Perhaps the most asked question by injured persons is, “How much is my personal injury case worth?” While it is an important question, it is not an easy one to answer. Determining how much your personal injury claim is worth depends on several factors.
The only way to go about this is by examining the facts, checking the injured person for more permanent injuries, reviewing medical bills and records, and checking how much insurance cover is available. With this information, your Little Rock personal injury lawyer may be able to give a ballpark range of values to expect.
Many instances require the use of medical experts, economists, and even life care planners to help document the extent of a person’s injuries following an accident. But even so, there is no guarantee as to the amount of compensation you may receive.
What Damages Can I Receive?
There are two main types of damages available in your personal injury claim in Little Rock: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages aim at paying off the victim for what they lost due to the accident that caused the injuries.
Punitive damages aim at punishing the offending party, especially if it was an act of gross negligence. It is intended to discourage such behavior among other people. However, punitive damages are not so common.
Compensatory damages are further divided into economic and non-economic losses. These will depend on the scope of your injuries and vary from one case to the next.
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Reduced capacity to earn in future
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
Determining how much money to award for future medical bills and your reduced capacity to earn will require medical and financial experts. Similarly, your non-economic losses are difficult to predict because what the jury often awards greatly varies.
How Is the Value of My Case Determined?
There are a few factors your little rock personal injury attorney will assess to figure out if you have a valid case.
Arkansas applies the modified comparative negligence law. Under this law, you may only be able to recover compensation from an accident if you have less fault than the other party. In some cases, it is clear cut which is more at fault. In other cases, not so much.
Your lawyer’s work is to evaluate what both of you did leading to the accident. The conclusions will help your attorney decide what damages are appropriate to pursue. For instance, your lawyer may choose to pursue punitive damages if you were involved in a drunk driving accident in Arkansas.
Determining Injuries Sustained
If the liable party is clearly known, the next step is determining what injuries the victim sustained following the accident. You can prove injuries by availing to the insurance company copies of medical records linked to the accident.
This is the tricky part because while an injured person needs to be treated, the treatment must be done by a doctor’s orders. The insurance company will only accept payments if proven that the injuries are linked to that specific accident.
Determining the at Fault Party’s Ability to Pay
It is quite sad that even clearly liable parties can sometimes lack adequate insurance coverage to pay. It isn’t easy to collect compensation from defendants without enough insurance. Even if you win against them in court, they could file for bankruptcy and make it impossible for you to collect your compensation.
Other relevant factors that can influence your claim’s worth include the witnesses’ performance, how the jury identifies with the case, and the skills and experience of the lawyers involved.
The value of your case can only be determined once:
- The victim has completed medical treatment
- All medical records have been appraised
- All medical bills and wage loss information have been availed
- The physician treating the victim has established whether there are any permanent injuries
- The accident has been thoroughly investigated
- Source of the compensation collection has been determined
An Insurance Company Already Offered an Initial Offer. Should I Accept It?
Once an insurance company offers you a settlement offer, you can either reject or accept it. While it can look big to you, such initial settlements are rarely adequate to cover all your long term injury needs.
Most people don’t know that they have a choice of rejecting the offer. That is why you need your experienced personal injury lawyer in Little Rock, AR, to help you determine if it is a fair amount or not. Your attorney has the experience to haggle with insurance companies and will most likely negotiate a higher settlement or battle it out in court.
What Do I Need to Bring Along During a Consultation With My Lawyer?
For you to maximize your consultation with a PI attorney in Arkansas, here are some things you should carry:
- Receipts showing direct payments for your injuries. They could also include receipts for repairs, medical prescriptions, and bills.
- Copy of an accident report or police report. This report often bears the assessment of liability and factors that might have contributed to the accident.
- Pay stubs or any documentation that detail your wages in case you missed work due to your injuries.
- Copies of medical records and any available insurance information
- Witness information and correspondence
A Little Rock PI Attorney Helping You Understand Your Legal Options
It is difficult being an Arkansas personal injury victim, especially due to the negligence of another person. It is even more confusing if you don’t know the law or understand the process of pursuing your claim. However, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed because there are people to help you.
If you have questions about your claim, talk to an attorney today to learn how the process works and what steps you can take to prove the extent of your injuries and maximize your settlement. Call a lawyer at Denton & Zachary, PLLC, on (501) 725-8099 to schedule a free consultation.