How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, your main concern is how much it will be worth. Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell how much you will get from your claim because each case is unique. Personal injury law provides an avenue for victims of an accident to recover damages. 

That said, you can recover as much as the value of ten damages suffered. In some situations, victims of an accident have recovered seemingly more than their damages are worth. 

"If the circumstances of your case allow for a larger-than-expected payout, good for you, but the last thing you want is to get less than the value of your case because it will impact you for the rest of your life," says injury attorney Walter Clark

This article delves into personal injury valuation and can help you estimate what to expect from your claim.

Factors Affecting the Value of a Claim

The Severity of Injuries

As mentioned earlier, personal injury laws allow accident victims to recover compensation for damages resulting from an accident. A significant part of these damages is the cost of medical treatment, which increases with the severity of injuries. 

Severe injuries require extended hospital stays and specialized treatment, translating to higher bills. Also, severe injuries cause physical and psychological pain, which could incur huge bills for mental health treatment and, more significantly, economic damages.

Insurance Coverage

You can only recover as much as the defendant can afford to pay. If they are uninsured, you can only recover damages from them directly, which may only sometimes be possible, especially when their net worth may not allow it. 

In other cases, the damages can exceed the defendant's coverage. Under such circumstances, their insurer will pay up to their policy limit, leaving you to recover the remainder directly from the defendant. The payouts can be significant when dealing with large corporations because they usually have huge coverage, and the jury may not be as kind to them.


A personal injury case liability is based on fault, where the faulty party covers the damages. The defendant and the plaintiff can have shared fault. Under such circumstances, your state's negligence approach will affect your claim's value. 

There are three approaches to negligence: contributory, pure comparative, and modified comparative. If you live in a contributory negligence state, you lose your right to compensation for any degree of fault in an accident. 

In a pure comparative state, your compensation decreases with increasing fault, but you can still recover compensation even when you are 99 percent at fault in the accident. However, you would only recover one percent of the settlement value. In modified comparative states, your right to recover is limited to when your level of fault is not greater than 50 percent. 

Damage Valuation

There are two main recoverable damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are straightforward because they are the sum of all monetary expenses linked to the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, medication costs, and lifestyle changes. 

Non-economic damages are the intangible harm from an accident, such as PTSD, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of life enjoyment, etc. Valuing non-economic damages involves applying formulas, so the math may not be as straightforward as for economic damages, and that is where having a lawyer makes a huge difference. 

Punitive damages are also applicable in cases where gross negligence is apparent in the defendant's conduct. Punitive damages do not compensate for losses suffered but are instead applied as a punishment to the defendant for their conduct.

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