One of the most common questions I get asked by new clients is “what’s my claim worth?” My most common answer? “It depends.”
“It depends” is almost like a crutch, lawyers use it so much, but it’s true. The value of a personal injury claim depends on a lot of different factors. The first, and maybe most obvious factor, is fault. Who was responsible for causing your injuries?
In some states, if the person making an injury claim is at fault for causing their own injury in any way, they’re barred from making that claim at all. In other states, like Indiana, the barrier to the courthouse is 50.1% fault, i.e., if you’re more than 50% at fault for your own injuries, you can’t make a claim. If you’re barred from even filing a lawsuit, your claim, unfortunately, is worth $0.
In Kentucky, even if you’re 99% at fault for causing your own injury, you can still make a claim against the person that’s 1% at fault. If a jury decides that your injury is worth $100,000 but finds you at fault for 99% of it, you get $1,000 of that jury verdict.
The second factor that determines how much your claim might be worth is what kind of injury you had. How were you hurt? Did you seek out medical treatment? Where did you go to get treated? How much did it cost? How long were you treating that injury? Did you heal completely? These are all good questions that a lawyer asks (and a jury wants to know) when trying to figure out how much your claim might be worth.
There are also other claims that could arise from your injury. How long were you in pain? Are you still in pain? Will you need to keep seeing doctors in the future for your injury? Did your injury cause you any other inconvenience? Did you lose time from working? Did your injury cause big changes in your home life? What about in your lifestyle? Your relationships with close family or partner?
Digging through the laundry list of items that might have value to a jury is a hard job, but that’s what a good personal injury lawyer does to try and make sure you’re fairly compensated.
The only real answer to the “how much is it worth?” question, though, is “whatever a jury says it’s worth.” While that answer might not be particularly comforting, know that a good personal injury lawyer has the necessary experience to convince a jury that you were hurt, another person caused that hurt, and it’s the jury’s job to try to rectify that hurt.
If you’ve got these kinds of questions, we’ve got the experience and know-how to answer them. Give us a call today at 502-633-6002 for a free consultation.