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7 Factors that Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

May 22, 2024 
by LA Injury Group
Factors that Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Factors that Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Lawsuit - Sometimes accidents can happen due to bad luck and no one can be blamed. However, some accidents occur due to another person’s negligence or deliberate actions. If you find yourself in such a situation, you are entitled to personal injury compensation to cater to the damages. 

The value of your compensation varies depending on different factors. Understanding these things, with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, will make it easier for you to handle the legal system and guarantee that you’ll be fairly compensated for your losses and injuries.

In this post, we’ll explain different factors that can affect the value of your lawsuit. 

The Type and Severity of the Injuries

The type and severity of the injuries sustained during an accident play a crucial role in determining the amount of money you’ll get. 

Generally, victims who suffer serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, spinal cord trauma, and chronic pain often get a higher compensation. This is because such injuries require long-term care, rehabilitation, and intensive medical attention which is quite expensive. Additionally, they can limit your capacity to work, engage in everyday activities, and maintain independence, affecting your quality of life. 

On the other hand, victims who suffer minor injuries may require only one medical visit and can carry on with their normal daily activities. Therefore, their compensation could be a bit low.

Factors that Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Lawsuit - Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are an important consideration in personal injury cases since they show how much the accident directly affected the victim's finances. As a victim, you have the right to be compensated for all the money you’ve spent on medical bills including hospitalization, surgeries, medication, and emergency care. 

During this process, there are several factors that will be considered to determine the amount of money you’ll get. These include the type of treatment you received, how frequently and how long you attend appointments. Your claim will be worth less if you go to a few physiotherapy or chiropractic appointments than if you frequently visit the hospital. It’s essential to keep proper documentation of your medical bills to support your claim and illustrate the financial burden of your injuries.

Besides past expenses, courts can consider future medical costs if necessary. Ensure you understand how much money you’ll need to spend on medical bills before reaching any settlement agreements to avoid issues. With the help of your lawyer, you can use past medical expenses to estimate the amount. You can also ask your doctor to assist you in determining future costs based on your current health condition. 

Lost Wages

Like medical expenses, lost wages indicate an actual financial loss to the victim. Accidents can leave you with injuries that can prevent you from working during the recovery period. Some serious injuries even reduce your capacity to work, leading to a lower income. In worst-case scenarios, you may lose the ability to work completely. 

Victims are entitled to a fair settlement for lost wages to reduce their financial burden. This not only includes basic income but also any bonuses or perks that may have been paid if the accident had not occurred. However, to be eligible for this compensation you need to provide proper documents including employment contracts and pay stubs. These documents can also help in substantiating the amount you lost due to the accident and your future earning potential. 

Shared Faults

During an accident, multiple parties may be at fault and even the victim may be partially involved. If you are partly to blame for the accident, the value of your lawsuit may be affected depending on where you live. 

According to the law of some states in the US, the victim deserves full compensation regardless of whether they were involved or not. However, other states like California use the pure comparative negligence system. Here, the settlement award is adjusted according to the plaintiff’s level of fault. For example, if it’s deemed that 40% of the injuries sustained were your fault, you’ll only get 60% of the total amount for which you filed your claim. 

If your percentage of involvement is quite high, you shouldn’t be scared of filing a claim. The state’s law allows you to get compensation even if you are 99% at fault. But, always be honest with your lawyer so they can know how best to defend you. 

Insurance Limits

Most times, claims of this nature are settled by insurance companies. These providers can affect the amount of settlement you receive in several ways as discussed below. 

  • Policy limits: The amount you receive depends on the policy limits of the at-fault party's insurance. If the policy limit is lower than the damages you've incurred, you may only receive up to that limit, regardless of your actual expenses. 

For instance, if the defendant’s policy is worth $400,000 but your treatment costs $600,000, you won’t receive some money from the company. To get additional money, you need to file a lawsuit. The court will then ask the at-fault to compensate you through their personal assets. 

  • Negotiation dynamics: Insurance companies usually negotiate settlements based on their assessment of the claim's worth and potential liability. If the insurance believes they may pay more in court, they may be more willing to provide a higher settlement to avoid those costs.
  • Duty to defend: One of the main responsibilities of an insurance company is to protect the policyholder against lawsuits. In such cases, the insurance company’s lawyers often strive to look for ways that can help them lower the settlement costs. Therefore, victims may end up receiving a lower amount of compensation than they deserve. 

Pre-existing Injuries

A Pre-existing medical condition is an illness or injury that had been diagnosed prior to the accident. Since insurance companies are after reducing costs, they may claim that your injuries are not related to the accident, reducing your compensation. 

However, accidents sometimes can worsen your condition and it’s your right to receive fair compensation. This situation is particularly common among people with back problems. 

If you have a way to prove it, you will get some amount. This usually involves a thorough medical examination. The court may also review your old and present medical records so they can determine if you deserve compensation. 

Emotional and Psychological Impact

People who get involved in accidents often experience emotional and psychological effects which manifest in various ways. Major signs include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental health problems can severely disrupt the victim's daily life, making it more difficult for physical injuries to heal.

Proving emotional and psychological effects in court can be difficult. However, if you hire a reputable and skilled attorney, they may be able to prove it. They can easily gather evidence from mental health professionals who can prove your case.

Related FAQs 

Q: How long does it take to resolve a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation?

A: These cases typically take anywhere from months to years to settle and get compensation. The duration varies due to various factors such as the complexity of the case, the court's timetable, and whether a settlement is reached or a trial is required. 

Q: Can the reputation of the defendant's insurance company influence the outcome of my lawsuit?

A: Yes. Some insurance firms are known for aggressive tactics or low settlement offers. To get the amount you deserve, consider litigation. 

Q: Does location affect the value of my claim?

A: Yes. Where you file your case determines the amount of compensation you get. Some locations are known for awarding victims with higher settlements while others offer low value. 

Q: Which actions can affect the value of my claim?

A: There are several actions that can affect your lawsuit’s value including posting about the accident on social media, delaying treatment, inconsistent statements, and discussing the case with others. 

Talk to Us

Navigating the complexities of a personal injury claim can be difficult given the multiple elements that can affect its value. To avoid problems, consider working with an attorney. These professionals have the knowledge and expertise to deal with such cases, ensuring you get what you deserve. If you’re from California and are looking for a reputable attorney, consider working with LA Injury Group. 


Mayo Clinic Staff,(2021). Traumatic brain injury as last see at 9/5/2024@

Cornell Law School,(2022). Comparative Negligence as last seen at 9/5/2024@ Branch of California,(2024) Personal injury cases as last seen at 9/5/2024@

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