What Factors Will Determine How Much My Case is Worth?
Just as every person is different, every personal injury case is different. With that said, there are a few common factors that tend to either increase or decrease the value of an injury claim.Your Personal Injury “Multiplier”
When it comes to valuing personal injury claims, a “multiplier” is used in most formulas to determine the amount of pain the victim is likely to have suffered due to his or her injuries. (The greater the pain, the higher the settlement offer.) These factors guide insurance adjusters and attorneys toward an appropriate multiplier.Factors Indicating a High Multiplier
- Hard injury, such as a broken bone, head injury, joint injury, vertebrae injury, nerve damage
- Medical expenses primarily for treatment by a medical doctor, clinic, or hospital
- Prescribed medication related to the injury
- Long-term injury treatment and recovery period
- Permanent injury, such as a scar, stiffness, weakness, or loss of mobility
- Physical or emotional distress resulting from the injury
- Daily life disruptions, i.e., lost time from work
- Future medical costs
- Soft tissue injury, such as a sprain, strain, or bruise
- Medical expenses primarily for diagnosis rather than treatment
- Medical treatment by non-medical providers, such as homeopathic practitioners
- No prescribed medication related to the injury
- Short-term medical treatment and recovery period
- No permanent injury
- No physical or emotional issues resulting from the injury
- No daily life disruptions
In addition to placing a value on the type of injury sustained, insurance adjusters and attorneys also consider legal and practical issues that are less quantifiable, but may influence a jury should the case end up going to trial. Examples would include the injured’s demeanor and likeability, the defendant’s demeanor and likeability, and witness testimony. For example, if either the victim or the at-fault party is exceptionally sympathetic or make a more favorable appearance before a jury, attorneys for both sides will consider how this could affect the outcome should the case need to be tried in court in front of a jury.
Another factor that affects compensation is shared fault. An injury victim who shared no fault for a motor vehicle collision is likely to obtain higher compensation than someone who is found to share some of the blame for the accident or the injuries sustained. It is also good to keep in mind that organized and patient injury victims generally receive higher compensation than victims who are disorganized or feel the need to resolve their case immediately. In other words, it is important to take the time to gather all of the data and records to present a complete case to the insurance company in order to maximize your amount of recovery. This includes waiting until you have completed your medical treatment and have been released from treatment. Oftentimes, if an injury victim is anxious to settle their case, they run the risk of settling before they have made a full recovery only to have to undergo further treatment and incur further medical bills after the settlement has been completed.