How much money can I receive for this lawsuit? Unsurprisingly, I get this question quite often from clients. Although one would think the answer is straight forward, it definitely is not.
The amount of money a person can receive in a personal injury lawsuit depends on a host of factors.
First, the significance of the injury or injuries is very important. Obviously, the more serious the personal injury a person sustains the higher the value of the case. A good question to ask is “what would a jury of my peers be willing to award given the injuries?” Clearly, a jury would be willing to award more money to a broken leg with surgery than a twisted ankle.
However, the seriousness of the injury is not the only thing to consider. The amount of medical treatment and the effect the injury had on the person’s life are also very important. At Lee Steinberg, P.C., we often look what harms and losses the car accident or construction accident caused for both the injured person and his or her family.
Harms and losses come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is as simple as how the injury affected a person’s ability to complete basic household chores. Harms can also include more sentimental activities, such as being able to go to a child’s Little League game or a niece’s graduation.
Another important factor is liability insurance. Most people are not collectable and the process of taking a judgment against an individual is messy. Therefore, most insurance claims are guided by the amount of the underlying insurance policy available to pay the claim.
As a result, the amount of the insurance policy is very important. Our law office has represented countless individuals who have sustained horrible, life changing injuries but were limited in the amount of compensation due to low insurance policies. On the other hand, large insurance policies leave the carrier open to a huge risk – therefore the value of a case may be dramatically higher with a higher insurance limit compared to the exact same case with a lower insurance limit.
Liability is also hugely important. Proving the other person was at-fault for causing the injury is central in obtaining compensation in a negligence case. Michigan is a comparative negligence state, meaning your compensation may be reduced by the amount you were deemed at-fault for your own injuries. In Michigan, if you are more than 50% at-fault for causing an accident, you are not entitled to any compensation for pain and suffering.
There are other factors an insurance company and jury will review when deciding on what to pay or award in a personal injury claim. These include:
• Any pre-existing injuries that may have become worse as a result of the accident;
• The strength of your doctor’s testimony – the stronger the testimony, the more higher the value of the case;
• Witness testimony backing up your version of events;
• Photographs taken at the accident scene;
• Photographs of injuries; and
• Records and documents that validated lost wages;
There is no scientific formula to showing how much a person should receive in a Michigan personal injury case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in car accident, motorcycle accident, slip-and-fall, medical malpractice or other accident, please contact our dedicated team of Michigan trial lawyers to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) so we may answer your questions and get started fighting for you.