The Settlement Alliance

A Quick Guide to Determining Case Value

A Quick Guide to Determining Case Value

Feb 3, 2017

Taking on a new case can involve considerable time and money for a law firm. Depending on the complexity of the case, it can be difficult to decide whether to go to trial or attempt to resolve it at mediation. Determining the case value up front can help you decide on the best course of action, and in the process, save your firm time and money.

What purposes does the case value serve?

In addition to helping you decide which direction to go with a case, the case value can help:

  • Create a reasonable demand for the defense
  • Promote realistic expectations for the plaintiff
  • Ensure that the demand will meet the plaintiff’s medical and financial needs

In order to properly determine the case value, it’s important to bring your settlement planner in as early as possible. Here are 3 major factors that the settlement planner will analyze to determine the value of your client’s case:

  1. Cost of Care: A Life Care Plan (LCP) provides a comprehensive overview of the claimant’s anticipated cost of care, including medical, physical, and psychological needs. Line items on the LCP may include goods and services such as prescription medications, medical equipment, prosthetic devices, in-home or facility-based care, specialized transportation equipment, physical therapy, and home renovations related to the disability. Even if a formal LCP is not developed, your settlement planner can help walk your client through the process of determining what their cost of care will be.
  2. Loss of Earnings Projections: In some cases, it may be possible to determine the claimant’s projected loss of earnings by examining the extent of the claimant’s injury, their education level, and the industry in which they were employed prior to their injury. Even if the claimant does not file a W-2 (a minor or an elderly individual, for example), there may be methods for determining loss of earnings. However, in some instances (such as injuries that do not prohibit mobility and/or mental capacity), there may not be a predictable loss of income.
  3. Damage Caps: Many states limit the amount of damages in certain types of cases, and the limits can vary widely depending on the state. For instance, Texas has a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases involving a physician or healthcare provider. Colorado, on the other hand, has an umbrella cap of $1,000,000 on the total compensation medical malpractice cases, whether the damages are economic or non-economic. It’s important to be informed about any caps up front so that you can keep your client’s expectations in check, while still trying to maximize their recovery.

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Our settlement planners work with top law firms across the nation to make sure their clients’ medical and financial needs are met. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help determine the value of your next case.

Categories: Settlement Planning

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  • American general Life Companies
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  • MetLife
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • New York Life
  • Pacific Life
  • Prudential