Injuries from a car accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, or a product defect could turn into a personal injury lawsuit against the company or party that created the accident situation. Though a lawyer will assess your information and case for validity, decisions in many of these cases are left with a jury of your peers or with a justice like Judge Mike Tawil. However, whenever an individual head to a lawyer`s office for a free consultation on their case, there are a few specific things that a person wants to know about their chances of winning and what the resulting award or settlement may be. These are the common concerns of people looking to file a personal injury claim.
What is the Lawsuit Worth?
Television commercials often make personal injury cases sound quite lucrative, leaving many people surprised and disappointed that their case isn’t worth what they thought it would be. Personal injury cases can vary in terms of worth, but emotions often drive an individual to feel that more compensation is warranted. This is true in cases of employment termination or failure to promote/hire, especially when many of the actions haven’t been against the law. Even if they were, the cases don’t hold much value, or at least, not the hundreds of thousand touted on commercial advertisements.
How is a Case Valued?
To determine how much your case may be worth, the attorney will consider the jurisdiction the case will be filed in, the facts of the case, and experience with similar cases that were brought to the courts. The ability to recover damages differs from situation to situation, many times with legislation guiding the limits on legal action. For instance, the Americans with Disabilities Act allows a plaintiff to sue for punitive damages from the employer, but yet the Age Discrimination in Employment Act will not allow pursual of punitive damages. Employers that choose to settle out of court may offer more in recovery amounts, while those that prefer to settle through the courts will hold out on settlement funds. Small companies have less ability to pay than larger corporations, also making it difficult for a plaintiff to get what they want. Equally significant, the jurisdiction where the case will be heard plays a significant role in the value, since some states have a more employer-friendly stance than others.
What Details Will a Lawyer Need?
In order to help put a value on your case, a lawyer will need you to answer several questions about your issue. You will need strong evidence to convince a jury or a judge, and your lawyer must be briefed on what you have. The value of your losses due to the incident is used to evaluate to help ballpark what your settlement should be and includes both wages lost and those that may be lost in the future. The names and contact information of credible witnesses and any documentation you have will need to be given to your attorney. The estimated cost of your lawsuit, taking into account any fees and associated costs, should also be factored into the value of your case. It may be hard for a lawyer to put a price on your case until they hear the other side of the story and any other evidence that exists to discredit your story.
What Should I Be Hoping For?
Regardless of the evidence you have or the severity of the offense, you should be realistic in your efforts to receive compensation. The lawyer you select should be able to guide you through the process and give you an accurate assessment of success. Don’t listen to the media, opinions of friends, or the pessimism at work. Be optimistic that justice will be served.