Part II: How Much Is My Case...

How Lawyers Determine the Value Of Your Case

Unfortunately, there is no Kelley Blue Book website for lawyers where they can punch in the vital information of your case and the extent of your injuries and it will spit out the exact value. Each case is different. One case may be worth $250,000 while a similar case may be worth only $175,000. It is impossible to list all of the factors that go into deciding how much your case is worth. These factors can include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Permanency of injury
  • Lost wages or disability
  • Loss of earning power
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Chronic pain
  • Psychological trauma
  • Property damage
  • Which part of the state you were injured in (Some regions are known for their generous verdicts while others are known for their stinginess.)
  • Who the injured party is (Cute kids generally bring in a much higher award than the average adult.)
  • The makeup of the individual jury
  • The appearance, confidence, credentials, and believability of your witnesses as compared to those of the defendant
  • How you come across to the jury during your testimony
  • Last but not least, the appearance, presentation and competency of your attorney

One case can result in a jury’s verdict of $2 million, while a substantially similar case tried in front of another jury in a different part of the state may bring in only $500,000—or even a defense verdict! In fact, two cases involving basically the same set of circumstances may result in drastically different awards, even if they were tried in the same courthouse but before different judges and juries.

Lawyers subscribe to services that tell them how much similar cases are settling for or how much juries are awarding in like cases. However, when it comes down to it, this all depends on the variables of: (1) how sympathetic your client comes across, (2) who the defendant is and how evil she looks, and (3) how clear liability is. The clearer the liability, the more willing the jury is to put a higher amount on the injuries and damages you suffered.