In the world of Personal Injury, most accidents result in soft tissue injuries. Among Charlotte personal injury lawyers, these are commonly referred to as MIST (Minor Injury Soft Tissue) cases. The truth is, a soft tissue injury can result in a great deal of pain and suffering, combined with months of rehabilitation. Furthermore, lingering pain is often a part of life for victims of soft tissue injuries. So, how are these injuries compensated for in the personal injury setting?
Working Without A Personal Injury Attorney
While there are variations, if you choose to work without a personal injury attorney on a soft tissue injury settlement, you will probably be offered your medical bills plus roughly $750.00 for pain and suffering. Each case is unique of course. However, insurance companies often group soft tissue injuries together. We receive calls in our office every day from individuals who have tried to settle without a lawyer and this is typically what they are being offered.
Calculating The Value Of The Injury
Any personal injury calculator you find online is doomed to reduce your unique situation to a logarithm or a generic calculation. We have found that the value of each claim depends on the specifics of the injury, the facts leading up to the injury, and the individual involved. Here are a few examples, which we believe shed light on the difference between numerous soft tissue injury settlements:
Example 1: The Pregnant Passenger–This individual suffers a soft tissue injury as a result of being a passenger in a vehicle. She is pregnant at the time and as a result can’t take pain medication to alleviate the pain from the accident. Physical therapy is taxing on her because she is pregnant. She has no lost wages because she was a stay at home mom; however, she was unable to perform her household duties during recovery.
Example 2: The High School Driver–This individual suffers a soft tissue injury as a result of a car accident which was not his fault. He successfully completes physical therapy and chiropractic treatment; however, he misses his senior year of track and field. He was expected to set a school and county record in the 1600m that year, but because of the accident never got a chance to do so. He has some lost wages from a part-time job he worked to help his family, and because of his inability to contribute the family was evicted from their apartment.
Example 3: The Autistic Child–This child suffers a soft tissue injury as a passenger in a car accident. In addition to the treatment the other two individuals above needed, she continues to suffer PTSD from the accident. Her therapist does not know how much more treatment she will need. The child’s mother indicates even months after the accident the child still suffers routine nightmares from re-living the accident in her mind.
Convincing An Insurance Adjuster Of Value
Your personal injury lawyer’s goal is to get you a fair settlement. While there are numerous ways to define this, quite often the lawyer will strive to obtain the highest offer and help you decide whether to accept that offer. The following factors are typically relevant to the insurance adjuster when deciding the value of your claim:
Appropriate Treatment For The Injury–Adjusters will refuse to give ‘value’ when they perceive the client has over-treated for the injury in an attempt to create a more valuable claim.
What Would A Jury Do—While neither the adjuster or the personal injury lawyer truly know how a jury would value the case, they can make their best guess. If the plaintiff is a likeable and sympathetic individual, it helps. If there is an argument that the injured party contributed in some way to the accident, it hurts. Insurance adjusters will adjust their offer up or down depending upon their perception of how the case would ‘appear’ to a jury.
Causation—Quite often insurance adjusters raise the issue of Causation in evaluating a claim. If the car accident occurs on July 1st and you don’t receive treatment until September 15th, you can expect some push-back from the adjuster. They may even ask if perhaps another injury occurred between July 1st and September 15th. Additionally, minor accidents typically don’t give rise to major injuries. There are exceptions, but adjusters are always looking for a way to discount the injury.
Special Damages—As outlined in the examples above, sometimes there are special damages which change the value of the claim. Lost wages, missed social occasions (Weddings, Graduations, etc.) all contribute to the value of the claim. These are also appealing to a jury as they humanize your client and remind them the accident had ramifications beyond the medical records.
Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer
Speaking with a personal injury lawyer is easy. We are accustomed to listening to your story, asking a few questions, and helping you understand your options. Phone consultations are free and you should take advantage of the opportunity to speak with a lawyer. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to request a call from us. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.