As Huntsville personal injury attorneys, this is a question we are often asked and see posted on many legal related message boards and websites. The answer to this question is based upon many different factors. Here are a couple of the factors that go into determining the value of a personal injury lawsuit.
First, what jurisdiction the accident occurred in will determine what set of laws apply to the case. Each state has their own individual set of laws that apply to a personal injury claim. For example, the statute of limitations for bringing a negligence personal injury claim under Alabama law is generally two years. Whereas , if the same injury occurred in Tennessee, the general statute of limitations is one year. Further, Alabama law applies the doctrine of contributory negligence, which means if the court or jury finds that the Plaintiff is at fault at all for his or her own injury then they cannot recovery. Most states do not apply this harsh law, but this example details how each state’s laws can certainly impact the value of a personal injury case.
A second important factor is whether there are sufficient enough facts to establish liability on the defendant. In the context of a slip and fall case, under Alabama law, can the plaintiff establish the defendant knew or should have known of the hazardous condition that caused the person to slip and fall. Further, can the plaintiff establish that their injuries are proximately related or caused by the accident.
Third, what types of injuries did the plaintiff sustain. How much are their past and future medical bills? Past and future lost wages? Does the plaintiff have a permanent physical impairment? Has the plaintiff suffered mental distress and will they continue to do so in the future?
Fourth, what venue is the case set in. IE what are the juries like where the case would be tried. The same case with the same exact set of facts will generally be worth more or less depending on where the case will be tried. For example, some counties in Alabama such as Madison and Shelby County are considered more conservative venues while other counties such as Macon and Greene are considered more plaintiff friendly counties.
Ultimately, there are many factors that go into determining the value of an Alabama personal injury case. Those listed above are just a few of the factors that are evaluated. Before you hire a personal injury attorney check them out. Do they have experience handling your type of case? Ask for references and testimonials from former clients. In the end, each case is different and the value of each case is dependent upon several factors.