Evaluating Your Personal Injury Case
If you’ve been wrongfully injured by someone else, you may wonder if your case is worth millions, nothing or some amount in between. Although no two cases are the same and it’s a highly individualized inquiry, some clues about the value of your case can be garnered by looking at common factors lawyers use to evaluate personal injury cases.
While there are many factors lawyers look at in deciding whether or not to take on a personal injury case, here are a few of the more important considerations:
- Has the statute of limitations run out?
- How severe are your injuries?
- What do the medical records say?
- Does the person who injured you have insurance or assets?
- Can liability be established? Is there proof that this person actually was legally at fault?
- How likely will it be to obtain a settlement?
After the statute of limitations and establishing liability hurdles are met, the most important consideration will be the amount of damages.
Most personal injury damages are “compensatory damages,” which means they are intended to compensate the victim for what was lost due to the accident. These damages are intended to make the injured person whole again to the extent that this is possible. Some compensatory damages are easy to quantify, such as reimbursement for medical bills, lost income and property damage. However, it’s more difficult to put a monetary value on pain, suffering and emotional distress. In some situations, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the wrongdoers for their actions and deter them from doing those actions again.
In a personal injury case, an award of damages can be agreed upon by a settlement of the case that is negotiated between the parties or the case can go all the way through a trial and a jury or a judge can award damages.
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another person, consult with an experienced Southern Arizona personal injury attorney to help you evaluate your case.