An Auto Accident Attorney in Phoenix can Help you Value Your Soft Tissue Injury Claim

by | Dec 23, 2013 | Lawyers and Law Firms

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In a personal injury case, the goal is to achieve a settlement or a jury verdict. However, many claims are settled out of court, before the case ever makes it to trial. Pre-trial settlements often happen because of the nature of the injuries, the expense and time involved, and the uncertainty of the outcome. Most claims are due to soft tissue injuries, and determining their worth can be difficult.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Unlike claims that are easily verified, such as lacerations, limb loss, disfigurement or internal injuries, soft tissue injuries are all but invisible. “Soft tissue” refers to the ligaments, tendons and muscles that support and connect the various structures of the body, and can be injured in different ways.

A common soft tissue injury is whiplash, where the back and neck are thrown back and forth rapidly. This type of injury produces symptoms like stiff neck, headaches, nausea and back pain. Soft tissue injuries are strains, and many heal within weeks or months-;but some result in lifelong pain, joint problems and herniated discs. These injuries can’t be seen with diagnostic imagery, making it easy to fabricate or exaggerate symptoms. Insurers know this, and usually offer smaller settlements in these cases.

Valuation of Injury Cases

Many people think that injury cases are valued by multiplying special damages by three, but there’s no hard-and-fast formula used by insurance companies. Many use proprietary computer programs to formulate offers; these programs use information such as age, race, gender, location and similar verdicts to value cases, while ignoring unique factors.

Evaluating Cases

To determine a soft tissue injury case’s value, an Auto Accident Attorney in Phoenix uses factors such as:

  • Damage to property
  • Previous claims history
  • Lost wages
  • Doctors used
  • Medical bills
  • Effect on day-to-day life
  • Disability

Soft tissue injuries are difficult to value, and cases often come down to the plaintiff’s behavior and believability. A victim who has a short medical history, a steady job, lost wages and no prior claims will have a higher-value case than other victims, but it is the responsibility of Injury Lawyers to present the case in the best way possible.