Do Personal Injury Settlement Calculators Really Work?
After an injury accident, there are a lot of things to do. If your car got damaged, you have to get it fixed or replaced.
When you're injured, you will need to get medical care, and more, to treat your injuries. You may not have income because you can't work.
At the same time, insurance companies will want to talk to you. They will call and write to you. They may want to discuss settling your case.
But - -
How do you know it's a good personal injury settlement?
Thinking you don't really need an attorney, because they'll just take a piece of your settlement, you Google “personal injury settlement calculator.” A lot of results come up.
You can trust them - right?
Before you fill in any online forms, you stop and ask yourself:
What Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Read on to learn more.
What Is A Settlement Calculator?
A personal injury settlement calculator is nothing more than a simple calculator that claims to be able to tell you how much your case is worth.
Damages are the things that make up the dollar value of a personal injury case.
Are Personal Injury Settlement Calculators Accurate?
The truth is that settlement calculators for personal injury cases are just a marketing ploy. Some attorneys, but more often attorney directories, use these so-called calculators. They are sometimes used lure in a potential client who will give away their personal information on websites that use them, so that information can be sold.
People who visit a settlement calculator website usually give their contact information, and consent to being contacted by some attorney you don't know. In other words, the attorney referral website exists under the guise of being a “personal injury settlement calculator” when in fact its only purpose is to obtain and sell your contact information to an attorney of the attorney referral website's choosing.
One such website offers to give you the settlement value of your case in just 30 seconds. It even claims to be some kind of wizard! But, be sure to check the tiny print below where you fill in your information. Why is this important? Because it will probably say something like this:
"If you give us your information, you are requesting our free estimate of what your case is worth. We will review your injury details by email or phone."
This is how settlement calculators can deceive and misinform their users.
Can You Trust A Personal Injury Settlement Calculator?
Let's use the example of a 18 wheel truck accident. Imagine that we have two otherwise “identical accidents” in terms of how the accident occurred - a big truck rear ends a Ford F-150 driven by a man. But, one accident happened in San José and the other one happened in Los Baños.
But, before going any further, we need to know - Why did the 18 wheel truck rear end the Ford-F150?
A personal injury case can only have value if it involved the negligence of the person or entity from whom we want to try and obtain a personal injury settlement
One of these counties tends to pay more on accident claims because if a case goes to jury trial in that county, the jurors are more sympathetic to injured people.
This means that an adjuster might settle cases for more money in that county because there's a risk that the jury will return higher verdicts in that county.
Does Where My Accident Happened Change Its Value?
Is your claim in a liberal jurisdiction?
Then you will probably yield a higher personal injury settlement. Juries in liberal jurisdictions also return higher jury verdicts.
Is your claim in a conservative jurisdiction?
Then you will probably yield a lower personal injury settlement. Juries in liberal jurisdictions also return lower jury verdicts.
How Are Personal Injury Settlements Really Calculated?
There is no easy formula to calculate how much your case is worth. Each case has to be analyzed on its own unique facts.
For example, let's take the two above seemingly “identical” F-150 rear-end accidents.
The truth is that each of these accidents are different - exactly where it happened, the trucks, their speeds, exactly where one truck hit the other truck, etc.
Because each case is different, so are their settlement values. Why? Because settlement value hinges upon:
- the particular facts of each particular accident
- the unique characteristics of each injured person
- and whether they have a good case.
One person's personal injury case worth more or less than another seemingly similar person's personal injury case because every person has different.
- medical histories
- exact injuries
- medical bills
- medical treatment
- wage loss, etc.
What's The Best Way To Find Out What My Accident Case Is Really Worth?
I'm Renée Yvonne Gardner, a San José personal injury attorney and the attorney at Gardner Law.
If you are injured, a settlement calculator is simply unreliable. Even if it were reliable, a settlement calculator can't fight your case for you.
I speak Spanish - hablo español.
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