How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
Charles Brandt, Brandt & Sherman – founding attorney
November 11, 2022
One of the most common questions we get after someone has been in an accident is, “How much is my personal injury case worth?” Every personal injury settlement case is unique, and there are many factors to consider with each case. At Brandt & Sherman, we’ve helped thousands of clients through the case settlement process. Read on for answers to commonly asked questions, and see examples of past settlements we’ve won for our clients to give you an idea of what your personal injury case might be worth if you’ve been in an accident in Louisiana.
How much do insurance companies pay for pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering is the legal term for your physical and emotional distress after being involved in an accident. Compensation for pain and suffering is paid by the insurance company. This is separate from lost wages, which is explained in more detail below.
Because pain and suffering is intangible (versus, for example, a damaged car or medical bills), the monetary value can be difficult to determine. There are different types of pain: do you have chronic pain that may continue for the rest of your life? Or did your pain have a defined end date because it was associated with an injury that healed?
When your personal injury lawyer is proving pain and suffering to qualify for compensation, it can be helpful to have a diary of your experience, therapy bills, pictures, X-rays, or prescriptions. All documentation can help an experienced lawyer like the ones at Brandt & Sherman paint a picture for the insurance company that proves you deserve compensation, and how much compensation you deserve to receive.
In Louisiana, there is no maximum payable amount on pain and suffering in car accident cases, which means your personal injury lawyer can help you get the amount of money you deserve after being in an accident.
How soon should I take legal action after a car accident in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, you must file a claim or lawsuit within 365 days—or one year—from the date of your car accident. Louisiana is one of only three U.S. states that enforces a one-year statute of limitations on lawsuit claims following car accidents.
How much is lost income?
Lost income, or lost wages, is the money you could have earned if your personal injury hadn’t prevented you from working. You may have been unable to work due to a hospital stay, recovery period, or a mental health crisis caused by the accident. Lost income is generally much easier to calculate than pain and suffering. To calculate your lost income, take your hourly salary and multiply it by the number of hours you missed due to the accident and its repercussions. For example, if you make $21 an hour and you missed five eight-hour shifts, you would multiply 21 dollars x 8 hours a day x 5 days or 21 x 8 x 5 = 840. You would be owed $840 in lost wages.
To determine lost income when you’re paid a salary by your employer, first determine how many hours a year you work. For example, if you work 40 hours a week x 52 weeks in a year, you would work a total of 2,080 hours a year. To determine your hourly rate, divide your salary by the number of hours you work in a year. Then, multiply that number by the number of hours of work you missed due to your injury. For example, if you make $45,000 a year, work 40 hours a week, and missed 80 hours of work, your formula will be: 45000 dollars ÷ 2080 hours = 21.63 an hour; 21.63 an hour x 80 hours=$1,730.40 in lost wages.
If you’re self-employed, determining lost wages can be tricky. You’ll want to hire an experienced lawyer who can prove that you lost work opportunities and earning potential in addition to lost salary.
Finally, if you’re never able to work again due to your injury, you’ll want to hire a personal injury lawyer who can illustrate your loss of future income and gather the information needed to support this claim. If you’ve lost a lifetime of earning potential, you deserve compensation so you can continue to support yourself.
How much money should I ask for in a personal injury settlement?
Before you can determine how much money to ask for, you’ll need to draft a personal injury demand letter. This document starts negotiations with the insurance company regarding compensation following an accident. An experienced lawyer can write this letter for you, including all the details of the incident including your injuries, your medical bills, your lost wages, your pain and suffering, and why the insurance company’s insured is at fault for the claimant’s injuries.
The state of Louisiana does not have a cap on the amount of damages you can recover in most personal injury cases.
How much is my personal injury case worth?
Here are some examples of personal injury settlements we’ve won for our clients that should give you an idea what your case might be worth.
- An elderly couple was rear-ended by a company pick-up truck, and they sustained serious injuries. We made sure they were awarded $3,500,000.
- A client was rear-ended by a big rig and suffered serious injuries. We fought for them and were able to get $1,550,000 awarded to the victim.
- A post office employee was T-boned at an intersection. His vehicle spun around and he sustained serious neck injuries. He was awarded $778,000.
How do I make a personal injury claim?
To file a personal injury claim, reach out to us at Brandt & Sherman Injury Lawyers if you’re in Lafayette, Louisiana, or a surrounding parish. With over 30 years of experience, we’ll take on the insurance Goliaths for you and make sure you get the help you need and deserve. Contact us today, and see how we become your lawyer, your voice.