The most asked question I hear is "what is my case worth?" The problem is that there's not an easy answer to it. An attorney can't give you a good answer without examining all the facts of the case.
A car accident claim is broken up into two main categories, liability and damages:
- Liability - An insurance company will typically attempt to place some of the blame for the accident on the plaintiff. If the plaintiff is 50% or more at fault, he/she won't be able to recover anything. Likewise, if the plaintiff is 10% at fault, their claim will be reduced by that much.
- Damages - Assuming you can get past liability issues, your damages will come into play. Damages for car accidents are split into three main categories:
- Lost Income - people that are hurt oftentimes cannot work. Any lost income due to the injuries you sustained from the car accident are recoverable.
- Medical Bills - Current and future medical bills are recoverable in a car accident case
- Pain & Suffering - This is often called the "wild card." It's relatively easy to put a value on medical bills (you look to see what was billed), but everyone puts a different value on their pain and suffering. Whether or not the claimant has fully recovered from their injuries can factor into the assessment as well.