How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

As you face the aftermath of your accident, you are likely left with many questions. Bills begin to mount while you are unable to work, and you are probably counting on compensation from your case to cover your medical bills and lost earnings. But how much is your case worth, and will you recover enough for all the losses you have suffered? 

Determining the value of a personal injury case can be a complex process. No two cases are alike, as multiple factors affect the strength and value. A personal injury lawyer will need to carefully analyze these factors to estimate the value of your personal injury case. 

Here’s an overview of the types of damages you may recover and the biggest factors affecting the value of your personal injury case. 

Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

A personal injury case allows you to recover compensatory damages from the party responsible for your injuries. Compensatory damages cover the financial and non-financial losses you suffered.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the straightforward financial costs you have suffered. Examples include: 

  • Medical bills, therapy, rehabilitation, prescriptions, home health care, and other medical costs
  • Lost wages 
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Economic damages also extend to future losses. Your total damages include projected medical needs, lost or reduced earning capacity, and employment benefits. Expert testimony is usually needed to document the value of future damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages acknowledge the intangible traumas that aren’t as easily quantified. Pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and the psychological toll of a disfiguring injury are common examples. 

While harder to quantify, non-economic damages can comprise a significant portion of your overall claim, especially if you suffered serious injuries.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages serve as a financial penalty for defendants whose conduct is found to be deliberate or grossly negligent. Only a jury can award punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit. 

It’s rare for punitive damages to be awarded. In the State of Florida, strong proof is necessary to show that the defendant acted either with gross negligence or with actual intent to cause harm. Additionally, punitive damages cannot exceed three times the amount of actual compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is higher.

Important Factors Affecting How Much Your Case Is Worth

When evaluating the potential value of your case, many important factors affect the compensation you may receive. Every case is unique: even cases with very similar injuries and circumstances may have vastly different values. Here are the most important factors and how they affect your case.

Severity of Your Injuries

The types of injuries and severity are critical to estimating the value of your injury case. In general, the more serious and painful the injuries, the more your case will be worth.  

Whether You Are Left Impaired or Disabled

You are entitled to recover future projected damages, including medical expenses and lost earnings. These future damages can be a large share of your total case value if you were disabled and unable to return to work. 

The level of impairment, your age, your previous earnings, and your future employment prospects are all considered. 

How Your Life Has Been Affected

The impact of your injuries on your daily life, quality of life, relationships, mental health, and more is a major factor in your non-economic damages. A diary documenting your pain, recovery, and limitations can be helpful for proving the impact of your injuries.

The Strength of Your Case

The stronger your case, the more it’s worth. This is because the defense has a harder time shifting blame or minimizing the impact of your injuries. They are also less likely to fight your claim. Your case will need strong evidence of liability and your damages. 

Whether Your Case Settles or Goes Before a Jury

You can potentially recover more through a trial than a settlement. However, juries are unpredictable, and a trial is expensive and time-consuming. Note that settlement negotiations can still continue even after a lawsuit is filed as well.

Insurance Policy Limits

The at-fault party’s insurance company will only cover your damages up to the policy limits. You can pursue the at-fault party’s personal assets beyond insurance limits, but this isn’t easy, and there may not be enough to cover your losses. 

What Happens if You Share Fault for Your Accident?

In 2023, Florida replaced its pure comparative negligence rule with a modified comparative negligence doctrine. Under this new law, injury victims are still entitled to recover compensation if they were partially at fault for the accident. However, you are barred from recovering compensation if you are more than 50% to blame. 

If you were 50% or less at fault, your financial award will be reduced according to your share of liability. If you were 20% at fault, for example, your compensation is reduced by 20%. 

Insurance companies will use this rule to their advantage to shift as much liability as possible. If you are being blamed for your accident, it’s crucial to seek legal representation.

How Are Non-Economic Damages Calculated?

Calculating non-economic damages such as pain and suffering is highly subjective as there is no exact monetary value for these losses. Typically, juries or insurance adjusters consider the extent of the injury, its long-term implications, and its impact on your day-to-day activities. 

A general rule of thumb for estimating the value of these damages is the multiplier method. This involves multiplying your total economic damages by a factor of 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity. This is a good starting point for negotiations with the insurance company. 

The subjective nature of non-economic losses means it’s essential to provide as much evidence as possible to substantiate the impact on your life. This can include testimony from friends and family, medical records, and a journal documenting daily struggles and pain.

Contact Our Experienced Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers

Calculating the value of your injury case is challenging and requires a careful examination of the many factors explained above. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand what your case may be worth and help you pursue the full value of your losses. 

If you have suffered a serious injury caused by someone else’s negligence, Payer Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. Schedule a free consultation with an Orlando personal injury lawyer at (407) 648-1510 to discuss what your case may be worth and how we will fight for you.