What Is My Case Worth? Ask A Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney
Have you been involved in a car accident or premise liability incident in Las Vegas, Nevada? Do you find yourself asking, “what is my case worth?” or, “how much money will I get?” You are not alone. Right off the bat, one of the most common questions asked during conversations with personal injury clients is…
“what is my settlement worth?”
Unfortunately, that is also one of the most difficult questions to answer at an initial consultation with a client. There are many factors involved in evaluating a personal injury case. Many of those factors remain unknown for quite some time after the actual date of the incident. Understanding what those factors are will help you understand the difficulty in arriving at a valuation estimate until much later on.
The most important factor in the valuation of the case is the final assessment of damages. Unless your case involves death or dismemberment, the damages will not be ascertained until quite some time after the triggering event. Many plaintiffs in personal injury cases treat for 6 months to a year before the health care providers are able to arrive at a comprehensive diagnosis of an injury or injuries.
Understanding your personal injury settlement amount:
It’s contingent upon various factors… Plaintiffs are entitled to both economic and non-economic damages if the defendant is found to be 100% liable for causing harm to the Plaintiff. The economic damages are relatively easy to calculate, as they can be quantified and usually consist of the Plaintiff’s medical bills, lost income, and loss of future earning capacity as a result of the injury or injuries. Non-economic damages are very difficult to ascertain. They are also known as past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life. It is very difficult to put a monetary value on these types of losses.
Despite popular belief, an attorney is not permitted to ask a jury to do a multiplier of the economic damages in order to arrive at the non-economic damages. This is a common misconception, and I have heard countless times “am I not entitled to 3x my medical bills?” This is not a basis for damages under Nevada law. So attorneys must get creative when asking the juries to award monetary damages for non-economic losses.
“How much will I get if I am hit in a car accident?”
Another FAQ asked by my clients, which allows me to dive a bit deeper and dissect the question to provide a better understanding… A few other factors to consider when filing a personal injury claim are liability and causation. Under Nevada Law, a verdict can be reduced by the percentage fault of the Plaintiff. In other words, if the Plaintiff is 25% at-fault for causing the accident or incident, then their damages will be reduced by this amount, accordingly. This remains true until the Plaintiff’s fault exceeds 50%. After the Plaintiff’s fault exceeds 50%, then the Plaintiff is entitled to nothing.
Additional factors to consider in evaluating your settlement amount…
Causation is another factor involved in the valuation of a personal injury case. If you suffer from pre-existing conditions, the defendant will argue that the injuries referenced in the medical bills pre-date that of the accident, then those pre-existing conditions will reduce your damages accordingly. It is quite the art for an attorney to turn a pre-existing condition into an exacerbation of that pre-existing condition, in order to still permit damages.
Once you’ve determined the value of your case, you must then determine what you can actually get. This speaks to a major issue with personal injury cases as to how deep the pockets of the defendant are. As of July 2018, the state minimum policy limits for motor vehicles is $25,000 per person or $50,000 for the entire accident. This is a substantial increase from the $15,000 / $30,000. The only time you are going to see extremely large policy limits, i.e., over $1 million dollars, is when the at-fault party is a commercial entity or a wealthy individual with a lot of assets they wish to protect. the common adage is, “you cannot get blood from a stone.” This holds true for personal injury cases as most Nevada residents that cause car accidents are judgment proof. In other words, if you are able to secure a judgment against them, you would not be able to collect much, if anything, form them directly.
So, the next time you ask yourself, “What is my personal injury case worth?”, remember the above valuation principles. These factors are why you should obtain an experienced attorney who practices exclusively in the field of personal injury. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, slip and fall, or other types of premise liability case, you should reach out to the best firm that you can find and contact our office for a free consultation.
Injured? Don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact The Injury Firm Las Vegas to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney today!
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident or need a personal injury attorney for a car accident. Please contact The Injury Firm .