Personal Injury Utah Case Valuation

Monday, 3rd November 2008

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Article provided by Rex Bush, webmaster of this blog’s affiliated website: Utah-Personal-Injury-Attorney.com. Click here Utah Injury Attorney to visit our home page and access other relevant articles on Utah injury law.

What is the case worth?

That is always an important question clients ask.

Here is a simple way I’ve developed over the years, as a personal injury lawyer in Utah, that works quite well to help a client develop a sense of the worth of his case.

Imagine you are on a jury in the county where the accident happened.  You and seven others are deciding the value of a personal injury case that involves your exact injuries, treatment and medical bills.

What would you and the seven others award that person?

I have used this approach time and again with clients and, amazingly, the numbers they come up with are actually quite close to the value I put on the case.

Juries are the final arbiters of personal injury value in Utah and in all other states.  If you live in a conservative, Republican dominated county or state that will be reflected in your case’s value.

Now there’s nothing wrong with being a republican.  I voted Republican for 20 years and, philosophy-wise, my views line up better overall with that group than with the other.  Utah’s senior senator Republican Orrin Hatch financed his first Senate race from attorney fees earned on personal injury cases.  And he continues to fight for the rights of us common people.

But let’s face it:  when it comes to the other guy’s injury, Republicans are a bit less generous than their Democratic counterparts.

As personal injury lawyers here in Utah (and, frankly, any other state in the union) we’d like to be able to go into court and say:  “apply the golden rule, do unto this injured person as you would want others to do to you if you were injured.”  Wouldn’t that be awesome!  Wouldn’t it be a great argument?

It’s illegal.  That’s right, I said “illegal”.  The so-called “golden rule” argument is an illegal argument to make to a jury in a Utah personal injury case.

And that’s why you can’t look at your case in a vacuum.  It does you no good to place a personal value on your health, your back, your freedom from pain.   Your health, to you, is priceless.  The value of your health to someone on a jury is, unfortunately, worth a lot less.

The jury is worried e.g. about their insurance rates going up.

And there is something else.  Unfortunately, for the value of your case, you are a living being.  If you were a thing,  like a car, you could expect the jury to wholly reimburse you for your damage.  Unfortunately, though, to many juries (and people, let’s face it) things are worth more than people.

Think about it.

And try this exercise.  Then compare your valuation with that of an experienced Utah personal injury lawyer.   You just might find that your value and his value are not that far apart.

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