The Million Dollar Question.
Ultimately only a jury can answer that question. Lawyers and insurance companies try hard to predict what a jury may award, but every case is different and there is no magic formula. Most cases settle because the parties understand a certain sum of money will permit the payment of medical bills, achieve closure and permit both parties to avoid the time, expense and risks of trial. When evaluating a settlement value, Palmetto Injury Lawyers can advise you about the value of your injury case based on numerous factors, including the following:
Severity of Wreck.
A severe car crash signifies serious injuries and may enhance a claim’s settlement value. On the other hand, a minor impact (or a wreck with no visible car damage) may greatly reduce the value.
Nature of Injuries.
Severe injuries such as broken bones, herniated discs, torn or damaged ligaments, etc., result in a higher settlement value than soft tissue injuries, such as a neck or back sprain or strain.
Substantive and ongoing treatment by a medical doctor to treat, correct or repair body parts injured in the wreck generally adds more settlement value than a single emergency room visit or a period chiropractic treatment. This only makes sense, since more severe injuries require more treatment, which results in more medical bills that the defendant is responsible to pay.
The loss of part or all of the normal function of a body part is a terrible consequence and generally results in a higher settlement value than an injury that resolves fully over a few weeks or months.
Sometimes injuries arise from the negligence of both parties. If the injured person is partly responsible for the accident, then the claim settlement value may likely be discounted for their portion of fault.
If the at-fault party was grossly negligent, such as driving while intoxicated or violating a law or regulation, there may be a claim for punitive damages which increases the settlement value of the injury claim.
A very likeable and sympathetic plaintiff is more likely to generate compassion from a jury which may lead to a greater personal injury verdict. Equally true, the demeanor of the defendant can have great sway over whether a jury wants to punish or make him or her pay for their negligent actions.
Ultimately, the only people who can value an injury claim with finality is a jury. Juries in more rural counties (such as Georgetown, Orangeburg, Allendale, Hampton, Jasper, etc.) generally award relatively higher verdicts and therefore claims pending in those counties can be worth more. On the other hand, claims in more conservative counties (such as Horry, Charleston, Richland and Lexington) may have lower values because those jury verdicts tend to be relatively less.
While the actual value of an injury case is what a jury says it is, the value of settlement generally corresponds to one or more of the above factors. Call Palmetto Injury Lawyers for helpful information about your South Carolina injury claim process and how to protect your legal rights. We are easy to talk to. Even better, you can talk to us for free. Please call us Toll Free (888) 848-8847 or fill out our contact form for more information.