Posts

What Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

The same way that every human being is unique, so is every personal injury claim. This means that the value of your personal injury claim will depend upon all the specific circumstances surrounding your claim and how it has affected your life. When you call a personal injury lawyer and ask them “What is my personal injury claim worth?” the answer should be “It depends.”

What Does It Depend On?

The primary driving force of the value of your personal injury claim is how it has affected your life. However, in order to establish how an injury or event has affected your life, you will need to establish proof. This is the world in which personal injury lawyers and personal injury insurance adjusters live. A simple example is two individuals who have both experienced tremendous anxiety and stress due to a car accident. Suppose that one of the individuals sought therapy to try to mange her PTSD from the accident, and the other individual ‘toughed it out’ on her own without therapy. While both clients have experienced anxiety, stress and PTSD from the accident, the individual who sought therapy has evidence of her anxiety. As a result, it will be easier to establish the value of the stress and anxiety when calculating a settlement figure or persuading a jury box.

What About Medical Bills?

Medical bills and medical records are a key part of establishing the value of your claim. Again, bills and records help to establish proof of how the accident affected your life. We are more easily persuaded that someone has been through pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, if we can see they received extensive medical treatment, surgeries, and physical therapy to heal from the accident. Compare this to an individual who was injured in a car accident and was treated once at an emergency room fourteen days after the accident. You get the picture.

Do My Lost Wages Count?

When determining “What is my personal injury claim worth?” your lost wages are a critical component. If you are a W2 employee or have a supervisor of any sort, we will work with you to have the supervisor sign off on a lost wages affidavit to establish the time and wages you lost. Even if you used Paid Time Off, you have lost paid hours as a result of the accident and deserve to be compensated for it.

How Will I Know When I Get A Fair Offer?

This is a fair question. We find that in the end, most of our clients simply wish the accident had never happened. There is no amount of money that can compensate them for the loss of enjoyment of life and the traumatic nature of catastrophic injuries. We help our clients to decide about a proposed settlement by seeking to understand what is important to them. Some clients have a strong desire for justice—sometimes that requires that we file a lawsuit. Other clients are simply ready to move forward with life and decide that the insurance company is making a fair offer. The decision is always yours, and we are here to maximize the offer to you, then help you decide if you want to accept it.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Want to speak with someone today to get an answer to the question “What is my personal injury claim worth?” The consultation is free. Our job is to help you understand your rights and explain whether we think we can assist you with your claim. Our goal is to help you achieve the best outcome possible. You can reach us at 704.749.7747, or click HERE to request a call from a lawyer today.

How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Pain And Suffering

Clients often wonder how insurance companies calculate pain and suffering. Technically, if you take any settlement and subtract out the medical billing and the lost wages, you are left with what might be referred to as pain and suffering. Essentially, this is anything above and beyond actual expenses. Logic would tell you that is what is being offered to compensate you for your suffering.

Pain And Suffering Isn’t That Simple

Truthfully, your Average Personal Injury Settlement doesn’t really work that way. Two different personal injury attorneys may end up with two different results for the same client. This tells us that pain and suffering are a component of each settlement, but in the end, the skill set of your personal injury attorney will determine whether your pain and suffering is maximized in your settlement or jury verdict.

Your damages can be broken into a few categories:

Current Damages – Current medical expenses, Lost wages, and General damages. These include of course your doctor visits and prescriptions, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc.

Future Damages – Future medical expenses, Future lost wages, and Future general damages. While these are not always certain, a doctor’s opinion can be attained in most cases, to try to prove the likelihood of the need for future treatment.

Rehabilitation Damages – If your recovery will involve or require training or re-directing of a career or vocation, you may have rehab damages.

Punitive Damages – Lastly, though uncommon in North Carolina, punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party. These go above and beyond your pain and suffering and usually are a dollar amount chosen which represents the desire to “send a message” to the at-fault party that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. A classic example is an award given in the McDonalds hot coffee case. The amount of the award was very high, presumably to send the message to corporations that they need to be more careful with hot coffee.

Forget Pain And Suffering And Focus On Value

If you could listen in on your personal injury attorney’s conversations with the insurance adjuster or opposing counsel, you would find the attorney rarely mentions the phrase pain and suffering. There’s a reason—both sides can strongly disagree about a dollar amount which is fair. Instead, the attorney works to build your case based on facts and categories of damages such as those mentioned above. Rather than argue about what you’ve been through, your attorney will argue what it’s going to take to get you back to where you were before the accident.

