As a car accident attorney, I get asked this question by many clients. The answer? There is no set value for a car accident case. What each particular case is “worth” depends on many factors.
Below is a list of three major factors used to value your case by both insurance companies and juries:
1. Severity of Your Injuries. The seriousness of your injuries is usually the single biggest factor in determining a fair amount of compensation for your car accident case. A car accident involving serious, lifelong injuries is going have a higher value than a case where the client had less serious injuries that fully resolved (both cases should still be pursued).
2. Amount of Your Medical Bills. The law allows car accident victims to recover compensation to cover their medical bills. Additionally, many juries and insurance companies will use a “multiple” of your medical bills to determine a fair amount for your pain and suffering. Two to four times medical bills is usually viewed as a fair settlement amount for injury victims who are represented by a competent car accident injury attorney. Unrepresented individuals are frequently offered far less. (See Should You Hire an Attorney After an Injury?)
3. Defendant’s Conduct. There is a saying in the legal community that “liability drives damages.” What lawyers are trying to say is that when a jury gets mad at the defendant (the person who injured you) for his conduct, they are more willing to allow a fair amount to compensate you for your injuries. If the defendant’s conduct was particularly dangerous, such as driving while drunk or texting and driving, a jury may want to punish him or send a message. The only way to do this is through a high verdict. Car insurance companies and their lawyers know this, and are often more willing to pay a fair amount outside of court when the defendant’s conduct was particularly dangerous.
If you have been injured in a car accident, please call Austin Bradley Law Office today at (417) 385-1338 to speak with an attorney. All our car accident cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay us a penny unless there is a financial recovery in your claim.
Also, feel free to send us a question about your car accident through this website by clicking here.