This answer was posed to a website that I sometimes visit. I wanted to answer it here because this is a pervasive myth that needs to be disspelled (perhaps we need a snopes.com site for lawsuit myths).
Despite what people are peddling, the answer to the question is “No.” There is no rule of thumb on damages that applies to car wreck cases. Every case needs to be judged on its own merits because a number of factors go into the valuation of a case, and all of those factors make a difference in the value. For example, the amount of medical care you receive makes a difference. The type of medical care you receive makes a difference. The injuries sustained makes a difference. Who your doctors are makes a difference. The liability facts make a difference.
So how do you value a claim? Lawyers and adjusters should value claims by asking themselves how a jury would decide the case. In fact, knowing the true value of your case is one of the most important reasons to hire a lawyer that not only routinely handles personal injury cases, but also one who is actually willing to file suit and litigate cases. Without that experrience, neither you or your attorney can ever know if you’re getting a good deal in a settlement.
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