Personal injury claims and lawsuits are valued based on several factors, such as the injury’s severity and duration and its effect on your career and hobbies. Even your age, health, and family situation can impact what your case is worth. Our personal injury lawyers can help evaluate how these aspects affect your case valuation.
The Type of Injury You Suffered Will Affect Your Potential Compensation
What you suffer dictates what your case is worth. Injuries caused by negligence can vary significantly. You might have suffered:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
For instance, a broken leg is undoubtedly painful, expensive, and a sign of injustice when caused by carelessness. Its value in a claim or lawsuit will be lower than a permanent spinal cord injury, though. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC) reports that a broken leg can cost up to $7,500, but the lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury can be up to $5.1 million.
Do not downplay an injury. Bruises and lacerations may seem minor, but they pose a risk of scarring, infection, or internal injury. These are all quantifiable damages, and therefore should be evaluated by a medical professional and included in your case’s value.
What Are Your Medical Expenses?
One straightforward way to determine your personal injury claim’s value is to look at the cost of treating the injuries. Our team can consider any of the following expenses when calculating your case’s worth:
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment
- Rehabilitative care
- At-home care
The cost of the same treatment can vary between injuries. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) states that hospitalizations for TBIs can last two more days and cost 74 percent more than in-hospital care for other injuries. Your entire situation needs to be evaluated to get a proper picture of what you experienced.
There Is Variation Within Each Injury
Your injury’s severity also plays a role. For example, a hairline fracture will heal faster than a shattered bone that requires surgery and physical therapy. Likewise, cases of whiplash can resolve in a few weeks or take over a year to heal after intensive chiropractic and massage therapy.
These nuances are an integral part of case valuation – ones often overlooked by insurance companies when calculating a claim’s worth. Our lawyers can help gather evidence of your unique experience, whether you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other situation.
There Is Variation from Person to Person
Even if two people suffer injury in the same circumstances, their cases may not be valued the same simply because they are different people. How you are injured and how you recover can be based on your:
- Family history
For example, the Insurance Information Institute (III) has found that older motorcyclists tend to sustain more serious injuries, partly due to their age. Their bodies don’t have the same resilience as younger riders’.
Your family history may put you more at risk for certain complications, while your own underlying health conditions may affect your recovery. Damages are personalized to make sure the liable party acknowledges your full experience.
The Injury’s Impact on Your Life
Medical expenses are only one facet of your personal injury claim. The consequences of being hurt by negligence can crop up in other areas of your life:
- Mental health
- Pain and suffering
Any income you lost while recovering should be included in your case valuation. If you are the financial provider for your children or other dependents, that missed work also represents missed support for those dependents. We can consider that in your claim’s value, too.
Your claim or lawsuit can also help provide compensation for the injury’s toll on your mental and emotional health. If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, you could develop anxiety, depression, phobias, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We could pursue reimbursement for expenses like therapy and psychopharmacology, and seek damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Long-Term Effects Count
When assigning a value to your personal injury claim, we ensure the liable party considers your future, not just your present struggles. If you are likely to face ongoing or recurrent problems related to your injury, we can include that in your case’s value, such as:
- Mental health issues
- Chronic pain
- Long-term medications
- Lack of independence
- Diminished quality of life
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Inability to pursue hobbies
Especially traumatic injuries can cause lifelong struggles with phobias or PTSD. The Mayo Clinic lists accidents, fires, crashes, and life-threatening medical diagnoses as common causes of PTSD. All these situations can result from negligence. You should be compensated appropriately for this and other mental health burdens.
Likewise, case valuation can consider if your injury:
- Left you with a permanent or long-term disability
- Interfered with your ability to work
- Deprived you and your partner of spousal intimacy
- Left you unable to engage in a favorite hobby
Personal Injury Claim vs. Lawsuit
While some people use “claim” and “suit” synonymously, they refer to two separate actions: an insurance claim and a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes, if all parties cannot agree on an insurance claim settlement, the case proceeds to a lawsuit.
Both claims and lawsuits have similar methods for determining the value of a case. However, insurance companies do not necessarily have your best interests in mind. They might undervalue your claim to pay less.
If you suspect the insurance company is pressuring you to settle quickly for less, our personal injury lawyers can determine the value of your case and fight for that figure.
Know Your Options After Suffering Personal Injury
Determining the value of your personal injury claim means determining the unique consequences you suffered from the injury. This is a personal process. Don’t let an insurance company try to reduce you to the smallest possible numbers.
The Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. team is standing by to maximize the value of your case. We can assist you in English or Spanish. Call us at (631) 994-1910 to get started with a free consultation! We can field questions for your lawyer.