“How much is my case worth?” That’s one of the most commonly asked questions by those who have suffered injuries in a North Carolina accident case. Though the question is an understandable one, it’s unfortunately rather difficult to provide a satisfying answer to.
The short answer is that every case depends on a variety of factors that are specific to you and your particular circumstances. The type and severity of injuries suffered, your actions leading up to the accident, the behavior of the other party that caused the injury, etc. These multiple factors make it impossible to simply plug a fact pattern into an equation and settle on a firm estimate.
In the end, a personal injury claim is worth what a jury decides it is worth. Juries do not use any formulas; instead, they rely on testimony and evidence provided by both sides in a case. The jurors then weigh that information and try to come up with what sounds like a fair award to compensate the person who was injured in the accident.
Because many cases are ultimately settled outside of court, it is good to know how insurance companies figure out what amount to offer to settle cases. Insurance companies hire experts to examine a personal injury claim and compare it to facts from previously settled cases. While there is no hard and fast rule to estimate the value of a North Carolina personal injury claim, there are certain things that you should be aware of that can impact the ultimate value of a case.
For example, the factor that most impacts the overall value of a personal injury case is the severity of the person’s injury. Is the pain short term and easily fixed or severe and long lasting, potentially even permanent? Permanent and debilitating injuries, or those involving scarring, are obviously far costlier than those that heal in a relatively little amount of time.
Beyond the severity of injury, the amount and cost of your medical bills and how much time you were forced to take off work due to injuries and doctor appointments can also greatly impact the overall settlement offer. Cases where the patient sought medical treatment right away and followed medical advice are also factors that can up the value of a settlement because it makes it that much harder for the insurer to claim that your injuries were caused by other things.
Finally, the actions of the person who caused your injury can increase the value of the claim. If the person was impaired at the time of the accident, driving recklessly or speeding, it becomes easier to prove their fault and thus easier to increase the value of a settlement offer.
Because every personal injury case is unique, if you or someone you love has been harmed by the actions of another person it is important to seek out the advice of an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney. Our lawyers are able to guide you through the complicated process of filing a civil claim for compensation.
Here's a YouTube video where our attorneys discuss the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim: