Oftentimes, when people call in to our office, they will run a case by us and ask how much it is worth. To tell you the truth, there is no way of actually knowing what a lawsuit is worth until we actually do some research on your case. There are a lot of things that factor into the value of a case. For example, the limits on the insurance policy, or lack thereof, of the individual or entity that you bring a case against can limit or extend the amount that can be asked for.
Another thing that can factor into the case value is you and how the event affected you. The things that play a role in this factor are things like your age, what your health was like pre-injury, your employment and your ability to work, the number of dependents you have, and your physical and mental condition. The actual damages you have sustained because of the event also play an important role. Damages deal with the questions of how badly you have been injured, how permanent or impairing the damage is, and how it affects other areas of your life. For instance, cases with larger damages such as permanent disability, inability to earn an income, disfigurement, and/or death would be worth more than a case with a smaller damage like a broken ankle.
Disputed facts can be one of the biggest factors in how much a case can be worth. Typical disputed facts include who or what caused the injury, who was at fault for the injury, how much of the injury was your fault, and if the injury was something that violated a standard of care such as in medical malpractice cases.
At the end of the day, it is very difficult to estimate the value of a particular case, even when all the facts are known. As students learn in law school, a case is worth zero until a jury tells you otherwise.