What Is Your NC Auto Accident Claim Worth?
Here’s the hard truth: No one can tell you what your claim is worth. But people with experience in the industry have opinions that are WAY more informed than yours, I assure you.
Our system is built around the idea that if two adverse parties can’t agree to settle a case then it gets tried in front of a jury and the jury gets to tell you what it’s worth, if anything. There are a lot of things you should know about this and what you might be considering when you are trying to figure out what your settlement should be.
The first thing you should know about this process is that neither you nor any of your friends are going to be on that jury. In fact, it’s going to consist of 12 people who are probably put out with you for making them sit there and lose time from work or whatever. Think about what the person who dislikes you the most in this world might give you for your case and that’s a way more realistic valuation of your claim than what YOU think it’s worth.
The second thing you should know about that process is it’s very uncertain. You might have the best claim in the world, but one evidentiary ruling, one stumbly bumbly expert witness, one slip of the lip in examination and you might find out your case isn’t worth ANYTHING. There are tons of moving parts in a trial and nothing, at all, is certain.
The third thing you should know is that if you have a personal injury attorney, especially one with over two decades of experience in NC auto accident injury claims (*THIS GUY RIGHT HERE*) his opinion as to the value of your case is, to be blunt, far better informed than what you would like your case to be worth. We would all like to get a bazillion dollars, but that doesn’t mean we should get a bazillion dollars. When an experienced attorney is valuing a case they are taking into consideration perhaps hundreds of cases they’ve handled in the past, verdicts they’ve seen or read about, not to mention the facts of your case relative to the law. You might have really good damages (so a high value?) but really bad liability (so a much lower, perhaps zero value?). There is a TON to consider in valuing cases so don’t take the opinion of your attorney lightly.
The last thing you should know is that settlement values are about compromise. Maybe you could get more at trial. Maybe. But what is it going to cost you to get there. Even if you get a slightly higher number, did your fees increase? What were your litigation costs? You might have a better overall number but walk away with LESS than if you’d just settled. So remember, compromise is about give and take. You give SO that you can be certain about what you can take.
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