As an experienced personal injury attorney I get that question a lot. Sometimes folks ask me that question before I’m really in a position to be able to fairly and fully answer it. At the beginning of the case when, hopefully, you first hired me to represent you I will not have a very precise answer to that question. The reason is that the value of your case depends upon a lot of facts that may be unknown in the first days or even weeks after a car wreck with injury. For example what is the extent of your injury? Do you have a permanent injury? What is the amount of your medical bills and lost wages? These and a host of other questions have to be answered in order to be able to precisely determine the value of the case.
You never want to settle the case before you know the answers to these questions. You don’t want to settle a case today and then find out tomorrow that you need a surgery. Once you settle the case you’ll have to sign a release that says that you are letting the at-fault driver and their insurance company off the hook forever and ever.
You shouldn’t sign such a piece of paper and make such an agreement until you know exactly what harms and losses you’ve suffered and any that you will suffer in the future. So when my new clients ask me what’s my case worth I can tell them some of the factors that go into the value of the case but I can’t tell them precisely what the settlement will be until I know more.
However, I also reassure clients that in no event do I ever make a settlement without my client’s express permission meaning that when we get to the point later where we’re talking about particular numbers and the value of the case I will make sure that the client is fully engaged in the discussion and know what offers are being made by the insurance company and make sure that I only act with permission of my client after getting them all the facts they need to evaluate a settlement.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is the author of Top Twenty Tips for Car, Truck or Motorcycle Accidents. See these FAQs about car accidents in Virginia and call us at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.