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What is My Case Worth? Part 2

What is My Case Worth?  Part 2

Continuing on from the prior blog post here, the following can also impact the value of a personal injury case.


Where your case is filed can have an impact on how much your case is worth. The particular county (venue) where your lawsuit is filed has an impact on the value of your case. Just as different counties vote differently in elections, juries in different counties can award different amounts of money for the same case. Some juries are more conservative than others. An experienced trial attorney will know the reputation of different counties and can advise you accordingly. However, reputations can also be misleading. In a case where my prior law partner and I represented a woman against a large corporation for injuries she received as a result of the company’s product, we went to trial in what was considered to be a “conservative” jurisdiction. In fact, the largest verdict in that county was for a baby who was brain damaged during delivery. Yet, given the facts of our case and the conduct of the Defendant, the jury ultimately awarded a verdict that set a new record for the largest personal injury verdict in the county—by almost ten times more. So while the past reputation of a particular county can be some predictor of what will be done in the future, there are exceptions to the rule.


The particular judge you have in your case can also impact the value of your case even if a jury decides your case. The judge is similar to a referee at a football game. The judge decides what evidence the jury hears and their rulings will determine what the jury sees and hears.


Even if a jury renders a verdict in your favor and awards you damages, you still have to collect the money awarded. If the responsible party has enough insurance to pay the verdict, this will not be a problem. However, many times you will find the responsible party does not have sufficient insurance to pay the total value of your case.  Some drivers in Texas have no insurance despite the law requiring them to have insurance.  When the at-fault party has no insurance, then you need to look to your insurance policy to see if you have Uninsured motorist coverage as well as explore other avenues of recovery. This is where an experienced attorney makes a difference. There is nothing worse than successfully pursuing a case for a client only to find out that the defendant did not have enough insurance or assets to pay the judgment.

Liens and Subrogation

A lien is a statutory right to recover the amount of money the company has paid.  An example is a hospital lien.  If you are treated at a hospital within 72 hours of the collision, the hospital can file a hospital lien for the amount of medical bills incurred in treating you.  You cannot settle your case without paying that lien.  An experienced personal injury attorney can negotiate with the hospital to resolve that lien.

Subrogation means that the company that paid medical bills could have a right to be repaid for the money it paid on your behalf if you recover money for those injuries from a third party.  The most common example is your health insurance company.  If you are injured in a car wreck and your health insurance pays a portion of your medical bills, the health insurance company has a subrogation right to be reimbursed those funds if you recover funds from the at-fault party.  Meaning, if settle your case with the at-fault party and your health insurance has paid a portion of your medical bills, you will need to pay back those medical bills. 

These are a few examples of liens and subrogation interest.  The key is that you need to be aware of any liens or subrogation interest prior to resolving your case as it will impact the amount of money you ultimately recover for your injures.

Valuing a particular case requires experience and a lot of knowledge. The insurance company of the other party will have it. Unless this is your line of business, you will be at a serious disadvantage if you try to do this yourself.  I’ve been handling personal injury cases for over 30 years, tried a lot of cases to juries, and settled thousands of cases.  In all those years, I have yet to find a case that is exactly like another.  While there are similarities in some cases, every case is unique.

If we can help in answering any questions on a personal injury case, call us at 817-500-0990 for a free consultation or contact us online.