Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Apr 04, 2017 in Personal Injury
One of the first questions many people often have about filing a personal injury claim is: What is my case worth?
There are seven main factors that affect the value of a personal injury claim and the types of compensation you can recover.
The Texas personal injury attorneys at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings have in-depth knowledge of all the factors that affect a personal injury claim.
If we take your case, we can help make sure your claim is given fair consideration when all of these factors are taken into account. Our goal is to help you recover all of the compensation you deserve.
The seven factors that determine the value of your claim include:
Severity of Your Injuries
This is one of the most important factors in determining the value of your personal injury claim. In general, the more severe your injury, the higher the value of your claim.
For instance, broken bones or injuries that result in major surgery or lengthy rehabilitation are weighed more heavily than whiplash or a sprained tendon.
This is closely correlated to the severity of your injuries. The more severe your injuries, the more medical expenses you are likely to incur, which increases the value of your claim.
You need medical records identifying all of your injuries and the treatments you are receiving, along with detailed bills and receipts documenting all medical costs, including:
- Ambulance rides
- Emergency room bills
- Costs of visiting specialists
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medical imaging
Our attorneys can also consult medical experts to help determine the cost of future or ongoing medical care for your health issues.
If your injury was caused by someone else's negligence, you deserve compensation for all of the medical expenses caused by your injury, both now and in the future.
Severity of the Accident
If you file an insurance claim, the insurer will likely gauge the value of your claim based on the amount of property damage.
This means that an insurance company will give more attention to a car accident claim with $5,000 in property damage than a car crash claim with $750. This also applies to cases involving other types of insurance.
This is why you need a skilled attorney to represent you. The attorneys at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings can work with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure your claim receives appropriate consideration, regardless of the amount of property damage.
You can still recover compensation for a preexisting injury that was aggravated in an accident or other situation caused by another party's negligence.
However, these types of claims have a lower value than claims where the injury was specifically caused by the accident in question.
This is where you need strong medical documentation and testimony or statements from medical experts to detail all of the ways your injury was aggravated. This way you have a better chance of recovering fair compensation.
If you missed work due to your injury, you may be entitled to recover lost wages. A letter from your employer detailing the time you missed, rate of pay or salary, number of hours and overtime worked each week will help establish the value of your lost wages.
In Texas, courts apply a modified comparative negligence system to personal injury cases. The purpose of this system is to assign liability for the accident based on each party's percentage of fault.
If you are more than 50 percent responsible for your injuries you cannot recover any compensation. If your percentage of responsibility is 50 percent or less, your compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are 40 percent at fault, your total compensation will be reduced by 40 percent.
Insurance companies sometimes apply this system to insurance claims. That is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer at your side, whether you are filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Some states place a cap on the amount of compensation you can recover in a personal injury claim.
However, the only damage caps in Texas are for medical malpractice cases. Each claimant can recover a maximum of $250,000 in non-economic damages, whether you are filing a claim against a health care provider or single health care institution.
In claims against multiple health care institutions, each claimant can recover a maximum of $500,000, but no single institution can be on the hook for more than $250,000.
Schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation with our Texas personal injury attorneys today to learn how we can help with your claim. We have decades of combined experience obtaining fair settlements for victims of negligence.