What Is Your Claim Worth?
When it comes to determining how much a personal injury claim is worth, the answer depends on who is asking the question. If an insurance company is asking the question, then a certain set of data is going to be plugged into a computer software program and the answer will be whatever number is spit out at the end. Insurance companies generally look at a set of information that includes the victim’s age, a documented loss of income, whether the injury results in any permanent injury, out-of-pocket medical costs, and very little else. While insurance companies spend exorbitant amounts in advertising their products and presenting their businesses as good community partners with catchy jingles and entertaining spokespeople, their claims adjusting software programs were written to eliminate as much human empathy as possible. Insurance companies use these programs to assign values to claims. Not your name, not your face, not your ongoing knee problems or the agonizing hours spent flat on your back recovering while your child took her first steps, not the vacation you lost, or the educational opportunity that passed you by while you were recovering from injuries sustained through no fault of your own – just a series of numbers to enter into the system.
Personal injury attorneys look at the same factors as insurance companies – and then they look at much, much more. They look beyond the surface numbers and delve deeper into the fine details of each client’s life – the adult child taking time off to care for an elderly parent, the young stay-at-home mom or dad caring for one or more children, the high school athlete with scholarship potential, and all of the other things that make us each unique and valuable to our circle of family and friends, but are not necessarily reflected on a tax return or bank account summary. Attorneys who practice in personal injury invest time, energy and staff resources into developing a complete understanding of each client’s personal life as well as what being a happy and productive member of society in day-to-day life means to that individual.
Attorneys look at the facts of the accident to determine how and why injuries were sustained and who caused them. Sometimes an accident is just an unfortunate combination of external factors, with no malintent on the part of any person. But sometimes there is a greater negligence when an individual makes poor choices that play a role in causing another’s injuries or a company’s business model has become so degraded that equipment is operated in poor condition or with a general carelessness that any reasonable person would see as being negligent. In the current age of tort reform, it is important to engage the services of an experienced attorney who can first provide an overview to the client as to how a local jury may assign value to a claim. And an experienced attorney, like a personal injury lawyer West Palm Beach, FL trusts, can further explain to the client the general process of litigation leading up to trial or settlement as well as the process the attorney will follow in developing and pursuing the client’s claim to achieve the best possible results.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Eric H. Luckman, P.C. for their insight into personal injury practice.