By Steven L. Kantor, Esq.

Clients often ask, “what is my case worth?” Some would have you believe that is the million-dollar question, however, it simply is not that easy.  Several components go into properly evaluating what a personal injury case is worth.  It is my hope that by educating you as to those components, you will better understand why that question should not be answered at the onset of a personal injury claim.

Most personal injury cases revolve around the damage components of lost wages, out-of-pocket medical bills and expenses, and pain and suffering.  The first of the three components, lost wages are relatively easy to calculate if the injured party has returned to work.  If they have not returned to work, then their attorney may need to retain an economist to project their future wage loss based upon their past earnings and past wage increases.  This might require an economist to reduce the value of future earnings to today’s present value. 

Similarly, past medical expenses and out-of-pocket expenses can be added up but future expenses can be more difficult to calculate.  Like retaining an expert economist to project lost wages, a life care planner may be needed to forecast future medical expenses. 

The most challenging component of any case is properly assessing what the client’s pain and suffering is worth.  It is difficult at the onset of a case to project the value of pain and suffering as each client’s pain tolerance is different, and the course of his or her treatment can dramatically differ.

Partner Christina M. Gullo, Esq. stands near founder Steve Kantor, Esq.
Attorneys Steven L. Kantor & Christina M. Gullo

At The Kantor Gullo Law Firm, we advise our clients to document their pain and suffering through their medical records.  Medical providers often rate pain on a scale from 1-10 with 1 being least severe and a 10 being most severe.  Reviewing a client’s medical records to obtain a feel for their complaints and how that relates to pain and suffering is something that should only be done by an experienced personal injury attorney.

As you can see, the above three components are best assessed once a client has returned to work, recovered from their injuries or have been advised by their treating physician that their medical condition is as good as can be expected and there is not room for further improvement. 

In light of the aforementioned it is difficult to place a value on a case early on.  Beware of any early evaluation of potential value as you may be severely disappointed if that value is forecasted without relying on the components I have discussed in this article.

The Kantor Gullo Law firm regularly promotes safety and defensive driving.  Unfortunately, accidents do happen and if you find yourself involved in any personal injury, please do not hesitate to contact us here, or call us at our toll-free number 1-877-SKANTOR (752-6867).  Ride Safe!

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