How are settlements and verdicts determined in personal injury cases?
If someone else's carelessness resulted in you being injured, you may be wondering how long it will take to settle your case. There are many factors that go into building a personal injury case, as well as the time it takes to resolve one. This can take several months, and sometimes years.
Typically, The Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A. handles personal injury cases pertaining to car and truck wrecks, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, work injuries, nursing home injuries, and defective products.
Once we take your case, we'll gather all of the records and evidence, look into the facts, accurately tally up the damages, and begin litigating your case. Our law firm has helped clients recover hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sometimes millions in damages, through verdicts and settlements.
What is the value of my personal injury case?
The damages you accrue from an injury can add up quickly. Be wary of any quick settlements offered by the defendant's insurance company. You may learn that you accrued more damages than you initially thought. Accepting a quick settlement is detrimental to your recovery, as you will likely only recover a fraction of your total damages. Your attorney's job is to calculate these damages and place an accurate value on your case. This can take some time, but it's well worth the wait. The only way to accurately determine the value of your personal injury case is to calculate all losses associated with your injury. These may include:
- Hospital bills
- Future estimated medical expenses, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Damages to property
- Assistance with daily tasks
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering
Most damages are factored in from the bills and paystubs you provide. Long-term damages, such as future medical care, are estimated. Pain and suffering (as well as other non-economic damages) can play an important part in your case, but can be difficult to define.
The types of non-economic damages our legal team factors into cases often include:
- Pain and discomfort linked to your injury
- Physical limitations linked to your injury
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Settlements vs. verdicts
Your attorney has tallied up all of your financial losses and determined how much you're eligible for in compensation. Now what? The insurance companies won't readily give up their profits to compensate you. This is where evidence needs to be gathered and the negligence of another party must be proven. Here are some examples of what evidence is gathered in personal injury cases:
Evidence from the crash scene, witness statements, the official police report, video footage and cellphone records often indicate who was at fault in a car accident case. The most common forms of negligence pertaining to car accidents include distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, drowsy driving and aggressive driving.
Slip and falls
Slip and falls and other premises liability cases can get tricky. Your reason for being on the defendant's property must first be established. Were you invited to perform work on the property, visiting the property, or trespassing? Secondly, the level of knowledge the property owner had of the hazard must be established. If the owner knew about the hazard (or should have known about it), then you may have a strong basis for a premises liability claim.
Owners and managers of public property have an obligation to ensure that visitors are safe from harm. When violent assaults occur on public or business property, an investigation may reveal that there was no security personnel on site, no surveillance cameras and inadequate lighting.
Most employers carry workers' compensation insurance. This insurance allows you to be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages after a workplace injury. If your injury was caused by the negligence of the third party, you can pursue additional damages, including non-economic damages. In order to pursue a third-party workplace injury claim, you must prove that someone other than your employer or a fellow employee caused your injury.
Without sufficient evidence, it's your word against the defendant's word. Insurance companies can also argue that there isn't enough evidence to prove that the defendant was at fault for your injury. Or they may say that your injury was pre-existing. When enough evidence is gathered, your attorney can begin litigating your case. The majority of personal injury cases are resolved through a financial settlement, but that is not always the case. If the defendant's insurance company refuses to compensate the plaintiff fairly, your attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial and fight for a verdict.
Contact a personal injury lawyer with real courtroom experience
If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, get an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A. on your side. Our law firm has more than 30 years of experience. We fight for the rights of injured people in Tavares, The Villages, Inverness, and Clermont, Florida.