The victim of a personal injury accident often suffers physical and psychological injuries as a result of the accident. In addition, a victim may also face significant financial hardship if those injuries cause the victim to miss work for a substantial period of time. If you have been injured in what you believe to be a personal injury “accident,” and someone else was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Understandably, one of the first questions victims often have for an attorney is “how much is my case worth?” Because of the unique set of facts and circumstances that accompany any personal injury accident, the best way to find out what your specific case is worth is to consult directly with an attorney. There are, however, several factors that generally impact the value of a personal injury accident case. A La Vergne personal injury lawyer explains the factors that typically affect the value of a lawsuit.
Factors that Typically Influence the Value of a Case
No two personally injury accident cases involve the same set of facts and circumstances which makes it impossible to compare the value of cases or provide a value based on a general description of the accident. Factors that typically impact the value of a personal injury accident case, however, include:
- Type of case – there are a number of different types of “accidents” that all fall under the general umbrella of “personal injury accident.” Sometimes, the type of case can impact the subjective value of a case. For example, if you were injured in a product liability accident because a large corporation failed to make a product safe before putting it into the market, it may be worth more, on its face, than a run of the mill car accident case. This is a subjective factor, not an objective legal factor.
- Negligence – negligence is the legal term for “fault” or “responsibility” when someone is injured. Although we say someone was injured in a personal injury “accident,” the reality is that it wasn’t usually a true accident. Instead, the victim was likely injured as a result of another party’s negligence. If the victim was also partially negligent, however, it will diminish the value of the case.
- Severity of physical injuries – the number and extent of physical injuries will always affect the value of a personal injury case. Understandably, a case in which the victim suffered a spinal cord injury, for example, is worth more than a case in which the victim’s most serious injury was a broken ankle.
- Future prognosis – the value of a personal injury case should always take into account any future medical treatment the victim will likely need because not all injuries fully heal. If, for example, the victim suffered a spinal cord injury the victim may need specialized equipment and routine medical care for life. The cost of that equipment and care is factored into the value of the case.
- Documented psychological injuries – a victim is entitled to compensation for both physical and psychological injuries suffered in an accident; however, for the emotional impact of an accident to be valuable it is always best for the impact to be documented. For instance, if the victim has documentation that he/she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTST) as a result of the accident, that injury is compensable.
- General health of victim prior to the accident – a negligent party does not get to choose his/her victim. The “egg shell skull rule” is a legal concept that basically says that if a victim’s health was especially fragile prior to the accident, causing injuries that would otherwise not have occurred, the negligent party still has to compensate he victim for those injuries.
- Negligent party’s ability to pay – legally speaking, a defendant’s insurance limit and/or ability to pay shouldn’t factor into the value of a case. In reality, however, it only makes sense to consider the defendant’s ability to pay. If the defendant’s insurance limit was $100,000, for example, it only makes sense to take that limit into account when determining the value of the case.
Why You Need to Contact a La Vergne Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away
If you have been injured in a Tennessee personal injury accident it is imperative that you consult with an experienced La Vergne personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and that you preserve the value of your case.
If you have been injured in an accident in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced La Vergne personal injury lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.