Each pedestrian case has unique circumstances, so there is no exact formula to determine how much a pedestrian accident case is worth. However, some factors apply to every case that can either increase or decrease its value.
Factors that Impact a Pedestrian Accident Case’s Worth
An attorney, insurer, or the court will consider the following when determining a pedestrian accident case’s worth:
- The severity of your injury.
- Your age, occupation, past medical history, etc.
- The extent to which your life and future have been affected by your injury.
- The amount of expenses incurred as a result of the accident, such as hospital and medical bills, rehabilitation costs, prescription drug costs, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity.
- Your injury prognosis.
- The expected length of recovery and projected costs of future healthcare.
- The physical and emotional pain and suffering you have and are experiencing.
- Whether you were partially to blame for the accident.
- The strength of evidence against the defendant proving their fault.
- The degree of negligence exhibited by the defendant (e.g., drunk driving, texting while driving, etc.).
- Insurance policy limits for both you and the liable party.
Typically, the more severe your injuries and their impact on your daily life, the more valuable your claim. Many victims are entitled to pain and suffering damages, which is compensation for the physical and psychological harm they have endured and will in the future. Assigning a figure to pain and suffering can be challenging since they are subjective losses. Your attorney and insurance companies will typically come up with this sum by using the multiplier method or the per diem approach.
Between the two, the multiplier method is more commonly used. First, the economic damages are totaled, which are your actual financial losses (e.g., medical bills, lost income, property damage, etc.). That amount is then multiplied by a number typically between 1.5 and 5. The more severe the injury, the higher the number used as the multiplier. With the per diem approach, a dollar amount is assigned, frequently the person’s daily wages, to each day the victim suffers from the injury until they recover. As a result, the higher your economic damages and the more physical limitations and emotional distress caused by your injury, the more compensation you are entitled to recover.
How Fault Affects a Pedestrian Case’s Worth
Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule, each party is assigned a percentage of fault based on their contribution to the pedestrian accident. This law holds each party accountable by reducing their compensation according to their degree of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but found 60% at fault, you will only recover 40% of your award or $40,000. The more substantial your evidence is against the at-fault driver, the increased chance that you will receive a higher award.
How Insurance Policy Limits Will Impact a Pedestrian Case’s Worth
Finally, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits can play a surprising role in a pedestrian accident case’s worth. Insurance policies have limits, which are the maximum amounts that the insurance company is required to pay out per person injured and per accident under a single policy. If your losses happen to exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, their insurer does not have to pay the difference. Any amount over policy limits will be lost, or you will have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver personally. However, the driver may not have the funds to cover your awarded compensation. If that were to occur, a West Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyer can help identify all other potential options for recovering the compensation you deserve.