If you had been hurt in a car wreck and suffered serious injuries, you want to know the value of your case as soon as possible. As an experienced injury and wrongful death lawyer in Virginia, I can tell you that it is a more complicated question than you might think. First just because a lawyer tells you that your case is worth a million dollars don't think that is necessarily the case, especially if a lawyer is trying to get you to sign up with them. An honest attorney should not promise you the stars and the moon just to get you to hire them.
What I tell people at the beginning of a case is that I don't yet have enough information to know what the value of the case is going to be until I have seen the medical records and bills and find out whether you have a permanent injury which could involve future lost wages or additional medical care. There will come a time when your attorney should show you how they analyze your case to figure out what it is worth in their opinion. That time is not at the beginning of your case, but once the necessary information has been collected and your medical care has happened so that your prognosis is known. You don't want to settle a case one day and find out the next that you still need a surgery for the injuries from the accident.
Once you settle your case with the insurance company there is no coming back later. So when I get to the point in your case where I'm telling the client what I think of the case value, I want to be sure that I have all the information including what the future is likely to hold for you. The factors that go into the value of the case are many including the amount of your economic losses like medical bills and lost wages as well as the intangible loss of quality of life items which are often called pain and suffering. However, your damages include everything that's happened to you as a result of the wreck from that time until the case is resolved including all of the out-of-pocket expenses, hassles, embarrassment, physical suffering, anguish, and psychological effect of the injury on you. Other variables also come into effect like the venue or court where the case would have to be heard as some jurisdictions are better than others because the juries are more generous with people who are hurt and less favorable to the insurance defense lawyers. In car crashes these days the amount of property damage to the vehicles makes a lot of difference in that the more messed up the vehicles are the easier it is for the jury to believe that the person was injured as an occupant of the vehicle. Finally, there are lots of other issues like how bad the defendant's conduct was, whether they were a drunk driver or a big corporate defendant and how likable and honest the plaintiff, that is you the injured person, will come across to the jury.
About the editors: The motto at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.