What Is My Case Worth?
How are Settlements and Awards Calculated?
We are often asked – what is my case worth? The negligence of others can cause permanent or temporary harm. This harm can even be fatal. Many times, prospective clients want to know what their case is worth. The below explains how insurance companies, judges, juries, and lawyers value and evaluate claims.
What is the formula to calculate a claim?
The formula to determine how much value to provide to a victim of negligence is below:
Value = Economic Damages (past & future) + Noneconomic Damages (past & future)
Some examples of the formula above may be pain and suffering, past medical bills, future medical bills, past lost wages, future lost wages, disfigurement, decreased quality of life, etc. As you can imagine, this can sometimes be a complex process to understand and calculate.
What is the process to determine the value of a case?
First, we need to gather and understand all the circumstances and facts of your case. In addition, we need to determine exactly what expenses and damages have been incurred due to the negligence of others. We need to gather and examine all records and have these records examined by a medical or nursing expert for an initial assessment as to the strengths and / or weaknesses of your case. After we have these facts, we can use the formula above to understand what the value of your case may be worth.
As you can imagine, this can be a complex process.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are those things that can be calculated with near certainty. These items include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future adaptive devices and care needs; medical devices, wheelchairs, etc.
- Past and future medication needs
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are things that can be more difficult to calculate. Non-economic damages include things like past and future pain and suffering, disfigurement, decreased quality of life, etc. It is difficult to exactly know how any one judge, jury, defense lawyer, or insurance adjuster is going to value non-economic damages. Lawyers will look to recent settlements and verdicts for similar types of cases for guidance.
How do lawyers and juries evaluate and calculate a claim?
You can learn more about general jury instructions in Indiana here.
Some calculations used to determine the value of a claim or case may include the following:
Life expectancy – in the case of a fatal medical malpractice claim, or wrongful death claim the jury may use a life expectancy table to put a value on the damages incurred. For example, let’s say a 40 year old male was fatally killed due to a surgical error. According to the table, the life expectancy of that man would be 76.64 (approximately 76 and a half years of age). Therefore we can calculate and project the man’s future lost wages based on this information.
We hire and consult with experts to help us calculate these damages. We work with occupational and employment experts, medical professionals, doctors, nurses, economists and other experts to calculate and use statistical projections to understand the true value of every case we work on.
CONTACT OUR ACCIDENT, INJURY & NEGLIGENCE ATTORNEYS FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION
If you or a loved one have become the victim of someone else’s negligence, or you want more information on the value of your case, contact Ray Gupta & Associates for a FREE case evaluation today. We help people and families throughout Indiana and Illinois.
Cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. You pay nothing unless your case is successful and results in compensation.