HOW IS A CATASTROPHIC INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH CASE VALUED IN CONNECTICUT?
When dealing with a life altering case, valuing all compensable damages is a traditional starting point. Compensable damages generally include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical expenses
- Future impact to an individual’s earning capacity
Navigating injured parties through the process is a vital responsibility of the attorney. As a result of this involvement, attorneys develop the issues of compensable damages, with the end result being to properly and sufficiently monetize the case for the catastrophically injured individual.
How Long Does a Life Altering Injury Claim Take to Settle?
There are many variables to consider when determining how long it will take for a life altering injury claim to settle. The length of time is often dictated by the time it takes for the injured party to complete medical treatment. If the individual is deceased, then it will depend on the length of time necessary to collect, evaluate, and properly address all the issues to formulate the damages profile.
The length of a claim can also depend on the docket or the court. The courts dictate how long these things take when a case is in suit. Most cases will settle or go to trial no earlier than 18 months and could take many years. Though the range is wide, one and a half to three years is the general timeframe for most cases.
Possible Outcomes for Life Altering Injury Cases
The American Bar Association and their subcommittees have conducted studies on life altering injury cases, and there are various trial lawyers associations that track injury cases (some of which go to trial, and some of which end up settling). For over a decade, there has been a seeming trend away from trials. This is happening for a variety of reasons. Cases are diverted to settlement measures – such as arbitration or mediation – to bring about a resolution of the case. The cases that go to trial are the ones that cannot be resolved, despite all early discussions and court intervention. These are cases where the parties’ positions are just too far apart, and it is the only way to resolve the dispute. There are many instances in highly disputed cases where the advocates on each side of the controversy will see the case quite differently. As the case litigation proceeds and as the issues become clearer, there is usually an opportunity to explore an agreement. The fact is that most people would rather make their own decisions about settlement than have a judge or jury do it for them.
The uncertainty of what a judge or a jury may do with a dispute also supports the general inclination of most individuals and companies to sort out their own business relations, where they can achieve what they believe to be a reasonable result. These factors working together often determine the probability of going to trial.
It is estimated that less than 10 percent of cases go to trial. However, if you do not prepare a case – whether straightforward or complex – with sufficient care and energy, and if the attorney that you retain does not convey the complete intent to go trial on your behalf, then the odds of going to trial increase. The parties must prepare for the worst and hope for the best. By preparing to go to trial, you are reducing the chances that you will have to.
Please follow the link for access to a free pdf download of our full book to learn more about:
- How do I know when it is the right time to settle?
- How do I know if an injury claim offer from an insurance company is fair?
- What happens if a catastrophic injury victim dies after filing a personal injury lawsuit?