It is impossible for a responsible law firm to put a precise monetary value on a personal injury case when you first meet with them. If a lawyer tells you what the case is worth during the first meeting, you might want to get a second opinion. The reason for this is that an attorney cannot start to evaluate the case until he or she has conducted a thorough investigation and gathered all of the needed information to be able to have an opinion.
There are two parts to every claim, liability and damages. Texas is a comparative fault state which means that a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault, if any. Therefore, the liability facts need to be investigated to see if the plaintiff may be a fault or, if there is more than one potential defendant. The liability investigation also needs to determine if any of the conduct was egregious or grossly negligent. If so, like a DWI case, additional damages might be factored into the value analysis.
Regarding damages, a lot of information is needed which includes photographs, x-rays, medical records and bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wage verification and an itemized summary of benefits paid by your health insurance company. In Texas, the health insurance company has the priority claim and it will need to be reimbursed all or a part of what it paid at the end of the case. The type of health plan involved plays a role in the analysis as well. Some plans are governed by federal law and others by state law and that has a bearing on the reimbursement rate.
After an attorney has all of the information they need for their evaluation, they will be able to help you identify a reasonable range for the value of your case. All cases are different and if you tried your case to 10 different juries, you would probably get 10 different awards. It’s important to understand the best day in court scenario vs. the worst day in court. Experienced attorneys can help you do that.