How much is my Oregon personal injury claim worth? It’s perfectly possible for an attorney to roughly value your claim. However, the attorney cannot do this at the very outset with any accuracy, because he will need to review your medical records after you finish treating. He will also need the answers to the following questions: How long did you treat for your injuries? What was the cost of your medical treatment? Did you miss work or lose income as a result of your injuries? Are any of your injuries permanent? Will you have future medical expenses or future lost wages? How have the injuries negatively impacted your life (e.g., you cannot participate in activities you once enjoyed, cannot lift heavy objects, cannot do housework, cannot sleep through the night, etc.)? How long have or will your injuries negatively impact your life–for a few months, a few years or for the rest of your life?
Other factors that affect the calculation of how much your Oregon personal injury claim is worth: your likeability and the likeability of the person who caused the accident; the severity of the incident; and the perceived wealth of the defendant. Juries are not told to consider whether a defendant has insurance or not, so a claim against a nice little old lady is worth less than the same claim against a trucking company.
An attorney can provide you with an estimate of the worth of your Oregon personal injury claim once he knows the above information. This estimate will be based on his experience or the published results of Oregon personal injury claims similar to your own, or both.
Most Oregon personal injury claims settle during the claims process. In these situations, the injured person’s attorney negotiates a settlement with the insurance company for the person who caused the accident. If the parties cannot agree on who was at fault for causing the injuries or cannot agree on the value of a claim, the attorney for the injured party will push the claim forward by filing a lawsuit. Even then, the case likely will settle. If not, the case is tried before a judge, jury or arbitrator to decide who was at fault and to place a value on the case. An experienced attorney will know when to settle and when to push forward toward trial.