After an accident you have medical bills and may miss time from work or be unable to live your life like you did before. How do you determine how much your case is worth? The experienced personal injury attorneys at Renfro & Renfro can help you determine the value of your case.
After your accident, the insurance company uses a mathematical formula to determine the value of your case. If only it were that easy! Virginia personal injury claims consider numerous factors in determining the value of your case. Many of them are specific to the injured person, and cannot be determined using a calculator.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth in Virginia?
The value of your particular personal injury damages will depend on factors such as medical bills, the severity of the accident, and even where the accident occurred. No two injuries are exactly the same, so even though the circumstances of an injury may be similar to somebody else’s case, the outcome isn’t going to be the same. This can make figuring out the worth of your case very difficult. Experienced lawyers will estimate the value of a personal injury case in Virginia based on three separate factors. Those factors include:
Liability. Were you at fault for the accident in any way at all?
The severity of your damages and the accident. Every case has value, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can assess the value of your damages.
The amount of insurance coverage. The at-fault party should have insurance coverage that will compensate you for your injuries. Your insurance may also be able to compensate you depending on the type of accident and severity of the damages of your personal injury. Learn the tricks of maximizing your insurance coverage and paying a lower premium to increase the amount of coverage available to you in an accident.
When it comes to liability, Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means that any negligence on your part that could have contributed to the outcome of the accident or injury could result in any insurance company choosing to deny your claim in its entirety. The insurance company’s assessment of your negligence is not binding. However, if a jury believes you were even 1% at fault you would be completely barred from being compensated for your injuries.
Numerous factors are considered when determining the value of your damages. Generally, the worse the injury or accident is, the value of the claim will be higher. Factors included in determining the value of your personal injury case are:
The injuries you sustained and their effect on your health based on the their severity and duration;
Pain and suffering;
Any disfigurement or deformity and any associated humiliation or embarrassment;
Any inconvenience you suffered as a result of the accident;
Medical expenses incurred or needed in the future;
Loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity; and
The severity of the accident.
Calculating personal injury damages isn’t something that you have to do alone. With the help of our experienced lawyers, you can ensure that your personal injury claim is taken seriously and you are properly compensated.
Lastly, the at-fault party should have insurance to cover your accident. Every insurance policy has “limits”. Limits are the maximum amount the insurance company can pay you for your injuries. In Virginia the minimum amount of coverage in a car accident is $30,000. Each person can pay for higher limits, and the limits of any insurance are determined on a case-by-case basis. If the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries, your underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage could provide you with additional compensation. Recently, Virginia was changed to require a driver to opt out of UIM coverage. You should not opt out of UIM coverage, period. This insurance can provide great benefit to you if the at-fault driver has insufficient coverage.
Each insurance company values cases differently, but most use a “matrix” to determine the value of your case. The insurance company uses a matrix because to them, you are just a number. The insurance company’s valuation of your case is not binding and you do not have to accept their valuation of your case. Many insurance companies low ball an injured person and offer payment below or slightly above the amount of their medical bills. Generally, such an offer is wholly inadequate to compensate the injured person. An experienced attorney will help you assess any offer from an insurance company and help determine if the amount of compensation is adequate depending on the circumstances of your case. You need an experienced injury lawyer on your side.
Protect the Value of Your Case
No matter what you do, it’s important that you don’t publicize your recovery on any social media or any forum that could be public. If you’re claiming an injury but then decide to go on vacation or go to the gym, the insurance company can find this information and use it against you in your case. Do not post to social media after an accident.
With few exceptions (i.e., your spouse or attorney), any statement you make to a person can be discovered by the insurance company. Do not discuss your accident, injuries or recovery with anyone before speaking with an attorney.
Do not provide a recorded statement or discuss your case with the at-fault party or their insurance company. The insurance company will ask you very specific questions to damage the value of your case. They want to pay you as little as possible and they are not your advocate. Any statement given to the other party or their insurance company can be used against you in your case.
Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Richmond, VA
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident and required medical attention, and the pain, suffering and mental anguish associated with a car crash or other traumatic incident, contact Renfro & Renfro the experienced personal injury lawyer in Richmond, VA. At Renfro & Renfro, our experienced Virginia injury attorneys will ensure you get fair and just compensation for your personal injury. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (804) 601-4433 or contacting us online.