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How To Determine What Your Personal Injury Case Is Worth: Step By Step

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If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another individual or entity in California, you need to work with a skilled personal injury attorney who can help you make the best decision moving forward for your situation. Here, we want to specifically discuss how you and your Orange County personal injury attorney will determine what your case is worth.

1. Gathering the Proof for Economic Losses

The first step in determining how much a personal injury case is worth will be for you or your attorney to gather all of the evidence proving economic losses. When we say economic losses, we are referring to special damages.

In a personal injury case, special damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
  • The cost of prescription medications or medical devices
  • Lost income
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damage expenses

In order to properly calculate these costs, you and your attorney will gather up all of the medical bills, any receipts, pay stubs, tax returns, and more.

2. Working to Calculate Non-Economic Losses

Non-economic damages in a personal injury case are incredibly important. These are also referred to as general damages, and they revolve around the more immeasurable aspects of the claim.

Some of the most common types of non-economic losses in a personal injury case include the following:

  • Emotional distress damages
  • Physical pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages
  • Scarring and disfigurement damages
  • Loss of consortium for a spouse

When working to calculate these losses, an attorney will often use a “multiplier method.” What this means is that the attorney will add up all of the economic costs that we mentioned above and then multiply that total by a set number (usually a number ranging from 1.5 to 5) to reach the non-economic total.

3. Determining Shared Fault

Another factor to consider in these situations is whether or not there was any shared fault for the incident. The good news is that injury victims in California can still recover compensation even if they are found to be partially at fault for the incident. California operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that a person can recover compensation even if they are found to be up to 99% responsible for the injury. However, the total amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. This has to be taken into consideration when determining how much a California personal injury claim is worth.

4. Sending a Demand Letter

After an attorney examines the facts of the case and adequately calculates how much compensation their client should be owed, they will send a demand letter to the insurance carriers asking for that amount and payment. There is a good chance that insurance carriers will send back a ridiculously low counter-offer or even deny the claim altogether.

5. The Lawsuit

If the attorney is unable to secure adequate compensation for their client after negotiating with the insurance carrier, they may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to move forward with the case. Even after a lawsuit is filed, it is unlikely that the case will go all the way to trial. The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are resolved between negotiations with attorneys for both sides before a trial becomes necessary.

Covid 19 Update: We are accepting new cases and we handle everything electronically and remotely, so our clients never have to leave their homes.