How much is my car accident or personal injury case worth?
The value of a car accident or personal injury case depends on a variety of factors. A number of the main factors are discussed below. However, the facts of each case are unique. The car accident and personal injury lawyers at Rankin & Gregory, Chad Rankin and Bill Gregory, have more than three decades of experience evaluating how much cases are worth. We would be happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss the value of your case.
1. A police accident report or incident report is very important to give the case validity and to prove the facts about how the accident happened, who was at fault, and why they should be responsible for your injuries and damages. Such reports often contain contact information for witnesses that you may need to prove your case. Insurance companies usually treat the statements contained within these reports as true. However, if the statements disagree with your belief of what happened, Chad Rankin and Bill Gregory will investigate the truth of these statements. Witnesses are often mistaken or sometimes intentionally misleading.
2. If you are injured, it is very important to get immediate medical attention. Most importantly, it is good for your health to see a medical professional if you are injured. Second, any car accident or personal injury case is built upon the injuries and treatment documented within the medical records. Treatment shortly after the accident helps prove the immediate and significant nature of your injuries.
3. The biggest value of any car accident or personal injury case are the injuries sustained and treatment required to address those injuries. A whiplash case that resolves in one month after limited medication and physical therapy has a far different value than a neck injury requiring a cervical fusion surgery and permanent impairment. The nature of the treatment, length of treatment, and any residual problems or impairment are very important to properly value a case.
4. Wage loss and medical expenses. You can make a claim for any past lost wages as well as a future loss of earnings in a car accident or personal injury case. Likewise, you can recover any medical bills that you paid or owe as well as any medical expenses paid by a health insurance policy that has a valid medical lien. Whether a health insurance plan has a valid medical lien is very important question that needs to be answered. Many health insurance plans will try to take some or all or your recovery if you do not protect yourself. Attorney Chad Rankin has spent countless hours battling with health insurance companies on this very issue.
5. Did you have pre-existing injuries? If you had existing injuries or health conditions prior to the accident, new diagnostic imaging such as MRIs, X-rays, EMGs, for CT scans may go a long way to show a significant change in your medical condition. Make sure to detail any difference in location, frequency, or intensity of your problems after the accident.
6. Was anybody charged with criminal misconduct like driving under the influence (DUI)? While criminal charges or bad behavior at the scene are not technically part of your injuries and damages, they go a long way to influence how someone values the case.
7. Were there witnesses? If so, you will want their assistance in proving your case or, if they tend to harm your case, you will want to know about what they will say so you can address it.
8. Did you take photos of the damages to the cars or the defect on the property? A picture is worth a thousand words, and can be worth a lot more than that in the hands of an experienced car accident lawyer.
9. Do you have any scars as a result of the injuries or treatment? Scars are considered permanent after one year. They can significantly increase the value of any personal injury case.
10. The limits of insurance for the at-fault parties and personal coverage that you may have for yourself. Very few people have significant assets to make it worth seeking a personal judgment. Insurance limits may create an actual limit to your ability to recover. If the limits of the insurance policy are less than the damages you sustained, you may be capped in your recovery. The attorneys at Rankin & Gregory, LLC will explore all possible sources of recovery if your damages exceed the amount of available insurance.
We will sit down with you and your family for a free consultation to discuss the value of your car accident or personal injury case. Do not hesitate to call the lawyers at Rankin & Gregory, LLC at our offices in Lancaster (406-3216) or Leola (656-5000) for a free consultation. We do not earn an attorney’s fee unless we win or settle your case. You can also visit us on the web at www.rginjurylaw.com.