A common question we are asked during the initial free consultation is, “How much is my personal injury case worth?”
Illinois Injury Lawyer Answer
As every case is different, there is no easy way to determine the value of a case without fully understanding all the components involved.
A Common Misconception – what the case is not worth
A common misconception that our personal injury lawyers hear from clients is that they think their case is worth three times the medical bills. This is false.
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 the injury.
Each case is considered, first and foremost, on its merit.
Is the case supported by the law?
Do the facts surrounding the case support a claim of liability?
Does the injured party hold any responsibility?
Is there more than one party responsible for the negligence?
Value of a Personal Injury Case
There are multiple factors that need to be addressed to determine the value of a personal injury case.
Components of Value
A personal injury attorney evaluates the compensation a jury might award for the following components: pain and suffering, loss of normal life, past and future medical bills, lost wages and pension, and disfigurement.
Part of the job as a personal injury attorney is to fully explain these components to the client so that they can make an informed decision about what they would be willing to settle for.
There are many examples of issues that must be thoroughly explained to the client so a proper decision can be made.
An interesting example of the dichotomy of case valuations involves pain medication. Take two individuals in chronic pain following an injury – one individual takes pain medication, while the other refuses to take pain medication.
Is the first case worth less than the second?
The short answer is no. We have seen juries award more to persons who refuse to take pain medication and vice versa.
The extent to which the client contributed to the negligent/careless actions reduces the value of his or her case.
For example, if a client were to be deemed 50% at fault and received a $500,000 verdict, then that verdict would be reduced by 50%. Therefore, the total verdict would be $250,000. However, if the client was found to be 51% or more at fault, then the verdict would be reduced to zero and would recover nothing.
Careful jury selection is a lengthy process and critical to every case.
It is imperative that a reasonable jury hear your case. A jury that is prejudiced against lawsuits will unfairly reduce the value of a case.
So what is my personal injury case worth?
The value of your case is determined by you. While personal injury attorneys can provide ranges of highs and lows about what the case may be worth, you make the ultimate decision regarding at what point you are willing to settle your case versus taking it to trial before a jury.
A FREE consultation with our Chicago personal injury attorneys can help ease your fears and protect your rights.
We invite you for a free telephone or in person consultation to discuss your case and any questions you may have. Many of injury and workers’ compensation lawyers have more than 30 years’ experience with an outstanding track record in helping our clients, as you can see in our Success Record. Please call our Chicago or Joliet Office Toll-Free at (866)-360-9310.
To learn more visit horwitzlaw.com.