What is My Auto Accident Case Worth?
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident and are considering filing a legal claim against the at-fault driver involved, one of your first inquiries will likely be regarding the potential value of your case. The truth is that every single auto accident case is different. Depending on the facts of the accident, the type of injuries sustained, the amount of medical bills incurred, the credibility of both expert and fact witnesses, and several other factors, the value of personal injury cases can range widely from a few hundred dollars to possibly millions of dollars. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your particular situation and discuss with you the process of valuing your individual case.
First, in order to recover any damages at all, no matter how serious your injuries and losses may be, you must be able to show that another driver or party was liable for an accident due to negligent actions. The following are examples of commonly liable parties in auto accidents cases:
Drivers who drink and drive;
Drivers who violate traffic laws and;
Auto manufacturers who producing, designing or selling defective automobiles.
In many cases, determining liability in an auto accident case is not cut and dry. Many times, more than one party may have contributed to an accident. Fortunately, Wisconsin law allows injured auto accident victims to recover even if the victim him or herself was partially liable, as long as the victim was not more than 50 percent at fault.
If you contributed to the accident that caused you injuries, the value of your case will be reduced in proportion to your amount of contributory fault. As an example, if the value of your case is $100,000 but you are found to be 50 percent at fault for the accident, you would recover only $50,000. If you have suffered serious injuries and worry that you may be partially at fault for the accident in which you were injured, you should remember that recovering something is better than nothing at all. Even if you may be partially at fault for an accident, you should discuss a possible case with an attorney to determine whether it makes sense to move forward with prosecuting your potential claim.
Once you establish liability, you have to calculate the amount of damages that you seek to recover from the at-fault party. Damages compensate you for the losses you suffered as a result of an auto accident. Such losses can include:
Medical expenses and estimated future medical costs;
Lost wages and employment benefits ;
Future lost earnings;
Pain and suffering;
Permanent disability or disfigurement; and
Punitive damages (which are generally capped by state statute).
While calculating losses for medical bills and past lost income can at times be relatively straight forward, determining the value of future financial losses and intangible, noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering, can be complicated and may require the assistance of medical, financial and legal experts.
It is very important to keep in mind that no attorney should be able to predict the value of your claim in the days, weeks, or even months following an accident. The value of your claim can never be fully appreciated until your medical providers have indicated that you have reached the point of maximum healing or alternatively, your medical providers appreciate and can explain the long term complications you may suffer as a result of your accident-related injuries.
Call an Attorney at Our Office Today
At Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., our skilled Appleton car accident lawyers and Green Bay car accident lawyers understand how to properly value cases and have the resources to make complicated loss estimations when necessary to ensure you receive the full amount you to which you are entitled. We have convenient office locations in Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh, and New London, so please call our office today at 920-739-7366 for a free consultation.