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Ray Critchett April 9, 2014

One of the most common questions I receive from my clients is “What is the value of my case.”

I believe assisting a client with determining the value of their case is truly a great responsibility and an honor.

It is a tremendous responsibility because this is the only time the client will have a chance to settle the case and/or receive a jury verdict. Once a settlement is reached or a jury verdict has been rendered, their case is over. They cannot go back and ask for more money. It is imperative to be sure that the value is correct.

If the value is set too low, the client will be undercompensated. If the value is set way too high, then you may force a client to trial with the stress, anxiety and uncertainty of a jury verdict.

I believe assisting them determine a value is also a great honor.

In order to determine the value of a case, I try to understand my client’s story. This requires them to be open and honest with me. Frequently, I will meet with them in one of my offices or at their home so that I can meet their family and learn how their injuries have changed their life. To me, it is a true honor when a client opens their feelings and their homes to me.

To understand the value of a case, I also speak with the client’s medical professionals: the doctors, nurses, physical therapists. I will also get the medical records and review the medical treatment the client has received.

If your case has unique liability issues, I will also speak with accident reconstruction experts, medical experts and other such specialist to determine the strength of the case.

I also spend a considerable amount of time with the client, their family and friends to understand how a client’s life has been changed by an accident. I then determine a method to demonstrate that loss to the insurance company or jury.

Many of my cases involve catastrophic injuries where the life care needs will spread out over the course of the client’s life into the indefinite future. In those cases, I retain a professional life care expert to help me understand what the client’s future life care needs will be.

Other factors I look at include the client’s economic losses which may include:

  • Medical expenses, past and future;

I will also look at how much time my client has missed from work. This is called lost wages. I will also work with the client and the medical professionals to determine whether or not the client will miss time in the future.

Once I have a solid understanding of the client’s economic losses, I then work with the client to understand the client’s non-economic losses. This an intangible value and essentially goes to the loss of enjoyment of life. These factors may include:

  • Pain;

  • Suffering;

  • Humiliation; and

  • Distress.

These are just some of the types of factors that I look at to determine what a client’s case is worth.

But again, just like every person is unique, ever case is unique.

Call me, it won’t cost you anything to see if I can help.