It is virtually impossible to produce a reliably accurate estimate of the value of a personal injury claim until negotiations are winding down. There are numerous factors that may affect the ultimate value of your case, which your Florida personal injury attorney will describe to you in your initial meeting with him. These factors generally fall under three categories: the expenses your injury incurred, the effect on your quality of life that your injury had, and how clear it is that the insured party is liable for your injuries.
The most obvious expenses incurred by your injury are your medical bills. These include bills for treatment from a doctor, therapist, or other healthcare professional, as well as the costs of any medication, prescription or over-the-counter. It also includes miscellaneous costs, such as hospital stays and ambulance fees. It is also important to note that the insurance companies give some medical expenses greater weight than others: bills from alternative medicine practitioners, for example, are given less weight than bills from licensed doctors. If your injury kept you from working, the wages you missed out on will also factor into your claim value. If you used sick time or vacation time while you recovered from your injury, you may be able to factor that into your claim as well.
Your injuries most likely had a serious impact on your quality of life. If your injury prevents you performing your normal household routine and renders you incapable of doing the leisure activities you used to enjoy, your settlement value may increase. Also, any permanent disfigurement or disability resulting from your injury will also increase the value of your case.
Finally, there is the question of liability. If your evidence that the insured is responsible for your injuries is strong, the insurance company is more likely to settle. However, if there is evidence to suggest that our own negligence contributed significantly to your injury, you can expect the insurance company to resist paying your claim.
Ultimately, you will need an experienced Florida personal injury attorney to use these factors to your advantage while negotiating with the insurance companies. Call John Fagan today for a free initial consultation.