What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth? April 15, 2008Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
Tags: car accident, injury compensation, injury settlement, personal injury, wisconsin personal injury
This is one of the most commonly asked questions from victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents or other personal injury matters. Many times after trying to handle a case on their own someone will come to me and tell me what their health insurance paid, their wage loss and out of pocket expenses and say the insurance company wants to settle but they don’t know what the case is worth.
My most common answer is an honest one: I need more information. You see, we have to look at what the law says must be used to measure the losses associated with a car accident, for example. In Wisconsin the law says that if someone causes a collision then he/she is responsible for all damages by paying a fair amount of money. An accident victim must receive compensation for 1)past medical expenses, 2) past wage loss, 3) past pain suffering and inconvenience and other miscellaneousexpenses like mileage and damaged property. If the injuries are more serious (permanent injuries) then Wisconsin law states that the accident victim must receive compensation for 1,2 and 3 along with 4) future medical expenses, 5) future wage loss and 6) future pain suffering and inconvenience etc.
When potential clients ask what their case is worth it is difficult to give an education opinion. It depends on the injuries, types of treatment, duration of treatment, venue and other more personal questions.
For example, many personal injury victims don’t think to include mileage. Or victims include only what health insurance paid and NOT the actual medical bill from the medical provider. These items can often total large amounts of money that will change the compensation they are due under Wisconsin law.
I always tell potential clients that there is not an easy answer to this question. I can say that I’ll do my best to make sure that they receive full compensation under the laws of Wisconsin.
Later on I’ll talk about the difference between pre-suit settlement negotiations and a lawsuit. In short, just because you hire a lawyer that does NOT mean that you have “filed a lawsuit.” Actually the opposite is true. Hopefully, by hiring a lawyer you’ll avoid going to court to get compensation for your personal injuries.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Waukesha, Milwaukee, Two Rivers, Oconto and Saukville.