Can I Ask My Personal Injury Lawyer How Much My Case Is Worth?
When you get injured in an accident, it is crucial to understand how much your case may be worth. Once you understand this, you can make informed decisions about asserting your legal rights, and you can avoid accepting an insurance settlement for just a small fraction of what you are owed.
But, is this a question you can ask your personal injury lawyer?
The simple answer is yes. You can—and should—ask your personal injury attorney how much your case is worth. As an accident victim, you need to know if it is worth putting in the time and effort to pursue a claim, and you need to be able to trust your personal injury lawyer to tell you what you need to know.
The experienced attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. have helped clients throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts recover the compensation they need to move forward after a serious injury. If you or someone you love was harmed due to another’s negligence, contact our office for a free case evaluation.
How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Determine How Much My Case is Worth?
Your personal injury lawyer will not be able to answer this question right away. While your attorney may be able to provide a preliminary assessment based on past experience, he or she will need to consider multiple factors specific to your case in order to determine how much you are entitled to recover. Your lawyer will need to fully investigate your situation; establishing who was at fault for your injuries will be critical for determining what percentage of your losses you are entitled to recover.
Understanding the Costs of Serious Injuries
In Rhode Island, accident victims can seek compensation for all of the financial and non-financial costs they incur as a result of their injuries. This includes costs they have incurred to date, costs they are continuing to incur daily, and costs they will incur in the future.
To determine how much your case is worth, your personal injury lawyer will need to understand all of your accident-related costs. This requires an in-depth understanding of:
- The extent of your medical injuries and your ongoing medical needs;
- Your income and how long you will be unable to work; and,
- Your pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and any other non-financial effects of your injuries.
In order to assess your costs, harms and losses in each of these three categories, your attorney will need to review various forms of evidence. In addition to talking to you extensively, your lawyer may also need to speak with your doctors, family members, friends, and others who have witnessed first-hand how your injuries have impacted your life.
Once your attorney gathers all relevant information, he or she can provide an assessment of how much your case is worth. While this is a process, it doesn’t have to take a long time; and, by playing an active role in the endeavor, you can help your lawyer provide a prompt and accurate valuation of your claim. For example, it will be extremely helpful if you can bring the following to your free initial consultation:
- Copies of your accident-related medical records, scans, and test results;
- Copies of your prescriptions or prescription receipts (or a list of your medications); and,
- Copies of your most-recent pay stubs.
- Copies of any police reports.
While these are far from the only records your attorney will need, they are a good start. They will give your lawyer an initial idea of how much your claim could be worth. Based on these records (and the additional information you provide during your free initial consultation), your attorney may be able to provide a rough estimate of the value of your claim. On the other hand, your lawyer may need to gather additional information before he or she can confidently provide a reasonable valuation of damages.
How Fault Affects How Much Your Case Is Worth
Rhode Island adheres to a pure comparative fault system. This means that the total value of your financial recovery depends on the determination of fault for your injury. If someone else was 100% at fault in your accident, then you are entitled to recover 100% of your accident-related losses. If you were partially at fault, then this will reduce the amount you are entitled to recover. When it comes to assessing partial fault (or “comparative negligence”), it is important to turn to an attorney you can trust to determine the full and fair value of your claim.
If you have been injured in an accident and would like to know how much your case is worth, we encourage you to contact Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. promptly. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
To schedule a FREE consultation with a personal injury lawyer at our Providence, RI law offices as soon as possible, call (401) 273-8330 or tell us how we can reach you online now.