The single biggest variable in assessing the value of 95% of personal injury car accident cases is the type of injury the victim suffered and the extent and severity of that injury. We publish a lot of verdicts and settlements based on jurisdiction and type of accident. But in terms of predictability, the type of injury is the most useful metric.
Below is a list of types of injuries with information about average settlement value of that injury, the issues at play in determining the value of these claims, and sample verdicts and settlements in Maryland and around the country.
- Value of Wrongful Death Claims
- Value of Ankle and Foot Injuries
- Value of Hand, Wrist, and Finger Injuries
- Value of Knee Injuries (and ACL tears)
- Value of Shoulder Injuries
- Value of Brain Injuries (car accidents)
- Value of Back Injuries
- Value of Fractured or Broken Leg
- Value of Paraplegia Injuries
- Herniated Disc Personal Injury Cases
- Value of Broken Leg Injuries
- Value of Burn Injuries
- Value of Headaches
- Value of Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries
- Value of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Value of Facial Scars
- Value of Chest Injuries
- Value of a Broken Jaw
- Value of Broken or Fractured Ribs
- Value of Foot Fracture
- Value of Claim by Type of Accident
- Value of an Arm Injury
- Value of Annular Tear Injury
- Ruptured Spleen
- Value of Ear Injury
- Value of Pinched Nerve
One of the most difficult tasks for even the most experienced personal injury lawyer is putting a settlement value on a case. This is a critically important exercise because, at the end of the day, we have to advise our clients as to whether they should settle their case or proceed further with litigation or trial. Certainly, our clients make their own decision.
There is no magical formula or calculation to compute the settlement value of your claim. The reality is that the best way to value your claim is to get a few experienced injury lawyers to evaluate the case. We do this every day at Miller & Zois. We endlessly focus on how much your case is worth and what we can do to get you as much money as possible.
But many people do not have access to attorneys or their case is at a stage where it cannot yet be valued. But they want some idea of what their claim might be worth. This article might be of help to you in better understanding how judges, juries, insurance adjusters and lawyers value these injury claims.
Many people end up on this page because they just got into an accident and they are hurt. So they get on Google trying to find the value of their case. But even when looking at statistics and seeing similar claims, you really do not know what your claim is until you have either finished treatment or reached what doctors call maximum medical improvement. MMI, as we call it, is the point where a doctor feels you are far enough long that she can project where your injuries are going.
One other thing worth mentioning in the context of case value is disability ratings. What is a disability rating? It is a doctor's estimate of the severity of your injury. This is derived from worker's compensation cases. Some lawyers, mistakenly we believe, try to extend disability ratings to personal injury cases. It does not have the same applicability to civil tort cases. Personal injury lawyers better serve their clients by explaining the client's injury in terms they can really understand. Juries want an understanding of how the injury is affected and will affect the victim for the rest of her life. Putting a number on that has the capacity to confuse and mislead a jury. Just let them understand the harm in human terms.
The value of your car accident case is your past and future medical bills and lost wages plus your pain and suffering. The calculation of your pain and suffering damages is going to depend on the extent and scope of your injuries.
Most insurance companies use a computer to calculate the settlement value range for your case, particularly for a pre-lawsuit settlement demand. These companies use your medical records to make the entries and then the computer spits out a value range.
Maryland juries are told to calculate pain and suffering damages by placing a dollar figure on "the physical pain and mental anguish suffered in the past and which with reasonable probability may be expected to be experienced in the future." The same rule applies to the family's loss in a wrongful death case. This gives the jury great latitude in determining how much they should award for non-economic damages.
In Maryland, you no longer make a demand for a dollar amount in your lawsuit if you are seeking more than $75,000. So the lawsuit simply states you will be going for damages that are more than $75,000.
You can ask your lawyer anything, legal advice or otherwise. You can also ask your attorney the value of the average personal injury claim. But it is very difficult to estimate the possible value of a car accident injury claim until you review the medical records.
You cannot get punitive damages for a Maryland car accident even if the other driver was drunk. The only way to get punitive damages in a car accident case is if the other driver intentionally caused the crash.