Perhaps the most asked question on the day of the initial interview for a personal injury claim is “How much is my case worth?” Almost always a victim is annoyed when the answer is “it is too early to tell.” Many people fail to grasp is that every case is incomparably unique. Even asking an experienced attorney who has personally dealt with cases similar to your own is likely to tell you the same thing.
Remember that when you are seeing your attorney for the first time, he or she only has your side of the story. It is likely that the other side perceived things differently, as well as other witnesses. If you were partially at fault for the accident, your total recovery will be reduced by the amount you were at fault.
So initially some of the questions to ask are:
- Was the other party at fault for the accident
- Can I prove the other party had a duty to me
- Did I contribute to the accident
- Was I less at fault that the other side.
In addition, the amount of your recovery will depend upon your damages. Some damages are easy to calculate, such as :
Medical Expenses – Both current and possible future medical expenses can be reasonably calculated based on what procedures have taken place already since the accident (if any), and how much has already been racked up in medical bills. For future medical expenses, it is likely that they will have to be calculated by a medical expert.
Lost Wages/Loss of Earning Capacity – This is simply based on how much time off of work you’ve taken as a direct result to the accident, and how much future time you’ll still have to take to recover. Also, if you can no longer be employed in the position that you were previously in, you may be entitled to compensation to make up for the difference in income if you’re forced to work a lower-paying job.
The two areas where forecasting your damages is not so easy are your recovery for your pain and suffering and your loss of consortium and services claims.
Your pain and suffering claim includes not only the physical pain you are in but any limitations you have, as well as anything you are no longer able to do. Your age and life expectancy also play a problem.
A Loss of Consortium claim is a claim by your spouse for the loss of the companionship, loving comfort, helping hand, advice and counsel your spouse gave to you and the sexual relationship that was once maintained between yourself and your spouse who was injured as a result of an accident