How much is a personal injury case worth?  Sometimes nothing.  Sometimes more.  How do lawyers know how much to ask for is the subject of this blog post.

When a person is injured accidentally due to the negligence of someone else, the injured person is entitled to be “made whole.” He is not entitled to a bonus, or a reward or some large amount of money even if the defendant has “deep pockets.” Many people here of large verdicts and do not have a clue why. Thank the media for not asking how that large verdict was “legal.

Here is what you are entitled to ask the jury for, in a nutshell:

  1. Total past and future medical expenses.
  2. Total past and future loss of income and loss of ability to earn
  3. Total past and future impairment, disability, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.

There is no exact way to decide #3. It is to be based on what the jury thinks is fair and reasonable based on all the evidence. Factors like the age of the victim, severity of the injury, handicaps, likelihood of long term problems or complications, need for painkillers are a few examples.

Jurors are skeptical of being tricked, defrauded, made to look silly or stupid. They have a healthy suspicion of what the truth is. Jurors will accept hard facts like doctors bills, but drag feet on #3 above since it is not black and white. Most jurors are pro-defense in Flagler county. This means they are likely to need more, better, clearer, overwhelming evidence than in other counties in Florida.  They are likely to be less generous with their Verdicts. Example: a loss of a limb in Flagler county might be worth $50,000. In Miami-Dade the same limb might be $500,000.

The court is always available to boost the amount if it is too low and reduce it if is too high, but courts are skittish about tampering with jury verdicts.  A judge is likely going to let a jury verdict for $100,000 in  a death case stand in Flagler county. 

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