Tucson Personal Injury Lawyer Joe Watkins
As a Tucson personal injury lawyer, one of the first questions that clients often ask is “how much will I recover?” If the defendants are willing to settle or if liability is found by a jury, there are many factors that will determine the amount of compensation that can be recovered. In general, the following often factor into a settlement or award:
- How strong of a case do you have? In the course of settlement discussions if we are able to show the defendants that a jury will most likely find them to be at fault, in many cases they, and their insurance companies (which are often a part of the settlement), will often offer to settle the case prior to trial, as they will usually prefer to pay a fair settlement rather than to pay attorneys’ fees and potentially a higher judgment at trial. Naturally, they will want to settle for as little as possible; we seek to obtain a fair settlement on behalf of our clients which will take into account the uncertainty of an outcome at trial.
- How badly were you injured? The amount you can recover will likely be higher if your injuries are severe and/or cause permanent damage. Juries typically take into account issues like impaired mobility, scarring, and whether the injury impacts or prevents a person from engaging in normal life activities, including recreation.
- What Costs, Expenses, and Lost Wages Did You Suffer? Under law, a person who is injured or who suffers damages as the result of the negligence of someone else is generally entitled to recover for costs, expenses, and lost wages that can be proven to have occurred as a direct result of the negligence. These items include medical bills, damaged or totaled vehicles, and wages that could not be earned because of injury. If your insurance company paid you for any of these items, they may have a right to recover the amount that they paid you from any settlement proceeds or jury award.
- Pain and suffering. When injuries occur, the injury victim will usually make a claim for pain and suffering. At trial, it will be up to the jury to calculate a monetary award that the jurors believe to be fair for the amount of pain and suffering experienced. When pain and suffering are a component for the damages for a client, I seek to prove and show the entirety of the pain and suffering experienced so that jurors are able to appreciate and adequately determine a fair award for pain and suffering.
- Is there an insurance company involved, or a defendant that has substantial financial resources? If there is an insurance company involved or a defendant that has substantial financial resources, there is usually an increased opportunity for settlement before trial than if this is not the case. Conversely, in many cases defendants do not have substantial financial resources or insurance to cover damages. In these cases, defendants are sometimes considered to be “judgment proof,” and they may not fear a trial because they know that what little assets they have may be protected from a judgment, or they may contemplate filing bankruptcy.
The foregoing is only a general overview of the aspects that often factor into recoveries; there may be additional or different factors that will be relevant for your case. I offer a free consultation where I can discuss the relevant factors for your case after learning about the facts and circumstances of your claim.
Please call me at 520.882.9115 for a free, no-obligation consultation about your injury case. There is no fee unless a recovery is obtained.