When you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, it’s typical to wonder how much your claim is worth. To determine what a personal injury case is worth requires a careful examination of many factors.
There are a number of websites that attempt to calculate a value based upon a formula. We caution you, that this is typically inaccurate. Every claim is different and the factors that determine value vary greatly, as does the weight of each of those factors.
No personal injury lawyer can guarantee you'll get the exact amount of money you ask for in a lawsuit. They may be able to give you estimates of the value of your claim, depending on how many facts are known at that time. (No question of liability, permanency of injuries, amount of medical bills and lost wages, insurance policy limits, etc.). Often, insurance companies will attempt to negotiate with a claimant for a quick settlement before the claimant has a chance to hire an attorney. They are typically offering less than full value because many of the value driving factors are unknown at that point. It is highly recommended that you speak with an expert before accepting any offers to settle your claim.
A qualified attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement. In most instances in Florida, claims can be settled before actually having to file a lawsuit.
Determining the Value of an Injury
You can assist your lawyer by providing him/her with medical bills, receipts for out of pocket expenses related to the accident and other financial records to help them calculate what compensation you're due. Some of the items you should provide include:
- Costs for medical
treatment, including emergency treatment and related follow-up treatment
- Costs for transportation to and from your medical treatment facilities, including ambulances, expenses for your personal vehicle or the vehicle of those who drive you or public transportation or cab services
- Special equipment you're required to purchase or install (such as crutches, wheelchairs, ramps and more)
- The cost of physical therapy or counseling
- Any other expenses associated with your medical care (such as out of pocket prescription expenses).
- Lost earnings (including the value of any paid time off) verified by your employer
Pain and Suffering
In Florida, there is a permanency threshold for bodily injury claims. In order to recover for pain and suffering, one or more of your doctors must determine that one or more of your injuries is permanent, or a permanent aggravation of a previous condition. Generally, it is not known whether an injury is permanent, until a claimant has completed medical treatment with a particular provider. Sometimes, following therapy claimants heal fully and thus did not sustain a permanent injury and cannot pursue a claim under Florida Law. This is one reason your lawyer may be unable to estimate a value for your claim, until you have completed medical treatment and he/she has reviewed the records and reports of your physicians.
For Help Calculating Your Damages
If you want to ensure you get every dime you're entitled to, you have to make sure you don't miss any qualifying expenditures. If you need help, contact a qualified Kissimmee, Florida personal injury attorney at Draper Law Offices at 866.767.4711 for a free, no-obligation consultation.