in an accident, then he or she may receive compensation for those lost wages. An injured plaintiff may also receive lost wages for time missed from work for having to attend medical appointments and/or physical therapy sessions.

Prior criminal convictions of moral turpitude – When an injured plaintiff has previously been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude within the last 15 years, that conviction can be used against the injured plaintiff at trial. A crime of moral turpitude is one relating to fraud, deceitfulness, or capacity for truthfulness or untruthfulness.

Types of Damages

In Florida personal injury cases based upon negligence, damages can generally be divided into two categories: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are usually made up of some or all of the following:

Payment of medical bills for medical treatment, physical therapy, and surgical procedures (past and future) that are directly attributable to the accident

Payment of lost wages for time missed from work as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, including time missed from work for attending medical appointments or physical therapy sessions

Compensation for past, present, and future pain and suffering – including emotional distress and mental anguish – that can be causally related to the accident and the injuries sustained therein

The purpose of punitive damages,2 on the other hand, is to punish an at-fault for particularly egregious or wrongful conduct and to discourage others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

Contact a New Port Richey Personal Injury Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

Every personal injury case is different, and various factors play a role in the ultimate settlement value of a case – particularly, the amount of insurance coverage available. Our experienced New Port Richey personal injury attorneys can take the necessary legal actions to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, obtain a favorable settlement offer, or pursue litigation through the court system, with the goal of maximizing the value of your case.

To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-853-6275 or contact us online.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 853-6275

1 http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/injury.html

2 https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/punitive_damages