When you have been injured, getting a fair assessment of your personal injury claim’s value is a top priority. So, it stands to reason that you will want answers to questions like: What is your claim is worth? What factors might affect the value of it? Even though, there’s no foolproof formula for putting a value on a personal injury claim, understanding the factors that are likely to affect the value will help manage your expectations and aid your attorney’s settlement negotiations more efficiently and effectively.
Here are some major factors that affect settlements in personal injury cases.
Severity of the Injury
Naturally, the most important factor which will affect the amount of damages that you can recover is the seriousness of your injury. The more severe your injury is, the higher your claim’s value will be. For example, if your injuries involve soft tissue, such as whiplash or neck strain, your personal injury claim will not likely produce a large settlement. These types of soft tissue injuries involve muscle tissue and are not usually permanent and are harder to diagnose through medical examination. However, if your injuries involve broken bones, ligament tears, nerve damage, or spinal cord damage, you would typically receive a much higher settlement award. Similarly, if you have permanent injuries, such as brain trauma, disfigurement, or loss or use of an extremity, you can expect to receive a larger award.
Disruptions in Daily Living
If your injuries have dramatically disrupted your daily living, this increases the likelihood the claim will be valued higher. Any demonstrable impact on activities of daily living will likely produce a larger personal injury settlement. Perhaps, your injuries have made it more difficult to care for yourself, to bathe and dress yourself, to prepare meals, shop, walk or stand, or you are unable to work or perform some aspects of your job, or are unable travel, or even enjoy normal marital relations, these are all factors which may impact the value of your claim.
Emotional distress in the form of depression, anxiety, insomnia, or other emotional disorders can be equally debilitating. However, emotional distress usually requires meeting a higher standard and the input of reputable mental healthcare professionals who can testify to your injury’s long-lasting psychological effects.
Length of Treatment and Recovery
Your medical bills and records are the most important part of your injury claim; therefore, it is best to seek medical treatment from reputable doctors and hospitals as soon as possible. Post-injury medical treatment provides independent objective verification of your injuries and will generally tend to elevate your settlement value. Also, any kind of reconstructive surgeries or need for future medical care, including surgeries, that are causally related may positively impact the settlement or trial value of your case.
Similarly, the duration of your recovery period, including time out of work, and lost wages, as well as the number of follow-up appointments and prescriptions for medical treatment are also likely to raise the settlement value.
The amount of personal injury compensation varies according to the particulars of your case, but most claims will generally involve one or more of these types of damages. A personal injury attorney has the knowledge, skill and experience in valuing claims. They can learn about your case and use their expertise to give you a realistic understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and a possible value of your claim.
If you would like to maximize the value of your claim and get clear direction to take steps to make the most of your injury settlement, contact Kenison Law today for a free consultation at (603) 471-3550 or through our website: https://www.kenisonlaw.com/.