VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hello everybody, my name is Robert Mansour. I'm a lawyer in the Los Angeles area, and one of my areas of practice is personal injury. One of the questions that I get at the very beginning of many cases is the client will call or they'll show up to my office and they'll say, “How much is my worth? How much can I get?” Usually, that's a warning sign. That's a client who might be thinking dollar signs, and that's not usually a good fit for me.
I tell the client, “Look. I don't know how much your case is worth. You just had the accident a couple of days ago. We don't know the nature and extent of all of your injuries. We don't know whether or not you're going to have any residual problem from the accident. We certainly have no idea how much your medical bills amount to, how much your future medical bills might be. We still don't even know if this has had an effect on your job or not whether you lost money from work, et cetera.”
Also, there are subjective issues that have to do with car accidents what's usually called pain and suffering. That's a little bit more intangible, and everyone's case is kind of different. For example, I had a case where my client was involved in a car accident. His economic bills were not that high, but he missed his father's funeral as a result of the accident. So here's a fellow on his way to his dad's funeral. Accident happens. He misses his own dad's funeral. That is very, very severe.
I had a case where an elderly lady loved to do gardening, and because of the accident she was no longer able to get on her knees and do gardening in her yard. This was a very big deal for her because she was losing something that meant a lot to her. She really enjoyed that hobby. So there are sometimes intangible factors that have to do with the value of the case.
Also, there's really no ledger of value of body parts. You can't just go and say, “Well, you hurt your hand. That's $35 or $35,000 or $10,000. You hurt your hip, you hurt your eye, you hurt your this.” There's no such schedule of pricing. There's no open market for body parts that we can use to kind of figure out what the value of your case is going to be. So a lot of it has to do with how the case progresses as well as intangible factors and then, of course, there's the issue of the insurance company that you're dealing with.
Sometimes there are issues such as insurance policy limits. You can't get any more from the other party because they don't have enough insurance. You may or may not have enough insurance at your end. Also, keep in mind that there are liens that might be placed on your case. For example, your health insurance company might expect to be repaid. Your car insurance company, if they've paid anything out they might expect to be repaid. Any doctors we might hire to assist us in your case, they expect to be repaid, and that might affect your final number.
As you can see, it is very difficult to just give people a number in the very beginning and say, “Your case is going to be worth x.” Frankly, that is a warning sign. I had a client one time. He showed and he says, “Listen. I'm not going to get involved in this unless you can guarantee me that I'm going to walk away with $15,000 in my pocket.” I said, “Well, we're not going to be able to work together because I cannot guarantee you that nor can I even speculate about that at this point.”
So, for me, generally the clients who come to my office are clients who don't have dollar signs in their eyes. They're not there because they think they won the lottery, but it is a question that does cross people’s minds. There's nothing wrong with knowing that all of these various factors go in to determining the value of your case.
Again, remember, you're always going to think your case is worth more than the other party's insurance adjuster is going to think. You're always going to think your case is more than perhaps 12 people in a jury box are going to think. In any event, I appreciate you stopping by and watching this video segment. Again, my name is Robert Mansour, and thank you very much for watching.
Please call (661) 414-7100 for a free case evaluation. We serve all of Santa Clarita and its communities of Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Castaic, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Palmdale, Lancaster, etc.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.