Kansas City, MO Injury Claim Values
Although there are many factors that go into a case evaluation, the following are several of the major areas that we examine as a case moves forward:
1) Nature of the Liability. The liability or fault of the person responsible for the injury can play a substantial role in the case value. For instance, if the liability is aggravated there is more risk to the insurance company that the jury will return a higher award. Thus, from a case value standpoint, the insurance company will pay more to settle the aggravated liability claim in order to avoid the potential of litigation. This is especially true in drunk driving accidents or cases where the defendant has repeatedly violated safety procedures.
2) Economic Damages. Past, present, and future medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, etc. Medical bill evidence can be tricky because of the existence of health insurance. Lost income must be properly documented before it can be considered a justifiable economic damage.
3) Non-economic Damages. Past, present, and future compensation for pain, suffering, discomfort, interference, distress, disability, loss of consortium, lost enjoyment of life, lost earning capacity, etc. Please note that while there may be many factors that influence the non-economic damage evaluation, the non-economic damage evidence must be credible. By “credible”, I mean that the evidence of the non-economic damages cannot be effectively cross-examined.
4) Nature of the Injuries and Medical Treatment. Obviously, a serious injury that requires hospitalization will render a higher case value than an injury that does not require hospitalization. Likewise, an injury that requires months of rehabilitation will have a higher case value than a case where there is limited rehabilitation treatment. However, because every case has different medical factors, it is important not to stereo type cases based on the medical treatment.
5) Jurisdiction & Venue. Jurisdiction is what law will apply and venue pertains to what court the case will be tried in if the case gets that far. These legal considerations are very important to the case value. For example, one county may have a history of higher jury verdicts than another county. The county of venue would affect case value.
6) Past Jury Verdicts. Jury verdicts in similar cases can be of some guidance in evaluating present claims.
7) Personal Factors. An injured person’s age, responsibilities, personality, and prior medical condition all affect claim value. While it is difficult to make generalizations, the credibility of the claim will be significant to case value and this is where an experienced injury lawyer can make a big difference.