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What Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth

what is my personal injury claim worth

hi my name is Chris Denman I'm an

attorney at Denman Perlman in Tampa

Florida

and today we're gonna talk about how we

value personal injury claims when we're

valuing personal injury claims we're

looking at a couple of different

components and then we're adding them

all up to figure out what a what a

dollar amount value will be for your

claim so here's what we're looking at

the first question we have to answer is

what is the money available okay so if

you've been in an auto wreck and

somebody else caused an accident but

that person doesn't have any insurance

for whatever reason or they don't have a

penny to their name then the value of

the case is gonna be very limited

because there isn't any money to go get

on the flipside if you've been in an

auto wreck and the person who hit you

has a million dollar insurance coverage

then you know that's not going to be an

issue okay then there's gonna be enough

money available to compensate you for

the full value of your claim so the

second question we ask is what are the

total medical bills in your case so a

personal injury claim by very nature has

injuries and injuries are treated in

hospitals or urgent cares or by

chiropractors or by orthopedist s-- and

they're all done in a medical setting

and they all have medical bills

associated with it and so these are

economic damages and we want to know

what the total economic damages are in

your case the total medical bills we

also want to know what your total

out-of-pocket is in other words what has

insurance covered or what has your pip

insurance covered if it's an auto

accident claim we next want to find out

what your lost wages are this is another

sort of economic damage right it's

something that we can put an actual to

the penny we can figure out what your

lost wages are and so if you had to

leave work under doctor's orders and you

weren't able to work for a couple of

weeks and you make twenty bucks an hour

and we can figure out the exact dollar

amount of your lost wage claim now the

next question and this is a big one and

in an injury cases what is your pain and

suffering and this is an intangible

amount it's not like medical bills or we

can say your pain and suffering was

worth to a penny this particular number

it depends okay and what it depends on

is how has this accident affected your

life and there's two different places

that we're looking at one is what are

the things that you used to be able to

do and you can't do now what has been

taken from you maybe you used to go to

the gym everyday or maybe you used to

run every day and now you can't do that

and so that is a part of pain and

suffering that we'll sit down and figure

out the value for to do the best we can

to compensate you for what's been taken

from you the second part is what are the

things that you still do because you

have to do them but they're really hard

to do right now so for example if you

got to work and you still have to go and

drag yourself into the office every day

or whatever it might be but it hurts now

you have to do it but it's it stinks for

you now it's painful the only way you

can get through it is to take a bunch of

pain med in the morning and then when

you go home you pay for it we call these

the technical term is duties under

duress but we want to know what those

are because that's a big portion of your

pain and suffering claim to determine

this will talk to you because you'll

know but we're also talking to your

family members whether it's your spouse

sometimes it's your mother how has it

affected them because they can often

speak for you better than you can the

last question we want to know is what is

the liability in your case so is it is

it a hundred percent clear that this

injury that you have that the accident

was caused by somebody else so for

example you have your motor vehicle car

wreck where somebody runs a red light

and plows into you while you're just

parked in that case we know that

liability is 100 percent clear right

it's not your fault at all or is it the

situation where it's more vague or maybe

there was a sideswipe and it's a little

bit harder for us to prove the liability

at a hundred percent level and we want

to know that because that factors into

your claim and then what we do is this

usually takes a few months for us to

gather all this information because you

don't know the first week after an honor

wreck for example what your total

medical bills are you have to go to the

doctor you have to have let them either

get you a hundred percent better or if

they can't get you 100% better we have

to get to the point where they say

listen we've tried everything we can to

get you 100 percent better and we can't

and this process can take three months

six months whatever the case may be it

all depends on your treatment provider

so we have to wait till that's done when

it comes to lost wages you may not know

a week after an auto wreck or slip and

fall how much time you're going to lose

it may take a few months for you to get

an understanding of how it's going to

affect your your work and how much money

are going to be out of pocket and the

same thing with pain and suffering you

may not know right away exactly how it's

going to affect your life you may think

at the very beginning that maybe it's

just two weeks that you're out of the

gym or maybe it's just the you know a

couple of weeks that you're you know not

going to be able to to go to your kids

sporting events but as time goes on

you'll have a better understanding if

this is going to be a permanent thing

your pain and suffering is this going to

affect you for the rest of your life or

is this something that's going to be for

a small period of time but ultimately

you're going to get over it and that

varies and that factors in greatly with

what the total amount of your settlement

case value is going to be so after a

certain period of time and a lot of its

dependent on your treatment providers

and your doctors but it's usually

somewhere between three and six months

you come in and we sit down and we go

through all of these factors and we're

able to come up with a number as to what

the value of your case is going to be

and that's what will settle your case

for and if the insurance attorney and

the insurance adjuster does not agree

with us and they refuse to settle with

us then we file a lawsuit because

ultimately this is your one shot to be

compensated for what's happened to you

and if you have permanent injuries and

this is something that you're gonna live

with for the rest of your life then you

need to make sure that you get fair

value for your claim and and our firm we

believe in getting maximum value for

every claim we take every case on a case

by case basis and I'll leave you with

this which is I have yet to have a

client who's been permanently injured

that no matter how great the financial

settlement is I get to have a client

telling me you know what I would rather

have this money in hand

I'd rather have this money and then go

back to where I was before the reality

is it's an imperfect world it's an

imperfect system and the best we can do

is to put a dollar amount on something

that's been taken from you