The Importance of Knowing the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

The Importance of Knowing the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

We’ve all heard of personal injury cases resulting in multimillion verdicts for the injured individual. Many assume that filing a personal injury case will result in a huge payday.

But those cases are not the norm. The compensation you receive in any personal injury lawsuit depends on the type of injury, your suffering, and how it will affect your quality of life.

Generally, a settlement in Alabama may be worth only a few thousand dollars up to approximately $40,000. It is also possible that your personal injury claim may result in no compensation at all. But again, it’s the multi-million-dollar verdicts that get most of the media attention.

How To Value Your Personal Injury Claim

So, truly understanding how to value your claim will give you a more realistic picture of the road ahead.

First, you must file a lawsuit (claim) before the two-year statute of limitations expires under Alabama law. That is two years from the date of the injury. You will lose your right to file a lawsuit outside of that time. 

Almost without exception, the insurer for the at-fault party will try to claim that you share some of the fault for the accident. Alabama is one of a few states still following the contributory negligence tort rule. 

If you, the plaintiff, contributed to causing the accident, you are barred from recovering your damages. The other side will always try to argue this point as a roadblock to recovery. 

That is why you should seek the services of an experienced, compassionate personal injury attorney who has seen this scenario many times before and understands the art of negotiation.

If you get to trial, a study by Jury Verdict Research found the average personal injury claim was $309,062. The cost of getting to trial must be subtracted, so that is not what you will receive.

Your Damages

Whether a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or trucking accident, lawyers and insurance adjustors will consider the value of your claim in three ways:

* Economic Damages – this is the money the accident caused you to lose and the cost of your injuries.

* Non-Economic Damages – Pain and suffering due to your injuries. 

* Punitive Damages – This punishes the defendant for causing your accident and deters future actions.

In Alabama, in a wrongful death case, you cannot recover compensatory and non-economic damages. The only avenue you have is punitive damages, but the state caps civil actions with injuries to three times the compensatory damages of $1.5 million, whichever is greater.

The formula to determine the value of your personal injury claim is:

  • Economic damages are multiplied by the severity of the injury, ranked one to five, with five being the most severe injuries. Add to that lost income from an inability to work, = temporarily or permanently, and you have an estimated dollar amount of damages. 

Here is an example. Sam was hit by a truck. His injuries are very severe, and, likely, he will never return to work. So take:

Medical expenses – $100,000, future medical estimated at another million

Lost Wages – $50k a year (7 years of lost work) $350,000

$1 million multiplied by the most severe 5 = $5 million, and add the lost income of $350,000.

Estimate = $5,350,000. 

A settlement amount will be presented to the insurance adjustors, and if they are not willing to proceed, the case will go to the jury if there is enough quality evidence to support the claim that the defendant is the at-fault party. 

Your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney

Attorney Chip Nix has been a personal injury lawyer in Alabama for over 40 years. In that time, he has gained the skills and experience to fight the insurance companies who are always reluctant to compensate you for your injuries.

When a personal injury turns your life upside down, Mr. Nix will provide compassionate guidance to get you through this chapter of life and onto your next. Whether you suffered a traumatic injury or you will heal from the accident, you deserve to be compensated for someone else’s negligence.

Your first meeting is complimentary, and you will leave with a better understanding of your options. Call his Montgomery office to receive a free evaluation of your case at (334) 203-6669.


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