There’s no mathematical formula for determining the value of a Tennessee personal injury case. It’s not like selling your used car, since you can’t pick up a book and determine the value of your case. If we could do that, we wouldn’t need the Civil Justice System! The value of your case is what a jury of your peers would award at trial. That’s the value that insurance companies use and that is the value you must use in valuing your case. Let’s look at various factors and come up with a reasonable prediction.
Juries generally have no problem awarding medical expenses, property damage, or lost wages. It is more difficult to assess what a jury might award for other damages that don’t come with a verifiable number. Examples of these types of damages include the loss of your future earnings (sometimes called “lost earning capacity”), future medical costs, lost business profits, and pain and suffering—which includes things such as physical and mental pain and suffering and loss of capacity to enjoy life. In a Wrongful Death action, the next of kin can recover for their loss of the person, including amounts for lost support and the loss of “consortium” with the person.
Once a claim arises, the injured party’s attorney and the at-fault person’s insurance company (and their attorneys) both must assess how they think a jury would evaluate the value of the particular case. Each side assigns a value to the case and tries to get the other side to see that their value is more correct. This is what is commonly referred to as the “negotiation phase” of a case.
In the “negotiation phase”, the insurance company, through their experienced adjusters and insurance lawyers, has the upper hand on the injured party if the injured party is not represented by an experienced personal injury attorney. For example, it is a common practice of insurance companies to “hold out” in order to “starve” the injured party into accepting the insurance adjuster’s offer. Again, an insurance adjuster is there to make money for insurance company, not for you!
If you or a loved one is injured in a Lebanon or Mt. Juliet car wreck, or anywhere in Tennessee, give our office a call to discuss the particulars of your case. Consultations are free and we have licensed and experienced attorneys on hand who can help you make the right decisions. Take a look at our case results and testimonials, we have the results to back up what we say. We hope you never are injured in an accident of any sort but please, if you ever are, be sure to make the right decisions during that critical time, because your future and your livelihood may well depend on them.
B. KEITH WILLIAMS