The Settlement Alliance

Three Key Items for Determining Case Value

Three Key Items for Determining Case Value

Oct 14, 2014

When an attorney meets with a potential client, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether to resolve a case at mediation, take it to trial, or even to accept it in the first place. Time and money expenditures can often be considerable, and even the most seasoned attorneys have gotten burned by a few cases. Fortunately, by involving a settlement planner as early as possible, the attorney can get a determination of the case value before deciding on a course of action.

What purposes does the case value serve?

When pulling together a case value early in the litigation process, the following is accomplished:

  • Provides concrete numbers to create a reasonable demand for the defense
  • Promotes realistic expectations for the plaintiff
  • Ensures that the plaintiff’s medical and financial needs have been properly analyzed

What does the settlement planning firm consider when determining the value of a case?

  1. Life Care Plan: The Life Care Plan (LCP) is comprehensive overview of the claimant’s anticipated cost of care. This includes costs related to both medical and psychological needs for the lifetime of the claimant. Types of items included on the LCP could include medications, rehab, special medical equipment, therapy, transportation equipment, home care/facility-based care, prosthetic equipment, and home renovations related to the disability.
  2. Loss of Earnings Projections: In some, but not all cases, loss of earnings projections may apply (for injuries that do not prohibit mobility and/or mental capacity to earn a living, there may not be a predictable loss of earnings). If the claimant has suffered an injury that will prohibit their capacity to earn money, certain factors need to be considered, including the extent of the injury, as well as education level and industry. Even for those without a current W-2, such as business owners, minors, or the elderly, there can be methods for determining loss of earnings.
  3. Damage Caps (if applicable): Some states limit the amount of damages in certain types of cases. In California, for example, there is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Colorado, on the other hand, has an umbrella cap of $1,000,000 on medical malpractice cases, whether the damages are economic or non-economic.

The settlement planner can assist the attorney in gathering all of this information, which in turn will help provide an accurate determination of the case’s value. Knowing the value of the case as early as possible arms the attorney with the information needed to move forward and focus on getting what their clients deserve.

We are proud to partner with the highest rated structured settlement providers in the industry:

  • American general Life Companies
  • Berkshire Hathaway Structured Settlements
  • MetLife
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • New York Life
  • Pacific Life
  • Prudential