A: In a medical malpractice case, we are not permitted to set a specific amount of money that you are suing for. That function is left to a jury to decide after a trial. During the trial we can suggest a number that we believe you are entitled to, and a jury can accept that number, reject it, award less, or even award more. In a negligence case, such as a car accident, we are permitted to place a number in the papers that start the lawsuit, called a complaint. Often, the number that one sue's for is not a realistic number, and is not yet based on the actual damages you may have incurred. It is a prospective guesstimate of what your potential injuries and damages may be. When we read in the paper about people suing for many millions of dollars for small injuries, you can easily see why so many people think that their cases are worth that claimed amount. The reality is that cases are valued not by what people claim in the complaint. It is common knowledge that those numbers are unrealistic. The only people who appear to rely on those numbers are the news media who like to blow this information out of the water.