This is a difficult question to answer until we know the full extent of your injuries. Being involved in a car accident is never easy and nothing is ever guaranteed. Sometimes people are given the wrong information or may not know how the process works. This may bring up a lot of questions about your case.
How much is my case worth?
Usually the value of a personal injury case cannot be determined until you are released by your doctors or your treatment has ended. Even then, the value that you put on your case will be different then the value an insurance adjuster or jury will place on it. Settlement value is a negotiated amount that is reached by an agreement between the parties. If there is no agreement, a jury will determine the value.
What determines the value?
At the beginning of the case, there are too many questions that are left unanswered. Proving the accident is not your fault is also important. You must prove that the injuries you sustained were caused by the accident. Any question as to whose fault the accident was will lower the value of your claim. To give an accurate assessment of what the value of a personal injury case is you must:
- Have insurance information
- Assess the strength of liability
- Review and analyze all medical records
- Know what the injuries are
- Know how the accident has affected you
- Know the permanency of any injury
When do you assess the value of a case?
It’s difficult to assess the value of a case at the beginning of the process. You need to wait until the end to find out what the real long-term consequences of the accident are on your life. That is, whether or not you are going to recover or have permanent problems. Only then is it time to assess the value of your accident case. At that point in time, a personal injury attorney will put a value on your pain and suffering, medical bills and loss of power to labor and earn money.
The Kentucky Trial Court Review
A valuable tool for Kentucky attorneys is trial experience. Mike Schafer also uses The Kentucky Trial Court Review (KTCR) which is put out every year. Since 1999, the KTCR has been summarizing every civil jury trial that has been tried in Kentucky. These summaries of verdicts are a tool that The Schafer Law Office uses to help assess the value of a case, which is an accident victim’s pain and suffering. By comparing a case with similar fact situations, they can get an idea as to what jury has awarded similar circumstances. However, this is not the final answer as every case is unique.
Insurance companies have tried to systematize value on accident cases by using programs such as COLOSSUS. This computer program is used by part of the insurance industry in an effort to minimize settlement values in personal injury cases. These computer programs are used to make settlement offers uniform and to ultimately increase the insurance companies’ profits. The insurance adjuster simply enters the data into the program. The program then gives the adjuster a range that a case should be settled in. This is one of the many reasons your attorney needs your entire medical history and all of the facts about your accident case. By making sure the adjuster receives all the appropriate information that is used in the computer program, your attorney can increase the odds that the settlement offer is as high as possible. Placing a value on a case is not a science. Many times it is a gut feeling that only experience can truly give you.