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You have legal questions. Amy. The attorney has the answers welcome to todays show show and heres amy.
So how do you determine the worth of a case know how when somebody said somebody says how much is my case worth i want you to talk about not only the medical stuff. But also pain and suffering and what goes into your evaluation of what the case is worth assuming that you have no insurance limitations. Okay.
And sometimes that there are no limitations or reasonable limitations. When a commercial entity instead of a private person is at fault like if a trash truck hits you you dont have to worry about running out of insurance money. But i tell first of all i dont talk about money with my clients at the outset.
I charge a lower contingency fee. If im going to resolve things by just writing letters that goes up a little bit. If we have to go to court.
But i i tell my clients. All the time that a case is either worth what a claims adjuster will pay you or what a jury will award. You and both of those things are just very uncertain.
And they vary from claims adjuster to claims adjuster. So there is no magic formula so a lawyer that tells you oh youve got this much in medical bills. Its five times that amount thats how much youre gonna get anybody who talks money at the very beginning and starts filling your head with expectations.
I dont think is doing the right thing. Thats my opinion. But the way you value a case you have to look at a bunch of factors you have to look at the total medical bills and that even thats confusing thanks to changes promulgated by our legislature over the years juries now know more than they used to juries now know how much your initial medical bills were like you might go in and have it and the medical bill for that is 10000.
But your insurance company your health insurance company may have negotiated a rate for 200 for that mri well guess what the jury knows about both of those numbers and so medical bills alone dont do the trick because amounts of medical bills are misleading and dont paint a full picture the the degree to which your quality of life has been impacted is the biggest piece of the puzzle. And theres i think two halves to that one is your ability to earn a living you know if you do manual labor for a living. And youve been injured in such a way where you cant do the job that youve done for 10 20 or 30 years.
Thats a big deal.
And you have to hire an economist to come in and look at whats called your work life expectancy the amount of money you would have earned from the date of the accident. Until your date of retirement and and calculate what the present value of that future lost income is but sometimes. Its not as complicated and youve just missed three months of work and we have your w.
2s and we have your pay stubs and we have an obvious gap of where youve missed out on work. But your wage loss is a big piece of how the accident has impacted you. But theres also an emotional impact and that emotional impact can vary from person to person.
But if youre if your back is injured and you cant roughhouse with your toddler anymore. If youre a runner and you cant go for a jog anymore. Because theres something wrong with your knee after the accident or cosmetic things you know i represented a woman who didnt have a lot in the way of medical bills.
But glass lacerated her face in multiple places. And she has scars on her forehead and under her eye. And shes got to look at that every day for the rest of her life and so she didnt have a significant amount of medical bills.
But the emotional impact of that scarring made a big deal or was a big deal and then the other piece of the puzzle is the impact that a serious accident can have on your relationship. If you are married in missouri. Your spouse has the right to also make a claim against the at fault driver for something called loss of consortium.
Which is an allegation that hey you hurting my spouse has impacted our relationship. We cant go on walks together. We cant go on vacation.
Together our intimacy has been impacted all of those things come into play. And so i hate to give like a really sort of wishy washy answer. But you dont know what the worth of a case is until you have looked under every stone with respect to the things that im talking about so.
Im not one of those people that thinks oh you only have ten thousand dollars in medical bills. Well your case. Then is only going to be worth twenty thousand dollars like you can have minimal medical bills and a huge loss of your quality of life and then similarly.
Ive represented people who have a forty thousand dollars in medical bills. But it was all diagnostic and those tests were all negative and the person looks fine seems fine and so their case might not settle for as much as somebody with fewer medical bills so theyre just to oversimplify it and put it into some kind of formula and i think thats unwise on the part of a lawyer music you .
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