Most clients want to know, "what is my case worth?" There are many factors affecting the value of your case. The settlement value is simply a prediction of what a judge or jury would decide your case is worth. There is no specific formula to assess case value because every Plaintiff is different. The overall health of one Plaintiff over another can affect the value of a case. Pre-existing injuries and illnesses in one Plaintiff may reduce the value of their case over a Plaintiff with perfect health even in identical accidents.
When negotiating cases, there are several factors to consider that may add or detract value. These factors are the type of injury sustained in the accident; the economic damages suffered (medical expenses, lost wages); the amount of available insurance coverage (liability limits); how strong is the liability in your case and how clear is the causal connection between the accident and your injuries. Having witnesses is not enough, you must consider the credibility of the witnesses. And finally, jury perception. Believe it or not, while "justice is blind," the expected jury perceptions of the Plaintiff have to be considered when attempting to value a claim. Different juries can award different verdicts for the same accident. Plaintiffs do well in more liberal venues such as Baltimore City and Prince George's County. But Plaintiff in conservative venues such as Anne Arundel County and Howard County may not do as well.
Attorneys have to consider all of these factors and determine a "fair and reasonable" value for a case. Don't be discouraged, statistical data shows that Maryland Plaintiffs are successful about 85% of the time in automobile accident cases. The average jury award is between $10,000.00 and $12,000.00 based on the above factors. When compared to other types of personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, Maryland is getting pretty good results even if a lawyer cannot give you a number when you ask "How much is my case worth?"