How much is my case worth?
If you’re a Glenview injury attorney, the one question you hear from clients repeatedly is: how much is my case worth? The simple answer usually is – “it depends.”
In short, how much your case is worth depends on a variety of factors including:
- Severity of injury
- The type of medical treatment you underwent
- The permanency (or lack thereof) of your injuries
- The amount of your medical bills
- The amount of your lost wages
- How much insurance there is
- What insurance company you are dealing with
Severity of injury: This is the tough one in that everyone who has been in a collision believes their case is worth $1M dollars – and a lot of attorneys will tell you that your case is (see below). The truth of the matter is that how much you recover is really a “sliding scale” with soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains or minor concussions on the left of the scale and catastrophic injuries like death on the right.
Type of medical treatment: If you undergo surgery, from an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) to a minor arthroscopic procedure, your case will be worth significantly more than someone who had a single trip to an emergency room and some physical therapy.
Permanency: If you have a permanent disfigurement, for example, scarring from road rash, a bone that never healed right and sticks out or you will forever walk with a limp, your case may be valuable.
Amount of medical bills: In the 1990’s, you could count on getting 3 times your medical bills in a soft tissue crash. That model does NOT apply any longer regardless of what you find on the internet. But, significant medical bills can be and often are an indicator of severity of injury and in the state of Illinois you are entitled to recover for all your medical bills regardless whether your insurance company had a contract with the provider that required them to pay less than face price.
Amount of lost wages: you are entitled to recover for your verifiable lost wages. This is standard but again, must be verified for an insurance company to compensate you for them.
How much insurance there is: Fifteen percent of all drivers are uninsured, countless more are UNDERinsured meaning they have the minimum insurance policy limits of $25,000.00. If that’s all the insurance there is, then unfortunately, that may be all you can recover against the defendant regardless how severe your injuries are. I was recently contacted by a woman who had a potential exacerbation of a prior leg injury. The first lawyer she spoke to said she had a $1 million dollar case. I asked her, if the defendant only has a $25,000.00 policy, where is the other $975,000.00 coming from?
What insurance company you’re dealing with: If you’re dealing with Allstate, Esurance or State Farm, be prepared to be low-balled. Conversely, commercial policies often pay more for a standard claim
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