How much is my personal injury case worth?
Illinois Accident Lawyer
In Illinois, an injured person can receive compensation if it can be proven that the person or corporation who caused the accident was negligent or careless, and contributed to the cause of injury.
Value of Personal Injury Case
The value of a case is unique to each case. To determine the value of any case, there are multiple factors that need to be addressed. The attorney must evaluate the compensation that a jury might award for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages and pension
Further, the extent to which the client contributes to negligent or careless actions will reduce the value of his or her case. If a client is 50% at fault and receives a $500,000 verdict, then that verdict will be reduced by 50%. Thus, the total verdict would be $250,000. If the client was 10% at fault, the verdict would be reduced to $450,000… and so on. However, if the client is found to be 51% at fault or more, then the verdict is reduced to zero and there is no recovery.
For each case, each factor above is different and must be fully explained to the client so that the client can make an informed decision about what sums he or she is willing to settle for.
One interesting example of the dichotomy of case valuations is this: one person may take pain medication for his/her pain, while another person may be in pain but refuse to take narcotic medications. Does that make the first case worth less than the second case? No. We have seen jury’s award more to persons who refuse to take narcotics and vice versa. This is but one of many examples of issues that must be explained to the client in detail so a proper decision can be made.
Jury’s tend to award the most money to persons who try to come back from their injuries and do their best to find some work and take a positive outlook on life.
It is important to also have a reasonable jury hear your case. A jury that is prejudiced against lawsuits will reduce the value of a case unfairly. Careful jury selection is a lengthy process and imperative to every case.
Remember, the value of the case is also determined by you. While the attorney can provide you with ranges of highs and lows about what your case may be worth, you are the boss. You must make the ultimate decision regarding at what point you are willing to settle your case versus taking it to trial before a jury.
One common misconception is that a case is worth three times the medical bills. This is incorrect. Again, each case is unique and dependent upon the individual circumstances described above. If we simply lump cases together based on the injury, we would not be doing our job.
Another factor that affects value is the attorney fee charged. We charge 1/3 plus expenses whether a case settles or is tried before a jury. We advance all costs. We do not recover unless we win.
A free consultation with Chicago injury attorneys can help ease your fears and protect your rights. If appropriate, we’ll arrange for an immediate investigation while evidence is fresh, including statements from witnesses and the Defendant, and photographs of the scene and the vehicles involved.
We invite you for a free telephone or in person consultation to discuss your accident and any questions you may have. Even if you do not wish to retain an attorney, we can set you on the right path for free. Most of our lawyers have more than 30 years of experience and we have an outstanding track record in helping our clients and creating a strong trust relationship, as you can see in our Success Record. Please call our Chicago office at (312) 372-8822, or our Joliet office at (815) 723-8822, or you can call our toll free number at (800)-985-1819.