Before taking any matter to court, it’s important to decide if doing so is worth the expense. The cost is one of the biggest deterrents to filing a lawsuit. You must pay for your attorney’s time, both in and out of the courtroom. This includes any investigations they conduct, managing and filing the paperwork, finding and questioning witnesses, presenting their arguments in court, and more.
There are no surefire, 100% certain ways to determine the amount of money you could receive in a lawsuit. You can, however, create a rough estimate and subtract your legal costs from that total.
Money You Could Gain
People often have the wrong idea about lawsuits. They see civil court as a place to get “free money.” You must remember that lawsuits are about paying you back for your injuries.
This is why we call the money you receive “compensation” and “damages.” You are being compensated for the damage you suffered.
When trying to calculate how much you could receive in litigation, think about the money you’ve spent or lost in the following categories.
You may be able to recover any money you’ve already spent on your treatment. This includes doctor visits, medication, surgery, physical therapy, and so on. If you’ve suffered long-term injuries, you may also be eligible for money that covers your future treatments.
These days, we are more aware of the toll trauma takes on someone. If you’ve suffered mentally or emotionally from your injuries, you can include your mental health treatments in your expenses.
If your injury directly caused you to miss work, calculate how much money you’ve lost. Even if you used accrued sick time and didn’t lose any money, you may be able to receive compensation for those days that are no longer available.
Also, consider the potential money you’ve lost. If recovery forced you to miss a career opportunity, you can include this missed income in your compensation.
In some cases, you may be able to receive extra money for your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, there is no good way to calculate these damages without an attorney’s help.
You can use this general method, just to create a rough estimate:
Calculate how much money you make on an average workday. Then multiply that sum by the number of days you were in pain. Your product will be the potential pain and suffering damages you could receive.
Money You Could Spend
When you win a lawsuit, your attorney usually takes their fee directly from your damages. Doing so is much easier than billing you later.
Lawsuits can be expensive. As we explained above, you’re paying for your lawyer’s time. Every step they take in your case is an expense. You are also responsible for court fees, filing fees, and other bureaucratic costs.
Generally, you can expect to spend about half of your damages on legal fees. In some cases, an attorney may not be allowed to take more than 30% of your winnings. Still, with all the other costs involved, it’s better to assume a higher percentage.
Take the total you calculated above, the money you could gain, and divide it by two. This will give you a general idea of how much your personal injury claim is worth.
Court is not your only option when you’ve been injured. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant or their insurance company. This settlement may be less than what you would get in a lawsuit, but it will also cost much less to pursue. Settlements are not the “lesser” option in many cases. Plaintiffs can still walk away with satisfactory compensation.
Trust your attorney’s judgement. They don’t want to lose a case any more than you do. Often, personal injury attorneys promise that the case is free if you don’t win. If they think it’s better to settle the matter out of court, there’s a reason. Your attorney is protecting both you and their business. Let them take the lead, and you may be able to get what you need from your case.
Our firm is here to help those who’ve been wrongfully injured. For a free consultation, call us today at (904) 701-0591. You may also contact us online. **Consultation fees may apply to family law consultations.