Valuing Your Injury Case
When a client is injured, the injury prevents him or her from attending to family affairs, work responsibilities, causes a permanent or long lasting disability, results in expensive hospital, physician and medical provider bills and limits or reduces or changes the way the individual enjoys special things and events in life. There is a method to evaluate that loss and resulting damages to each individual in unique fashion.
For example, a car crash is not just a sterile legal event. Instead, a car accident can become not just an ever day tragedy involving faceless individuals, but persons and families who have suffered real and specific damages.
The task of our assignment representing injured persons and families at Kreisman Law Offices is to eventually convince a jury and before that the responsible parties and lawyers that we represent real people who have suffered because of the inattention and negligence of another person or company. The injured is entitled to full compensation.
To present a car accident case that has an injured driver or passenger of a vehicle, there must be an effective presentation of the facts within the framework of the law. At Kreisman Law Offices, we handle each case individually and apply the unique facts to each. Sometimes the case facts present obstacles which make up the injured parties’ legal theory and that of the wrongdoer or the defendant or defendants.
In developing the case story, it is of foremost importance to integrate the value of the case into the theme or themes of the case.
Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices evaluates each car accident or injury case based upon the facts of the case, the injuries suffered by the individual client or clients together with the role of the defendant that caused the incident to begin with.
A simple rundown of damages in a car accident causing injury can be as follows:
- All associated medical, hospital and physician bills, both past and likely to be expended into the future. The medical bills would also include all bills related to rehabilitation, physical therapy or occupational therapy that were designed to assist the injured in returning to normal life, including return to their usual work duties.
- Lost time from work past and future. The value of any salary or hourly wages that were lost as a result of the injury suffered is an appropriate damage item even if the employer paid for time away from the job as a matter business policy. This would include the value of benefits lost because of time away from the job. It also could include lost profits, earnings or salaries. In many cases an economist is hired as an expert in our cases to calculate the loss income and particularly to give expert opinion testimony about the value of future lost income.
- Disfigurement resulting from the injury. Disfigurement is recognized as a separate element of compensable damages in Illinois. This damage element may refer to scarring left to be permanent and caused by the incident.
- Disability or loss of normal life. Loss of normal life is recognized as a separate element of compensable damages in Illinois. Loss of normal life means the temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life. This includes a person’s inability to pursue the pleasurable aspects of life. Suppose our client was an avid fisherman, but because of a serious leg and back injury cannot board a small boat or even pull in a fish caught on a line. This loss of a part of the person’s life that once was so enjoyable and now lost, is an important damage item.
- In Illinois there may be a measure of damages for increased risk of harm depending on the injury. Because of the injury, the client may be susceptible to suffering another serious injury as a result of the earlier injury.
- Pain and suffering suffered in the past and likely to be experienced in the future. Pain and suffering is a damage item that relates to the subjective pain and suffering experienced by the injured persons. Many times in our cases physicians acting as either a treating physician or an expert will give opinion testimony that the client/patient will continue to experience pain from the injuries suffered in the incident that is the subject of the lawsuit.
In Illinois, in the event of a wrongful death that occurs because of a car accident, work injury or any other event, there is a special statute, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, that allows recovery to the next-of-kin because of a loss of a loved one or close relative.
In developing and working on a car accident case involving serious injuries, Kreisman Law Offices develops from the onset the trial theme. It could be a single phrase which lends credibility through human experience. If the theme is repeated and is effective, the jury will side with client leaving it no choice but to apply the facts as presented within the framework of the legal theory of recovery and enter a verdict in favor of the injured parties.
The theme of the case does not evaluate the case, but it certainly is useful if themes are expressed by witnesses, doctors and the injured parties. Those words would be most effective when they come out of the mouths of the injured. The theme would tell the jury the story of the crash through their voices and that of the witnesses and illustrated by photographs, demonstrative exhibits and perhaps experts.
The theme of the act of careless failure to prevent injury coupled with the evaluation of the damages would well serve the clients in best presenting the case to the jury.
Jurors are amenable to receiving damage issues when the injured parties’ presentation is pointed, simplified and clearly relayed.
It is good practice to evaluate the damages by making a list as we have done here and then weave in the theme of the case and the story so it could be best understood. This would lead to the fair and reasonable compensation for all of the damages that the clients have suffered.