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Case Values and Scarring

Pricing personal injury cases is not easy. Having said that, experienced attorneys will often put a value on cases in amazingly similar amounts. Lawyers will also ask other lawyers who they respect to “price” their case. Sort of a blind taste test if you will. The difference in assessments is often not great.

The most challenging of cases to price is a scarring case. Even there, despite the seeming subjectivity, there are guidelines, as there are with other types of personal injury cases. Let me offer a few:

  • The location of the scar. Obviously, facial scarring is the worst.
  • The age of the plaintiff. Obviously, the younger the more sympathetic and the longer lasting the injury will be.
  • Permanence. Obviously, the proper medical conclusion on permanence is vital in obtaining the greatest value.

The big debate comes about concerning the gender of the victim. It used to be that scarring on a girl was deemed by some to be more serious than on a boy. I don’t intend to get into that societal battle which raises issues of sexism. (Interestingly, the discriminated gender is male in that context.) I will simply note that insurance companies choose not to focus on the gender of the plaintiff when the scar is on a girl. When the scar is on a boy, the insurance company will say, “Hey, it’s not on a girl.” That they should take a position of convenience is not a surprise. Boy, oh boy.

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