What is the Value of My Case:
The most important question a client can ask an attorney at the onset of a case or at the onset of a consultation is: “What is the value of case.”
The case value is based on two components. 1. Proportion of Liability; and 2. Damages sustained in the form of injury or recoverables.
Regardless of your damages, there must first be liability against the party causing the harm. Liability is sometimes a fact question for a jury, other times, it is a legal question for the Judge to resolve. The percentage of liability can range anywhere between zero and one hundred percent. Under most circumstances the damages you can recover from a third party is ascertained by using the following formula: Amount of damages times the percentage of liability.
There are a number of different damages that are available depending on the case. You may be entitled to actual damages, tangible damages, intangible damages, mental anguish, out of pocket costs, attorney fees, and punitive damages. Each case is different and not all of these damages are always available.
To determine the actual damages of an injury, is also a fact question, but experienced attorneys can use past experiences and results from other cases to determine value in things that are difficult to value, such as a loss of a hand. Certainly, we can calculate economic losses from a lost hand in terms of productivity, but, in addition to productivity, the loss of a hand has other intrinsic and extrinsic values. These values are calculated in ranges and can be provided by requesting such a range from an experienced attorney.
Fortunately, most experienced lawyers give a free consultation to a personal injury client. Therefore, the client can seek the advice of an attorney or multiple attorneys before deciding to proceed.
Your attorney will help you decide if the case is worth pursuing, but certainly, be aware that litigation is a time consuming process, and you will be required to participate in many aspects of the case including attending mediation, participating in the discovery process, testifying in a deposition, and, if your case is not resolved through the mediation process, then testify life in a trial which could take many days, or weeks to try.
December 20, 2012
Our Melbourne office is centrally located in Brevard County, enabling our lawyers to serve clients throughout “the Space Coast”, including Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Vero Beach.