Goldberg Law on Determining the Value of Personal Injury Cases
It is a huge understatement that every accident that results in some form of bodily injury is uniquely different. In each case, there can be hundreds of scenarios and circumstances that dictate what financial value each case may have, and whether those circumstances even warrant taking legal action. When we sit down in our first meeting with an accident victim, one of the first things they want to know is the value of their case. In other words, will there even be a chance of recovering any financial settlement or jury verdict for their injuries.
The truth is there are no easy answers to that question. Through our years of helping people who have suffered a serious injury through no fault of their own, we know the games the giant insurance companies will play when it comes to paying for your loss and injuries, and we know what to ask. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney with a track record of success in winning favorable settlements and jury verdicts is your best step in attempting to put your life back together
How Do I Determine What My Case May Be Worth?
It may surprise you to know that the majority of clients that hire the Goldberg Firm after being seriously injured do not want to get rich. They simply want to begin trying to make themselves whole again, like they were prior to the crash.
In the practice of personal injury law, one of our jobs is to determine what type of value your case may have. As you may suspect, there are a large number of variable factors that can determine what your case is worth, and we've been helping accident victims for so long that we fully understand how to best determine that value. So because every single case we take on has its own unique set of circumstances, there is no cookie-cutter formula or computer program used to determine a case's value.
Speaking of cookie cutter, did you know that most insurance companies use a computer program to determine the value of a personal injury case?
Our team of Fort Myers personal injury lawyers knows it doesn't work that way.
“The first thing I make sure all of our clients understand fully is that there is no way we can give them an exact number or amount that they may expect from a personal injury claim”, says managing partner Scot Goldberg. “If you call an attorney and they tell you in the first meeting that your case is worth a specific financial amount, I would highly recommend that you get up quickly and leave – it's just not possible”.
We've talked many times about how a personal injury case really works, and the fact that most of our cases never make it to trial. Through our years of negotiation with giant insurance companies, they have come to understand that we are not afraid of going to a jury trial on any of our cases. Personal injury cases can be very expensive to prepare, and can take years, in some cases, to come to a successful conclusion. After all of our years in business, the folks on the other side – the huge insurance conglomerates and their armies of lawyers – know that we don't back down. We approach every single case as if we are going to trial, even though most of our cases end up being settled before that.
Because of that, insurance companies know that if they want to avoid the huge expense of going to court, offering what we feel is a reasonable settlement for our clients' injuries is in their best interest.
Top Factors in Determining the Value of a Personal Injury Case
Many people don't understand that we don't take every case. We've been around long enough to understand that there is no value to stringing someone along, promising something we have no intention of delivering. We meet with people every day who feel they may have a legal case for recovering a financial settlement for their injuries, loss of work, continuing medical costs and pain and suffering. But in reality, a lot of potential cases don't result in the need to hire a personal injury lawyer.
It doesn't cost a thing to sit down with us and review these top factors:
- The type(s) and seriousness of your injuries
- The exact relationship between your injuries and the crash
- The availability of any insurance – yours, and the other driver(s)
- Proving liability against the other driver(s)
- The availability and strength of any witness statements
- Proving the severity of your injuries, and any long-term consequences of sustained medical care and treatment
- Quality of life – determining if your injuries have resulted in the loss of employment, inability to do simple chores in your day-to-day life and loss of spousal companionship
Not Every Case Goes to Trial
In the majority of our personal injury cases, the complicated negotiations with the other side's insurance company and their armies of attorneys result in them offering the client a settlement amount. As you may suspect, this amount, if offered at all, is a low-ball effort to make your case go away. Our job is to help you point out the severity of your injuries and how they have affected your life, and demand a financial settlement that begins to help put your life back together.
In our years of helping personal injury clients, we have been successful in winning large financial settlements on their behalf before the need to go to trial. You can read more about our results here.
But, every insurance company is fully aware that our attorneys are not afraid to go to trial, and we prepare for every single case as if they'll all end up in a courtroom. You can also watch a short video to learn more about attorney Scot Goldberg's feelings about going to trial.
Catastrophic Injuries: Computer Formula vs Real World
Almost every insurance company that writes policies for motor vehicle coverage uses a computer formula to determine the ‘value' of a damage or personal injury claim. With the number of severe crashes on the roads of Southwest Florida these days, it's easy to see how these insurance behemoths need to crank out as many so-called settlement offers as they can, as quickly as possible. These cookie cutter formulas are plugged into a computer with information about your specific injuries, plus other factors, and the adjuster will call you with some sort of low initial offer.
As if that's not absurd enough, the more severe your injuries – or Heaven forbid your crash resulted in a fatality – the more ridiculous the “formulas” become.
As personal injury attorneys, we spend every day helping people whose entire lives have been turned upside down, by something they had absolutely no control over. You simply cannot estimate the amount of pain and suffering caused by a traumatic brain injury, crippling spinal injury or the loss of a limb by using a computer. Our job is to prove to the parties on the defense side that your injuries will impact your life and your family's lives for your remaining years, and to seek a reasonable financial settlement based on your specific circumstances.
When Your Case DOES Go To Trial…
Going to trial can be an expensive scenario. The other side knows that, and we know that. That's why in the majority of our cases, we are able to negotiate a favorable settlement offer before a trial comes into play. When you hire the Goldberg Firm to help you with your injury case, your problems become our problems. Preparing for trial is expensive, make no mistake. We have cases involving severe injuries or wrongful death that have taken years to settle, and can cost over $100,000 to investigate and mount a successful strategy.
Additionally, we will assume the management and payments for your medical care and treatment. You will be inundated with calls and letters from insurance adjusters demanding payment for large amounts to pay for your injuries, and all you'll need to do is tell them to call your attorney. Our years of experience in dealing with medical providers large and small means you can focus on getting better and healing your injuries after a crash, not hassling with an insurance adjuster.
When you hire our firm, your medical bills incurred during the negotiations and trial preparation will be paid as a part of your future settlements in your injury lawsuit. In many cases, a healthcare provider will place a lien against you to ensure they get paid for their services. Our firm has been successful in negotiating those fees to a favorable outcome for our clients, and we also closely monitor your health care costs to reduce your risk of being over-charged or other billing errors.
“How Much Goes in My Pocket?”
It's perfectly natural for our clients to wonder how much they may be able to keep in their pocket after receiving an insurance settlement, or a financial award from a jury in a trial.
When you hire our firm, you don't owe us anything unless we are successful in obtaining a favorable financial settlement. If we get a settlement from an insurance company, our firm's fees are 33% of that amount. Also, any existing, legitimate claims for medical bills will generally be paid out of the settlement proceeds, as well as any qualified medical liens. You will retain the amounts remaining. If your case does end up going to trial, our firm's fees are 40% of any settlement or jury award. These amounts are the same for attorneys throughout Florida, so there's no mystery as to how we get paid.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
The bottom line is that there is no magic formula for determining the value of a personal injury case. As you may imagine, a case involving the tragic death of a child or young adult will have more financial value than a case in which someone sustains a bone fracture or soft tissue injury.
We pride ourselves on our total transparency with our clients, and our promise to fully review all aspects of their specific case in our efforts to keep them completely informed at every step of this complicated process.
Call 239-461-5508 for our Fort Myers Office, or 239-208-3000 for our Cape Coral Office. Or, simply complete the short, confidential form at the right side of this page, and one of our personal injury attorneys will contact you immediately.