There are many factors that can come into play in determining the value of your personal injury case. First is the question of negligence or liability, whether the defendant acted negligently, and whether you were partially at fault. Second, economic or special damages. Your medical expenses mostly determine the worth of a severe injury case. We will be using the original amount billed by your medical providers, not the lower amount that your health insurance or PIP insurance paid. Then we consider the property damage, lost wages, and if you’ve had to take some days off work due to your injuries. Lastly, we review your loss of potential future earnings and future medical expenses.
Third, we’ll take a look at your non-economic or general damages. Also called pain and suffering, this type of damages can be hard to figure out in terms of dollars because pain and suffering are a highly personal and subjective issue. So, we typically treat pain and suffering damages as a multiplier of your other special damages. The more serious or painful your injuries are, the higher the multiplier. This allows us to get a ballpark idea of the value of your case, and we’ll use this as a starting point for settlement negotiations. For example, if your economic damages are $50,000 and your injuries are permanent, we can push for a multiplier of 4, which means the value of your claim is $50,000 multiplied by 4 equals $200,000.
Also, there are cases where we can file for loss of consortium. If the victim’s injuries were so severe and so life-altering that their spouse has diminished affections or diminished sexual relations, we could most likely file a loss of consortium.
What Are Some Defenses That Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Paying Out On Claims?
Typically, the primary defense would be that you suffered no injuries or no pain from the accident. They also might say that your injuries or pain are minimal and will resolve on their own without medical intervention or only require brief medical attention. The insurance company’s favorite words here are soft tissue injuries. They say that you couldn’t have been injured severely since you had no broken bones or visible open wounds. The insurance company might also say that your injuries weren’t related to the accident or that you are partially at fault or more than 50% at fault. They might also say that the policy language does not cover the accident.
You might wonder if your driving record can be used as an excuse to avoid paying out claim. The answer is no. The mere facts that your driving record shows multiple past offenses and moving violations, or that you have filed many automobile insurance claims before are irrelevant to your personal injury claim. Your past conduct doesn’t offer any information about what happened during the accident, therefore it’s not admissible as evidence.
How Are Long-Term Care And Future Medical Procedures Calculated In Serious Injury Cases If We Don’t Know For Certain What Those Treatments Might Be?
It might be challenging, but in catastrophic injury cases, the victim may suffer from permanent loss of function or lingering medical conditions. In those cases, we’ll make sure that your settlement amount includes the cost of your future medical expenses. The first step is estimating your life expectancy based on the Social Security Administration’s actuarial life table. It shows us the remaining number of years expected before death for an average person, and then we prepare a cost estimate for future medical procedures. It highly depends on your specific medical needs. However, generally, the factors are the cost of medical equipment, physical therapy, future surgery, home care, and the cost of modifying your home to accommodate medical supplies.
If I Was Not Wearing A Seatbelt At The Time Of The Accident, How Can This Impact My Settlement?
It can’t be used against you unless the failure to wear the seatbelt contributed to your injuries. The defendant would have to come up with strong evidence that the plaintiff’s injuries would have been avoided or at least minimized if they had been wearing a seatbelt. It depends on the case’s specific facts, but as a general rule, failure to wear a seatbelt probably won’t hurt your possible settlement.
That being said, we’d like to remind you that Massachusetts laws require every person in a car to wear a safety belt. Not wearing your seatbelt is not only against the law, it also increases the risk of serious injuries.
Do I Still Need To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney If The Other Party Is Clearly At Fault?
Yes, because the insurance company will try to take every advantage to see that you get little to no recovery. Fault or liability is not the only factor in a personal injury case. You still have to consider damages. If an attorney does not represent you, you run the risk that the insurance adjuster will take advantage of you by offering a low settlement amount. We can help you avoid that.
A good personal injury attorney knows the laws, the procedures, and best practices. We can help you avoid common pitfalls such as volunteering too much information to the insurance adjuster.
For more information on Worth Of A Serious Personal Injury Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 752-7571 today.
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