We get many phone calls from people who have been injured, whether it be by a car accident, slip and fall or they were attacked by their neighbor’s dog. During the consultation we walk each individual through a detailed analysis of their potential claim, but the ultimate question is always asked…How much is my case worth?
Great question, but it depends on many factors beyond the total cost of your medical bills. Each person is different, from their age, weight, prior injuries and activity level. In addition, each accident is different, from the extent of your injuries and medical bills, the speed at impact, the size of the vehicles, the time of day and the weather. These factors and many more, will affect the value of your claim. In order to place a value on your case, your attorney will assess all variables, to include your medical bills, lost wages, and the infamous pain and suffering component. To be clear, the value of your claim is not a specific number but is a numerical range, such as between $90 and $100.
Accurate valuations can be difficult. Therefore, the experience of your attorney can be a huge asset. Our firm is lucky to have attorneys who once represented insurance companies, but who now represent injured persons. When we assess your claim we give you an honest assessment with multiple valuations.
The first valuation is referred to as the jury award valuation. This calculation is the highest value you could receive from a jury, or “your best day in court”. Keep in mind that juries are unpredictable; therefore your attorney should do his or her homework. It is important to know the past history of jury verdicts in the county where the claim would be filed. Why does that matter? It matters because each county is different and has different jury pools. Some North Carolina counties will award far higher jury awards compared to other counties, even when based on the same facts. It is important to know your county history and its demographics because this could have a significant impact on your case.
The second valuation is commonly referred to as the settlement valuation. Although this valuation takes into account much of a jury award valuation, this valuation is ultimately a lesser amount. The settlement valuation takes into account that both sides make concessions to resolve the claim. You may take a little less so that you don’t have to go to court, sit through lengthy depositions, incur additional costs or deal with discovery issues. The insurance company will pay a little more than it wants to pay because they too do not want to go through a trial, sit through depositions, deal with discovery, or hire a defense law firm (which is attorney Matthew Marcellino’s background) to represent their insured (being the person that rear ended you or caused you to slip and fall). Most cases settle for an amount in this valuation for these reasons stated herein. For most, it ultimately comes down to a cost benefit analysis.
It is important to note that it is always your decision whether or not to settle. However, how would you know if settlement is what is best for you and your case without receiving a proper valuation assessment? Our office prides itself on providing you with a detailed valuation so that you can make an informed decision. If you have questions about your personal injury claim, including its value, feel free to call our office to schedule a time to speak with one of our attorneys.