On many occasions an attorney practicing in the personal injury field has heard this question. I’m not sure where the saying arose. I’ve even heard insurance adjustors (especially when they can use it to their advantage) tell people a case is worth three times the medical bills. Let’s set the record straight, there is no such law. There has never been a law stating this is the proper way to calculate the value of an injury case. This is an old urban myth.
It ranks right up there with the rule that you need to get three estimates for the repairs to your car. That has never been the law. Yet both of these myths seem to endure. In our civil justice system, each case is supposed to be valued individually. There is no one size fits all. Nor is there any formula, like three times the medical bills, used in the law to determine value. Every individual is unique. How an injury disrupts one person’s health or life style may have a totally different effect on someone else. I recently represented a nice young lady who was hit by a car while riding her bike. She ended up with a one of the fingers on her hand permanently deformed. Fortunately, she is able to do her job and continue her career. What was taken from her was part of her health, but what remained still allowed her to continue doing the things she loved. The case has a certain value because the injury is serious and will remain with her forever. However, had she played the saxophone for a living her case would probably have a different value, particularly if she had to abandon the instrument and find a new career. So don’t let anyone tell you your injury case is only worth three times the medical bills. It may be worth many times more. This urban myth needs to be put to rest for good.