If you’re wondering how much your personal injury claims is worth, you need to know how your damages are calculated and what you need to prove (liability, causation, damages). Following are the most important things that you need to know about valuing your personal injury claim in Pennsylvania.
How to Value Damages
You cannot just make up any amount to place on the value of your case. If you attempt this, you can end up with a mistrial instead of a judgment in your favor. Your are must board damages in Pennsylvania, which means that your lawyer has to produce evidence and itemization of the damages that you are allowed to claim in Pennsylvania, without regard to pain and suffering. To do this, your attorney will collect past medical bills and evidence of the need for future medical care, loss of income or future earning capacity, and any other out of pocket expenses related to the case.
All of these expenses are the boarded damages, and the more boarded damages you have in your case, the greater the value of your personal injury claim is going to be. If there are no boarded damages, the pain and suffering may be all that you can recover.
How to Value Pain and Suffering
Because you cannot come up with any arbitrary amount for your pain and suffering, you must demonstrate that the pain and suffering is worth a particular value in your case. You can receive pain and suffering compensation in Pennsylvania for physical pain, emotional pain, stress, mental anguish, embarrassment, and even the reduced likelihood getting married.
In cases of pain and suffering, the jury will determine an amount for pain and suffering, though you can present your case for what you think the pain and suffering is worth. Every case is different, and the likeability of the plaintiff can factor into what the jury will award. There are also differences depending on where you live, with Philadelphia verdicts typically being higher than Pittsburg and western Pennsylvania verdicts. The value of your pain and suffering can also be affected by the witness testimonies of those who have seen how your life has been affected. Ideally, you will have others to testify to this, so that you do not damage your likability in front of the jury by coming off as someone who is complaining or disgruntled about the injuries and their affect on your daily life.
Staying Realistic About Your Case
It is essential to be realistic about your personal injury case in Pennsylvania. You need to find out what you are able to board, how you can establish your pain and suffering, and how the insurance company is going to value your claim. There are many cases where juries have awarded no more than a dollar for pain and suffering in Allegheny County. This happens most frequently in rear-end collisions with soft tissue damage, like whiplash, in cases where a pre-existing condition factors in, and in cases where there are no significant boarded damages. By remaining realistic about your case, you avoid building up your expectations of a large recovery, when you may not get what you expect.
Valuing Your Claim
The most important question when it comes to valuing your claim is the question of the amount of your boarded damages, like past medical bills, potential future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earning potential, and various out of pocket expenses. The next most important question is how much pain and suffering you experienced, including physical pain, emotional pain, stress, mental anguish, embarrassment, or the reduced likelihood of getting married.
If you can answer these questions, then you will be able to reach a more accurate evaluation of the value of your personal injury claim. Pain and suffering are hardest to value as there is no specific dollar amount that you can attribute to a lost limb or permanent disfigurement, for example. Every case is different, and it can be challenging to assign an accurate value to your claim. The best way to get an idea of what you may be able to recover from your settlement or lawsuit is to contact a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney for a free consultation.
Getting a Free Consultation
It is easy to get a free legal consultation when you’ve been injured. Most Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis where they don’t get paid unless you do. You have nothing to lose by discussing your case with a lawyer and it make all the difference.