How Much is My Claim Worth?
• Whether the prospective defendant has insurance and, if so, how much; or if there is no insurance, information concerning the ability of the prospective defendant to pay;
• The injured person’s work history, marital status, educational history, and appearance, credibility and demeanor as a witness;
• The capacity and willingness of the injured person to train for and perform other work, the cost of any such retraining and the income which might be earned after retraining;
• The prospective defendant’s appearance, credibility and demeanor as a witness;
• The availability and credibility of both expert and non-expert witnesses on all liability and damage issues;
• The law which would be applied to the case in the state(s) where it would or could be filed;
• Whether the case could be filed in or removed to a federal court and, if so, which one(s);
• A history of jury verdicts which have been rendered in similar cases in the court(s) where the case would be filed and a “feel” for how a jury in that jurisdiction would be likely to react to the case;
• The anticipated expense of prosecuting the case through trial and possible appeal.
That list is not exhaustive. Any number of other factors may come into play before a proper settlement evaluation can be made. These include the existence of medical and other liens against the claim, the willingness or unwillingness of the injured person and the prospective defendant(s) to engage in what could become a lengthy legal battle, the relative skills of the attorneys, and judicial attitudes.