▪ The other party takes no responsibility. So even though you know that’s not right, you accept that claim and try to cover costs yourself.
▪ The other party refuses responsibility, you disagree and go to court, but the judge or jury finds in favor of the other party, and they don’t have to compensate you.
▪ The other party claims no responsibility, but you dispute this and take them to court. The judge or jury agrees with you and legally requires them to compensate you.
▪ The other party understands and accepts responsibility is willing to provide compensation without a legally issued judgment to force their hand.
Ideally, the fourth outcome is the one that most people hope for, as it saves time and money for everyone involved since no extensive legal costs are required for a litigation trial. However, even if the other party agrees to an out-of-court settlement, the question now remains of precisely what amount will constitute a fair settlement for the injuries you’ve received.
The first, most obvious thing that needs to be addressed is that there is no universal rule for a fair amount. The extent of a person’s injuries and their impact on their lives will vary dramatically from one person to the next. So what would be considered adequate compensation for one case would be completely unacceptable in another, depending on personal circumstances. Some of the factors that affect a fair settlement include:
If a person is a salaried employee and cannot return to work due to recovering from an injury, then how long they remain out of work plays a role in determining the settlement. Obviously, the longer a person is unable to work, the greater the compensation should be.
Things go down a different road entirely, however, if an injury is so severe that it renders someone unable to return to their previous occupation at all. A construction worker who now uses a wheelchair, for example, can’t remain a construction worker at all. Meanwhile, the vast majority of professions will be unlikely to allow a person to continue if they are paralyzed from the neck down and are now bedridden for the remainder of their lives.
Pain & Suffering
Sometimes, beyond just the physical injury and recovery, additional factors have a massive impact on quality of life. For example, psychological trauma, or even physical after effects, such as sexual impotence, can impart additional pain and suffering on top of the initial injury. This is especially true in situations where a permanent disability is the new normal, such as blindness or paralysis.
If you’ve been injured and the responsible party is willing to settle, don’t try to manage this yourself. Instead, talk to a professional, such as a personal injury attorney, and see if you can the help you need to secure a fair out-of-court settlement that will take care of everything you need..