The age old question for a personal injury client: How much is my case worth? Anyone injured in an accident will need this question answered by someone looking out for them.
The insurance company fielding the claim handles thousands of personal injury cases each year. The insurance adjuster may even have access to sophisticated computer software that values your claim (sophisticated, so they might contend at least). Most insurance adjusters have years of experience handling claims and part of their job is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. That is why it is so important to hire a lawyer. Without a lawyer, the insurance company likely won’t pay what you’re due.
We know the insurance companies tactics and how they value cases. The attorneys at Horton & Mendez used to represent the insurance companies. We know the other side, having that type of experience helps us provide our clients with valuable insight into how the insurance company values the claim. That experience could also help make sure nothing is left on the table when settlement is being explored.
The value of a case is driven by how much compensation a jury is likely to award the injured party and what are the costs of finding out? More broadly, what is the risk of going to trial? Is there significant monetary exposure to the insurance policy? Is there a risk of no recovery? Will the case be expensive to prosecute or for the insurance company to defend? Of course, no one has a crystal ball. But we can rely upon the evidence, our experience, and data to generate informed estimates.
As soon as our attorneys receive a new case we begin assessing its value. After evaluating liability, the first step is usually collecting and reviewing the client’s medical records. In some cases, this includes thousands of pages of medical records. Our attorneys will take care of this lengthy process.
In most cases, our clients have substantial medical bills. North Carolina has very specific legal rules that determine what medical expenses are recoverable. Cases with higher medical expenses typically involve more serious injuries and have a higher case value. Once we calculate the medical bills and understand the impact an injury has on the client, we have a foundation to begin valuing the claim.
The next steps will be to collect support for any additional categories of damages. Those categories may include future medical needs, permanent disability or impairment, lost wages, and lost future income. We may need to collect tax returns, wage documentation, doctor’s notes, and other important wage information. Perhaps the client cannot work in the future. In that case, we will need to calculate future lost income and we may even need to work with prominent experts to prove a client’s disability, needs for future care, or permanent impairment. There are lots of factors to consider.
Every case is personal and unique. As former insurance defense attorneys, we know what factors the insurance companies may consider when valuing a case. Hire a North Carolina personal injury attorney who will do everything possible to make sure you get all that your claim is worth.