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Factors That Increase the Value of a Personal Injury Case

Posted on April 5, 2023 in

Determining how much monetary value a personal injury settlement has can be challenging. There is no exact formula, but factors will affect the value of an insurance claim. A personal injury attorney may have experience with similar cases so he can base his expectations on past experiences.

However, there is no direct route to estimating how much a settlement is worth. Several factors influence and may increase the value of a personal injury case.

A personal injury case is a dispute that arises when someone is injured because of someone else’s negligence or willful misconduct. Several elements could boost the value of a personal injury.

The Extent of the Injury

The seriousness of the injury will often be a determining factor in the size of the monetary award in a personal injury case. The greater the magnitude of the injury, the larger the settlement. The greater the pain and suffering the victim sustained, the more compensation they are entitled to.

Hard injury awards generally raise the amount that the settlement is worth. These injuries usually have far extended long-term damages. Hard injuries are things like the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Loss of a limb or digit
  • Internal damage
  • Crush injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Sight loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Nerve damage

An injury requiring extensive rehabilitation or requiring a surgical procedure to correct is considered a hard injury. These injuries can have long-term impacts on the victim’s life, increasing the settlement’s value.

Victims of permanent injuries can expect larger settlements. These injuries could include some of the injuries listed below:

  • Brain damage or trauma
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Reduced mobility
  • Amputation of a body part
  • Loss of use of a body part or bodily function

The more serious the injury and the longer the recovery, the more monetary value a case typically has.

Emotional Anguish and Mental Distress

Personal injury victims experience many painful experiences aside from the physical injuries they sustained. Following an accident, the emotional anguish experienced can be incapacitating. Anxiety disorders, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are parts of the psychological impacts experienced by injury victims.

These can raise the value of a settlement. But, it is more challenging to prove than physical injuries. Seeking treatment for the emotional anguish, a victim is experiencing is important since medical professionals and those familiar with the effects it has had on their client may be asked to testify.

Disruptions to the Victim’s Everyday Life

Naturally, after experiencing a personal injury, the victim’s life may face more disruptions than usual. The more disruptive the event, the more it will inflate the value of the claim. For instance, if everyday activities have been made more challenging because of the accident, it may be more difficult to go about daily life unaided.

This may include the following:

  • Mobility issues
  • Difficulty standing
  • Inability to do their job anymore
  • Disqualification from being able to do other jobs
  • Being rendered incapable of participating in hobbies or sports

Lives that experience drastic changes because of the injuries they sustained will normally receive larger settlements.

How Well-Known Was the Incident

When lawsuits play out in the public eye, this can affect the value of the settlement. Often companies and businesses, especially those that are more prominent in the public eye, may want to avoid bad publicity. Negative public opinions may propel the company into offering larger settlements just to make the whole thing go away.

You can be sure that the attorneys for the bigger company are determining the financial impact that being in the public eye could cause, as opposed to just paying the victim a generous amount to avoid the negative press.

The Extent of Treatment and the Duration of the Recovery Period

Settlements lean toward larger dollar amounts when the injuries sustained require more treatment. Time in the hospital and treatments by doctors and surgeons can drive up the value of a claim. The more specialists are required, typically the larger the sum of the award.

Procedures, reconstructions, and surgeries can mean more difficult recoveries. The more challenging it is for the victim to recover, the larger settlement they can expect.

The duration of the victim’s recovery is another deciding factor when it comes to the size of settlement claims. Because the recovery time and difficulty of the recovery is in direct correlation with how much a person can expect to recover in compensation.

Insurance Limitation

Another consequential factor in resolving the value of a personal injury suit is the defendant’s insurance policy limits. The higher the limits on their policy, the more the victim may receive. If the defendant is underinsured, the victim may not receive compensation for the full extent of the damages they sustained.

Proof of Liability

The defendant must be proven liable for the injuries. If the victim can prove without question that the defendant is responsible, this can have a major influence on the amount of the settlement. The more clear the fault can be shown, the greater amount of compensation the victim is typically awarded.

Personal injury lawyers are tasked with building cases that show that the defendant is inarguably responsible for the injuries sustained by their clients. This might require testimony from viable witnesses, presenting credible evidence, and building a more solid case against the defendant.

The clearer it can be shown that the defendant is responsible, the more value the case is usually given.

Where the Case is Heard

The compensation received by the victim can be influenced by where the case is heard. Each jurisdiction varies in its awards history. Some venues typically award more generous settlements than others.

As strange as it sounds, the venue in which the case is heard can affect the final settlement.

Legal Costs

The defendant may have to spend a lot of money to defend themselves. This can mean hiring expert witnesses who can contest evidence presented by the plaintiff. The costs of the clerical work, work with witnesses, and hiring of specialists to testify can quickly become outrageously expensive for the defendant.

In many cases, this can cause them to settle for a higher amount to avoid all the added expenses in case they lose anyway.

The Right Representation

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a personal injury, it is essential to understand what it takes to receive the maximum possible compensation. Overall, several factors increase the value of a personal injury compensation case. Speak to an attorney to determine which factors apply to your lawsuit.