Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2017 at 1:30 am
One of the first questions a personal injury client will ask is “How much is my claim worth?” This is not an easy question to answer because several variables and factors are used when determining the value of an injury claim. However, it is the job of a Sacramento personal injury attorney to evaluate your case and determine the value of the claim. It’s not one of the first things an attorney does, but it’s one of the most important elements of a personal injury claim.
If an attorney gives you a specific figure during your first consultation, we strongly urge you to seek a second opinion. An experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney knows that he must first conduct a thorough, comprehensive accident investigation to obtain all facts and circumstances, including discussing the client’s prognosis with his or her physician, before a value can be placed on a claim. Depending on the length of time between the accident and the date you meet with an attorney, the attorney may give you an approximate figure, but an experienced attorney will advise you to give him time to investigate the case, so you don’t leave any money on the table when you settle your claim.
Factors That Can Impact a Personal Injury Settlement
Analyzing a claim includes taking into consideration both objective and subjective information. It’s the second category that makes determining a claim value difficult and complicated. You can’t simply plug in numbers and come up with a value for a person’s physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering.
We began to calculate a value for your personal injury settlement; we take the following factors into consideration:
Costs of medical care. Medical costs are objective and based on the bills received for treatment. However, the insurance company may try to deny parts of the claim because of pre-existing conditions or other issues. An attorney may prevent some of these issues from becoming huge problems by keeping accurate records and providing necessary information to the insurance company to corroborate the cost of medical care.
Loss of income. If an injury causes a person to miss work, that person deserves to be compensated for his or her loss of income. This is another objective expense that can be calculated based on the income lost and the period of time the person was unable to work because of his or her injuries.
Pain and suffering – This category of damages is subjective meaning there is not a bill or invoice we can point to obtain a dollar amount. While a percentage or other calculation may be used, the value assigned to pain and suffering is not a static figure. This category of expense includes the reduced quality of life the victim has experienced as well as any chronic pain and emotional issues involved. Because each person suffers to a different degree and in different manners, you want an experienced attorney working on your case who understands the complexities of calculating pain and suffering damages.
Future damages – For an injury that has resulted in a permanent disability, costs of ongoing care for the future must also be added to the settlement. In addition, if the patient cannot return to work or earn the same amount of income because of the injury, a figure must be included for future loss of income. Calculating future damages is a complex process that typically requires the skills of an expert. Our law firm works with several experts who can assist in calculating future damages for accident claims.
Call A Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney for A Free Appointment
If you have questions or you want more information about calculating an accident claim, please call our office to request a free case evaluation and free legal consultation. You can reach the Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by chatting with a representative on our website.