The question that I may be asked more than any other relates to the value of a personal injury case: How much is my personal injury case worth? Successfully obtaining a fair and complete money damages award, whether through litigation or settlement, is our primary goal at H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. The initial step in negotiating any settlement for a personal injury claim is calculating a fair and reasonable sum of money that fairly compensates a victim. The answer, therefore, primarily relates to the sum of losses (damages) in the personal injury matter.
Personal injury cases involve both special and general damages. Special damages typically pertain to economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages and are typically easy to calculate from bills, receipts, and paystubs. General damages relate to non-economic losses like pain and suffering and are thus more difficult to calculate.
The following are variables to be considered in determining the value of a personal injury case:
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Miscellaneous intangible factors
In most personal injury cases, once the sum of these damages is totaled, attorneys and insurance companies apply a formula using some multiplier to arrive at an initial starting amount for purposes of negotiating a settlement. The more serious, permanent, and painful the injuries are, the higher is the resulting multiplier used by the plaintiff and defendant. Once established, the comparative fault of each party must then be ascertained.
The last element above includes variables such as credibility of evidence and witnesses, including the plaintiff. Credibility or the lack thereof has a substantial effect on the value of a personal injury matter. If a jury isn’t going to believe a witness or the veracity of crucial evidence, the case may be lost. Other intangibles include the judge, defense attorney, and venue (location) of the trial, including the propensity of favorable verdicts rendered by juries in such location. Depending on the facts of a case, all of these intangibles may have a serious or insignificant effect on the value of a personal injury case.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help determine the value of a personal injury matter. Lehman Franklin and Kim Ward have 65 years of collective experience handling, litigating, and settling personal injury cases. H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. is located at 127 North Main Street in Statesboro, GA (30458). We proudly serve Bulloch County, as well as the surrounding counties of Chatham, Candler, Evans, Bryan, Effingham, Screven, and Jenkins. Contact our office by telephone at 912-764-9616, by email at email@example.com, or check us out online at hlfranklin.com. We’re available to meet your legal needs Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM.