Understanding The Settlement Process Of A Personal Injury Case
When you’re hurt in an accident, some things will be fairly apparent. For instance, it’s clear that you’ll need to get medical help for your injuries, or that your injuries may impact your physical health in a negative way, making it harder to make a full physical recovery after you’ve been hurt. It’s also no secret that you’ll need to file a claim with an insurance company and potentially seek the help of an attorney to get the compensation you are owed.
But what may not be obvious is just what to expect from a settlement – how the settlement process works or what a fair settlement should really include, for example. Understanding the settlement process is incredibly important for anyone hurt in an accident since it will directly impact your life, potentially for years.
The settlement process often begins with negotiations. Generally, the insurance company will make an offer to a victim. Without a personal injury attorney on your side it’s likely that you could end up accepting a settlement that isn’t fair – many things go into making a settlement a good one.
Your lawyer and the insurance company or opposing attorneys will negotiate, making offers or counter offers as they discuss the terms of the settlement. Usually, a settlement amount is eventually agreed upon after your attorney shows proof of what you are owed and what a fair amount will be.
However, if the settlement simply can’t be reached, the case may go to court to be heard by a jury or judge. If this occurs, your attorney will argue your case and work to get you what you are owed. In some instances, your case may actually pay you more if it goes to trial due to things like punitive damages or compensation for pain and suffering. However, it’s usually a better idea to let your attorney negotiate a settlement since you’ll get a fair amount much faster and with less hassle.
What Is Fair Amount?
Determining what a fair amount is will be one of the biggest challenges that you face during a personal injury case. The overall goal of any case is to return your situation to the point it would have been in had your accident never occurred.
This can go far beyond just the basics that most initially consider, and can include things like the following.
• Medical Costs – Not only should your medical bills be included, but your settlement should include payment for any future potential medical costs – physical therapy, surgery, and more.
• Lost Wages – Any hours missed from work need to be reimbursed as well. And if it’s likely you’ll miss days at work in the future due to your injuries, those future lost hours should be included also.
• Impact On Earning Potential – If your injury leaves you in a situation where you may miss out on a promotion or be unable to achieve the same level of earnings potential that you once had, compensation should be paid to you to offset that loss of earnings potential.
• Property Damage – Property damaged in an accident should be replaced or repaired as well. This is often covered during an initial insurance claim, but should still be considered when making sure that a settlement is fair.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident of any kind, our legal team is here to help. We have decades of experience in personal injury law, and our team has a proven track record of standing up to the other side and making sure that our clients get what they are owed. Contact us today to get a free initial consultation and let us start working towards the settlement that you deserve.