The most common question I get asked is "How Much is My Case Worth?"
And the answer is always the same: it depends upon you, the defendant and what happened.
But, now you can check and see the estimated value of your case (and get push-button notifications every time it changes) with the "EasyCase" smartphone app. The EasyCase app was invented by Attorney JJ Shaw to help you see the estimated value of your case 24/7 simply by checking your smartphone.
While every case is different and no results can be guaranteed, Attorney JJ Shaw has taken his 30+ years of legal experience handling cases like yours and will give you an estimated value of your case early on that you can check 24/7.
As the case progresses and developments change, this estimated value will increase/decrease accordingly. And you will be informed each step of the way.
In addition to seeing the estimated worth of your case, you can also check WHEN the case will be concluded (estimated).
We are the only Indiana law firm that provides this service.
So, how do we figure our the estimated value?
The first issue to decide is the fault of the defendant compared to whether you had any role in causing your own injury (inattention, bad driving, etc.).
Think of Fault Like a Pizza the Jury Must Divide
In Indiana, a jury verdict for money is reduced by the amount of your own fault in causing the injury. The defendant's fault is then multiplied by your total damages.
It's like a big pizza of "fault." If the Defendant's fault is 3/4 or 75% for causing the injury compared to 25% for you -- well, that reduces your recovery.
So, if your verdict was for $100,000 but the Defendant was only 75% at fault for causing your injury, then your recovery would be (100,000 x. 75) or $75,000.
That's one reason it is so very important to get an attorney who knows how to win a jury trial case -- it has a big impact on your recovery.
McKibben Shaw Law knows how to present a jury trial using the words that produce a psychological effect upon a jury. At the same time, we believe in the importance of technology and the use of audio-visual demonstrative exhibits to help the jury understand what happened and why the Defendant was "at fault."
The Second Biggest Factor in the Worth of Your Specific Case Depends Upon the Severity of Your Injuries -- See Your Doctor
This concept can be difficult for clients to understand.
Yes, "fault" is a big deal. But, even if the Defendant was 100% at fault in causing your injuries, most cases still have a "range of value" that depends upon your injury. Broken legs are usually paid at a certain range. Spinal surgeries, too. That might sound crass, but in today's age of sharing copious amounts of information by computer, the defendant's insurance company knows the typical range of settlements. So, they rarely offer any settlement outside the "range" of your injury.
So, your case worth depends upon your injury.
In Indiana, a jury can award damages based upon:
- The nature and extent of your injury
- Whether the injury was permanent or temporary
- The scars or disfigurement of the injury
- Its effect upon your ability to earn income in the future
- The pain involved that caused suffering or mental anguish
- The amount of your medical bills
- What do you do if you don't like or want to accept the offered amount?
Well, you always have the ability to request that your amount be determined by a jury of your peers -- not the insurance company.
And, remember, you might be exactly right.
Not every case fits neatly into little cubbyholes of value.
Attorney JJ Shaw has won two separate cases for over $1,000,000+ verdicts when the injured person was offered $5,000 and $35,000 on each case. Sometimes, juries see the worth and value of your personal injury case in a much different light than insurance companies who tend to get cynical and jaded over time handling these cases.
For example, a scar on a child's face might not cost much in medical bills (after all, a few treatments might be all that can be done). But, it has a big impact on a jury's assessment of the case. That child will have to live with that disfigurement her entire life. That affects people and it affects juries.
The mere fact an injury happens to a child rather than an adult also affects the value of a case greatly.
After all, we all love children and juries are no different.
But that doesn't mean your case has little value if you are an adult. The story of the impact the injury had upon your life is equally important.
I'd much rather explain your pain to people of a jury -- people like you who know how hard it is to work and be injured. Who know how hard it is to support a family. Who knows how an injury affects those things and causes great emotional turmoil in addition to physical pain and medical bills.
So, your lawyer's ability to explain pain, suffering and impact to a jury in a professional, persuasive manner matters greatly.The Third Biggest Factor in the Worth of Your Specific Case Depends Upon You and Your Likeability -- So be Your Nice Self
Studies show that the "X" factor in almost every personal injury case is your "likeability."
That might seem inconsistent with what was said above, but it's not. People are people and insurance companies and juries are still run by people. And people tend to reward other people they like and punish people they do not like.
It's human nature.
That's why it is so important to conduct yourself professionally and calmly in every situation in which the opposing side or jury sees you. This does not mean be a milquetoast, whimpering fool -- you can still explain forcefully how the injury affected your life forever. But, don't be overly-dramatic when the situation does not call for it. Do not argue with the opposing lawyer.
And most of all, show the Judge and jury respect. Do not interrupt. Do not argue. Follow instructions.
You will get your chance before court to explain what happened in a deposition. A deposition is an out-of-court statement that is recorded when the defense lawyer asks you questions about what happened and how it affected you. Dress properly. Do not argue. Do not twist words.
Be yourself. The "likable" version of yourself. We all have one.The Fourth Biggest Factor in the Worth of Your Specific Case Depends Upon the Conduct of the Defendant -- Tell Your Lawyer What Happened
What the defendant did to cause your injury and how he/she acted after you were injured matters greatly to a jury.
This concept is difficult for even lawyers to understand. But, I have seen it happen over and over in my 30 years of personal injury experience.
If the Defendant failed to do something very simple and very cheap in an effort to save money -- often called the "Putting Profits Over Safety" theme of cases -- the jury will tend to award higher damages in a quasi-punitive manner. Even though punitive damages are not to be awarded, a jury will increase the value of the case subconsciously.
Similarly, if the Defendant showed no remorse after the injury or was callous to the injured victim immediately afterward, juries will also award higher amounts.
The explanation for this could be that a jury is more receptive to your testimony because they imagine themselves in that situation or family members. They don't want other Defendants to treat their family harshly, so they award higher amounts to discourage future conduct -- even if it is not directly linked to this particular Defendant.
It's just human nature.
Here at McKibben Shaw Law we believe that nearly every accident is preventable. You should not have to bear the brunt of the negligence of someone else.
You can hire us to start working on your case in less than 10 minutes.
We Get You Back on Your Feet.