There are of course accidents that involve a terrible amount of pain and suffering, and in those cases, they play a larger role. For instance, if a claimant witnessed the loss of a loved one, or the experience itself was horrific. A vehicle that rolls over three times on the highway involves more pain and suffering than a fender bender on a city street, even if the injuries are the same.

You Need Someone Who Enjoys Arguing

It sounds funny to say, but it is our opinion that you need a personal injury lawyer who actually enjoys arguing. Not in the sense that it makes their day to argue with someone. Instead, you need someone who is interested in building an argument for you. A personal injury attorney and law firm that looks at your case with fresh eyes and can tell the story of your case in a convincing manner will help to maximize the value of your case. In the end, that means a better result for you.

Our clients love that we take a genuine interest in defending their right to be fairly compensated. While none of our Reviews specifically indicate that we love to argue, we find that a client feels satisfied when they know their lawyer went the distance for them– this includes standing our ground against opposing counsel in a personal injury matter.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you would like to speak with an attorney about your personal injury case, we’re here to help. The call is free and you will come away with a much better understanding of your options. You can reach us at 704.749.7747 or click to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION, and we will be in touch shortly.

Further Reading

If this article was helpful, you may find other helpful articles on our Personal Injury Blog. Thank you for visiting the website—we hope it has been helpful.

 

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In North Carolina (NC)? Pain and suffering is calculated differently by personal injury attorneys and insurance companies. As a result, often your attorney and the insurance company will argue about the value of your pain and suffering. As you might imagine, the insurance company’s number is always lower than the attorney’s number. This article addresses how pain and suffering is calculated in North Carolina. It attempts to help you understand the value of your personal injury claim. Keep in mind every claim is different, and a personal injury attorney can assist you with establishing your claim and fighting for a fair result.

Liability Is Key To Any Recovery

Before we ask “How is pain and suffering calculated?”, we must first establish that there was a responsibility on the party from which you seek reimbursement. In other words, was it their fault? It is a given you had injuries resulting from a car accident or slip and fall. The next step is to prove that the other party was at fault, or responsible. If you fail to prove that, your pain and suffering—in fact, your entire recovery—will often be zero.

Proving liability can be challenging. North Carolina makes it more difficult with the Contributory Negligence rule, we have written about on our website. This rule states that if you are even 1% responsible for the accident or injury, you should receive nothing. North Carolina personal injury attorneys spend their days fighting this rule for their clients.

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In Different Car Accidents?

Imagine a scenario where two individuals are in two separate car accidents. In Accident #1, the injured party is rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight. They suffer a concussion. In Accident #2, the injured party is injured when another driver changes lanes, and the two vehicles collide side-by-side. The injured party suffers a concussion, just like in Accident #1.

In Accident #1, liability is clear. The personal injury attorney and the insurance adjuster may end up arguing over the value of pain and suffering, which is normal. In Accident #2, the attorney and the insurance adjuster will also argue over the value of pain and suffering; however, the insurance adjuster will potentially only offer half of what they are offering in Accident #1. Why? Because there is an argument that if the case went in front of a jury, the jury might decide that the insurance company’s client was not at fault. Or, the jury may decide that the injured party was 1% or more responsible, and offer them nothing, based on the rules of Contributory Negligence.

In the instance above, we have identical injuries, yet the pain and suffering calculation for each injured party will likely be different. Here are a few other factors that affect pain and suffering calculations:

Medical Treatment Sought—A failure to seek proper medical treatment immediately after an accident can result in a lower value of your claim, despite legitimate injuries.

Time Of Recovery—If an individual takes an abnormal amount of time to recover, their pain and suffering is arguably higher than someone who recovers quickly.

Age Of The Injured Party—Children may receive higher pain and suffering than adults, to compensate for the emotional content of their experience.

Extenuating Circumstances—Therapy needed for anxiety can change pain and suffering. Also, if the accident caused you to miss your child’s wedding or graduation, this would be considered as well.

One Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

When taken in context with the information above, some attorneys will argue that pain and suffering start with a calculation based on the medical treatment received. Insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys will then argue about the billed amount of the treatment vs. the actual cost. The reason is that health insurance often pays far less than what the doctor billed. The same is true of Medicaid and Medicare. Lastly, these health providers may have Personal Injury Settlement Liens, and those will need to be addressed with any settlement figure reached.

A Second Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

A method far less popular is to assign a per-day amount that pain and suffering is worth. The personal injury attorney takes that amount and applies it to the length of time from the date of the accident until the last date of treatment for the injured party. The concept is to compensate the injured party for the number of days it took for them to return to full health.

Insurance Company Pain And Suffering Calculations

Often, you will find that insurance companies try to ignore the attorney calculations altogether. Instead, they rely on advanced software designed for their industry. That software takes into account your injuries, medical treatment, lost wages, and many other factors. Importantly, the software will also take into account past jury verdicts in your area. The idea is to offer a settlement reflective of what a jury might give you. The insurance company will want to lower that number however because by settling with you, they are reducing the risk for you that a jury would give you less.

The Importance Of Working With A Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury cases get complicated very quickly. It’s easy to compromise your rights by giving a recorded statement to the insurance company or signing a release. A personal injury attorney will not only protect you from these pitfalls but also help to maximize the value of your claim. You will typically find that the attorney’s fee is far outweighed by the end settlement amount, and by the peace of mind that you are being protected along the long path to recovery.

If you want to know “How is pain and suffering calculated?” or if you have questions about working with a personal injury lawyer for your car accident, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

How Much Do You Get For Pain And Suffering?

If you’re wondering how much do you get for pain and suffering in a personal injury settlement, you’re not alone. This is one of the most important concerns of all new personal injury clients. While pain and suffering can be difficult to estimate in a personal injury claim, There is a rather basic way to determine what you received for pain and suffering. This article will help to try to answer the question “How much do you get for pain and suffering?” If you’d like to speak with a personal injury lawyer about pain and suffering, you can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly.

What Is Pain And Suffering Worth?

Placing a value on pain and suffering is challenging. Most clients agree that there is no amount of money which would make them happy with the accident. In other words, what they really wish is that the car accident never happened. That being the case, the second best option is to receive an amount of money which you feel fairly compensates you for what you’ve been through. Unfortunately, at the time of settlement, most clients are still hurting from their car accident, or concerned about lingering pain and suffering they might experience after settlement.

For lack of a better way to calculate pain and suffering, in most cases your pain and suffering will be some multiplier of the cost of your medical treatment. Your personal injury attorney will argue the total value of your treatment should be used in that equation, and the insurance adjuster will argue the actual end cost of the treatment should be used. This often results in very different proposed settlement amounts. Below, is an example:

Example 1:

Original Medical Bills: $100,000
Payments By Health Insurance: $8,000
Adjustments (write-offs): $92,000
End Balance: $0

In the above example, your personal injury attorney will argue that the medical billing being considered should be the $100,000, because this is the amount of the bill. The insurance adjuster will argue the $8,000 paid by health insurance is that amount that should be used. Their explanation will be that the medical treatment, in the end, only cost $8,000. If the parties are multiplying the medical billing by 2, you can see that the end numbers will come out very differently.

How Will I Know What I Received For Pain And Suffering?

In the end, the amount of money remaining after all medical bills are paid, and after lost wages are reimbursed, represents your pain and suffering. Simply put, this is the amount of money above and beyond expenses, which you are receiving from the settlement. One thing you will notice in the demand package your personal injury attorney sends out, is that typically we do not ask for a specific amount for pain and suffering. Using our example above, whatever amount we ask for above and beyond your medical bills and lost wages usually represents our theory surrounding the value of the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. If you have Medical Payments coverage on your own policy, this could also dramatically changes things in your favor.

What About Future Pain And Suffering?

Once you reach a settlement with an insurance company, that settlement is final. Therefore, you and your personal injury attorney should take into account the lingering effects of the car accident or slip and fall, when settling on your demand request. But don’t worry, your personal injury attorney will walk you through this step by step, and explain each part of the process along the way.

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have questions remaining about “How much do you get for pain and suffering?” you should speak with a personal injury lawyer today. The call is free and you deserve answers. We would love to hear from you. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE PERSONAL INJURY CONSULTATION and we will reach out to you shortly. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.