Florida personal injury lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, talks about the formula used to determine the value of a Florida personal injury settlement
There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the value of a personal injury case. This misinformation can come from advertisements or well meaning family members or friends. For instance, I have had many folks come into my office and say that their case is worth so and so, and when I ask them how they came to that amount, they said things like:
- A friend of mine received X in their car accident case
- Everybody knows the value of a car accident case is 2.5 or 3 times medical bills
- I feel that I'm entitled to so and so because of…
The truth is there is no formula used to determine the value of a personal injury case. Some insurance companies use claims adjusting software that takes a lot of data points, gives varying degree of weight to certain data points, and cross references the information against nationwide jury verdicts to determine a settlement range. Other insurance companies have guidelines and the individual adjusters use their experience. The truth is that I can submit the same demand and information to three different insurance companies and get three different bottom line offers.
Factors that Determine the Value of Florida Personal Injury Case
A number of factors are used to determine the value of a Florida personal injury case:
- The facts of the accident – the more egregious the facts – the higher value of the case
- The nature and extent of the client's injuries
- The type of medical treatment received
- The type of medical treatment that will be required in the future
- The amount of lost wages
- The loss of the ability to earn money in the future
- How has the injuries impacted the person's life
- Past injuries
- Criminal history
- Underlying medical conditions
- Scarring and disfigurement
Insurance and Collectability of the Defendant
An overriding factor in all personal injury cases is the availability of insurance proceeds and the financial solvency of the person or corporation that caused the injuries. A person can have severe injuries but if there is no insurance and the person who caused the injuries is on the verge of bankruptcy – the true value of the case may zero. Finally, the amount of insurance available and the perceived risk on the insurance company or insured also drives settlement value.
If somebody tells you that they can tell you the value of your personal injury case within a week or two of the accident without having the above information at their disposal is not giving a fair assessment of the case. As you can see, there are so many issues that go into the equation in determining fair value for a personal injury case.
If you have any questions about a Florida personal injury case, contact Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the Internet Consultation Form on the right.