Determining the personal injury case worth involves various factors, and it’s essential to consider the specific details of each case to understand why the settlement amount might be lower than expected.
In a personal injury case, the negligent or careless party’s insurance company may offer you $10,000, which might be the policy limit.
I Expected a $20,000 Personal Injury Case Worth, Not a $10,000
You might think your personal injury case worth is far more, let’s say $20,000. Here are some common reasons why a personal injury case worth might be only $10,000 instead of $20,000:
1. Comparative Negligence
If the injured person is found partially at fault for the accident that caused their injuries, the compensation they receive might be reduced. For instance, if they are deemed 50% responsible, the settlement amount could be cut in half.
2. Limited Insurance Coverage
The at-fault party’s insurance policy might have a maximum coverage limit of $10,000.00. In such cases, the injured person may only receive compensation up to that limit, regardless of the total damages.
3. Insufficient Evidence
The strength of the evidence supporting the injured person’s claim plays a significant role in determining the settlement amount. If the evidence is weak or lacking, it can lead to a lower settlement offer.
4. Minor Injuries
The extent of the injuries is a crucial factor in calculating the value of a personal injury case. If the injuries are relatively minor, the settlement amount may be lower than in cases involving severe or life-changing injuries.
5. Pre-Existing Conditions
If the injured person had pre-existing medical conditions similar to the ones sustained in the accident, the defendant’s insurance company might argue that the damages were not entirely caused by the accident, potentially reducing the settlement amount.
6. Low Out-of-Pocket Medical Bills
If you have a soft tissue injury and small out-of-pocket medical bills, the settlement may be closer to $10,000 than $20,000.
On the other hand, if you have big out-of-pocket medical bills, the case may be worth closer to $20,000 instead of $10,000.
All things equal, not having health insurance results in bigger settlements.
Health insurance pays your medical providers at a contracted rate, which is usually much less than the total billed charges. Your health insurer likely has a right to get paid back from the total settlement. The same is true for Medicare and Medicaid. Part of your personal injury claim against the careless party is to recover the amount that your health insurance pays. Since health insurance pays at a reduced rate, you’re generally able to recover a smaller amount from the at fault party. This results in a smaller claim.
7. Very Little Medical Treatment
All things equal, the less medical treatment that you get, the lower the full value of your case. This is because insurance companies (and juries) equate less medical treatment with less serious injuries.
They think that you should get a good amount of medical treatment if you’re in pain. With just a little medical treatment, an insurance adjuster may think that you’ve had a small amount of pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
8. Economic Damages
The settlement amount might be limited to cover only economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering may not be included in the final settlement.
9. Negotiation Skills
The injured person’s lawyer’s negotiation skills can significantly impact the final settlement amount. A skilled negotiator may be able to secure a higher settlement offer than someone with less experience.
10. Jurisdiction and Local Laws
The laws and legal precedents in the jurisdiction where the case is being heard can affect the settlement amount. Some regions have specific rules that may limit or cap damages in certain situations.
Get a Free Case Consultation
Before you negotiate or sign anything, learn your rights and how to protect yourself and your family. A personal injury lawyer can talk to you about your legal options, how to avoid common mistakes, and how to maximize your claim.
Remember that each personal injury case is unique, and the settlement amount will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident, the injuries sustained, and the legal representation involved. If you’re facing a personal injury case, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who can provide personalized advice and guidance based on the specifics of your situation.
If you need help ensuring you receive the highest possible compensation for your injuries caused by another parties’ negligence, contact McKay Law: (903) INJURED / (903) 465-8733 or (903) ABOGADA / (903) 226-4232. NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN!