Setting an Initial Demand Figure
A Jacksonville Accident attorney may use many different approaches when determining an initial demand figure to present to the insurance carrier to settle a personal injury claim. One approach for setting the initial demand amount is to conduct an assessment of the medical bills and lost income.
Assessing the Medical Bills
Typically, the first step that an attorney takes is to evaluate the well-documented medical bills. Injuries such as a broken arm or collarbone are easy to quantify. The attorney simply multiplies the total medical bills by a factor of two, three, four, or five depending upon:
- the length of time the injury took to heal;
- the quality of the medical documentation; and
- whether or not the injured area was symptomatic prior to the injury (a pre-existing injury will reduce the multiplication factor).
When injuries heal rather quickly, say one or two months, and have no lingering effects, the attorney will most likely use a lower figure, such as two or three times the medical bills. On the other hand, if the injury took a long time to heal, like a year or even longer (and requires ongoing medical treatment), then the attorney may use a higher figure such as five or six times the total amount of the medical bills.
Assessing Lost Income
Next, the attorney will review how much lost income resulted from the injury. Any lost income that is added in to the demand figure must be well-documented so it can be used as evidence if the case goes to trial. Lost income is usually calculated by multiplying the number of weeks of missed work by the weekly paycheck amount.
If you are self-employed, but lack supporting documentation such as tax returns, this can be problem. In these types of cases, your attorney may use a lower multiplication factor. To obtain the best possible recovery, your attorney needs to be able to back up the demand figure with as much supporting evidence as possible.
If you have further questions about how much your claim may be worth or need the services of a Jacksonville accident Attorney, call John Fagan Accident Lawyers at 855-FAGAN LAW.