In every personal injury case – regardless of whether it arises out of a car accident, a construction site mishap, or a fall down stairs, valuation is an important step of the investigative process that helps prepare a case to be filed and tried. Valuation refers to the process of assigning a dollar figure to the case that represents the total amount of harm suffered by the victims. It is, in other words, the case’s “worth.”
The Importance of Proper Valuation in Bed Bug Cases
Valuation is key: Without an accurate understanding of the case’s worth, the victim in the case will have a hard time determining whether a proposed settlement agreement adequately compensates the victim for his or her injuries and should be accepted. Moreover, if the valuation process is not completed correctly, then the amounts of compensation requested by the victim for this loss or that expense may be quite difficult to prove.
Bed bug lawsuits are a bit unusual, and so are the losses that families may experience. Valuation of a bed bug lawsuit requires the victim and his or her attorney to consider:
- Medical expenses, if the victim needed to be treated at a hospital or emergency care clinic because of severe bites;
- Property loss, such as the loss of bedding, mattresses, and other personal property in order rid the dwelling of bed bugs;
- Lost wages, for any time the victim had to miss from work because of bite injuries or because he or she had to be available to meet with individuals to treat the dwelling;
- Extermination costs or cleaning costs that were incurred in ridding the victim’s home of bed bugs;
- Hotel costs, if the victim had to spend one or more nights away from his or her home while his or her dwelling was being cleaned;
- Pain and suffering, especially if a bed bug infestation resulted in the loss of prized possessions or having to evacuate one’s home.
Once all of the applicable losses and expenses are identified, the victim must next arrive at a dollar figure for these losses. For many expenses, there will be a bill or invoice that clearly indicates the amount of loss the victim suffered and, hence, how much compensation the victim would be entitled to for that expense. Pain and suffering damages, however, are subjective and difficult to value. Here, a victim may wish to consult with an attorney who has pursued compensation for these injuries before to learn what might constitute an appropriate valuation.
The facts and circumstances of each case will dictate in large part whether the valuation process for that case will be easy or difficult. Regardless of which category the valuation of a particular case falls into, however, there is no denying the importance of this step in the recovery process.
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