It is difficult, if not impossible, for any attorney to tell you what your personal injury claim is worth without first having a complete understanding of the facts of your case, reviewing all of your medical records, learning about your lifestyle, and knowing what your injuries have cost you and will cost you in the future.
Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth the Average?
Generally, an attorney will tell you that your personal injury claim is worth three times your medical expenses. For example, if you were injured in a car accident and your medical bills after your treatment concluded totaled $20,000, then your potential recovery, which would include pain and suffering, would be around $60,000. This is a myth; many cases are worth far more than three times medical expenses, and some are worth less.
For example, a younger person with permanent or long-term injuries will command a higher recovery than an older person with similar injuries. Likewise, a person who is an avid golfer who suffers an arm injury will likely command a higher recovery than a less active person. Consequently, it is impossible to determine a personal injury claim’s worth without first having a thorough understanding of you and your case.
What Is Modified Comparative Fault?
It is worth noting that in Illinois and Missouri, an injured person is still entitled to recovery even if he’s partially at fault. Illinois and Missouri are “modified comparative fault states,” which means in plain English that if the other party is over 50% at fault you win, but your recovery is reduced by your level of fault. Conversely, if you (the injured party) are over 50% at fault, you are not entitled to recovery.
Oftentimes, it is the insurance company of the party at fault who initially attempts to determine the level of fault attributable to each party. As you might imagine, insurance companies routinely attempt to place blame on you (the injured party) in order to devalue your injuries or, potentially, avoid paying your claim altogether. Remember, the insurance company’s goal is to pay out as little as possible, not to fairly compensate you for your injuries.
If your case proceeds to trial it is the jury’s job to attribute fault to each party. However, it is imperative to have a personal injury attorney at your side every step of the way to fight with the insurance companies to obtain the maximum recovery you are entitled to.
Experienced Belleville, Edwardsville, and St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys
At Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, we have over 10 years’ combined experience working at some of the largest civil defense firms in the St. Louis area. Consequently, we know how insurance companies evaluate personal injury claims and how they engage in legal gamesmanship to reduce or eliminate an injured client’s potential recovery. We use that knowledge and our experience to ensure that each and every one of our clients receives the maximum recovery he (or she) deserves.