By: Allan M. Siegel
Clients and prospective clients frequently ask what their
personal injury case is worth. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult question to answer.
First of all, if you were just injured, and are still receiving treatment
for the injury, it is too early to ask this question. There are a wide
variety of factors that determine the value of your personal injury claim.
These factors include the seriousness of your injury, the length and duration
of your injury, and how the injury interferes with your life.
Some of these things are unclear when the injury first happens. However,
at some point, lawyer can make a reasonable estimate of what the value
of your case is worth, based on their experience trying cases in front
of juries. The Maryland, D.C., and Virginia personal injury lawyers at
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have been doing this for
over 40 years.
After an accident, you are entitled to compensation for medical bills,
lost wages, and pain and suffering. Of course, the pain and suffering
is the hardest to estimate. The amount of any settlement is also affected
by the likelihood that the jury will find the defendant to be at fault.
If there is a risk that you could lose the case (and therefore get nothing),
that needs to be considered in determining how much you would accept to
settle the case.
One of the most important questions regarding your injury is whether the
injury is a permanent one. If you are continuing to suffer from your injuries
at the time of trial you may be entitled to compensation for a lifetime
of pain and suffering.
The most important thing is to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer
to make these determinations before ever making a decision to settle a
case. It is particularly important to speak to a lawyer from the state
where the incident happened, because each state has different laws. Jury
verdicts can vary greatly from state to state, and even from counties
and cities within that state. For example, the value of a case that happened
in the Washington, D.C. is very different from the value of a case that
occurred in Laurel, Maryland (which is in Prince George’s County),
or the value of a case that occurred in Bethesda or Rockville (which are
in Montgomery County). I recently corresponded with a prospective client
who was ready to settle their case for approximately $20,000, when it
was worth 10 times that amount.
It is important that you make informed decisions, and should take advantage
of all information and expertise available to you. The
first consultation is always free, so there is no harm in calling us to talk.The Maryland, D.C. and Virginia personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman,
Cammarata & Siegel, PC are available 24 hours a day to help you.