With over 90% of personal injury cases reaching a settlement during the claims process, there’s a high chance your claim may follow a similar path. Settling out of court is a smart way to lower costs, get your payout faster, and avoid the stress of drawn-out trials. But before you accept anything, you should understand how to calculate compensation for your damages.
What Is A Personal Injury Settlement?
If you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit against someone, the defendant is responsible for compensating you for any damages you received during the incident. However, they can also settle with you outside the courtroom, and they may negotiate a fixed amount to close the case as quickly as possible.
It’s tempting to take the money and move on. But depending on your case, you might lose thousands of dollars if you don’t take the case to trial, especially if you have ongoing medical treatments or other expenses related to the incident. Always consult with your attorney to determine the best course of action.
How Are Settlement Amounts Calculated?
To calculate the proper settlement amount, you need to determine what you need to cover any significant damages and expenses. When a defendant’s insurance company offers you a settlement, they usually use a formula that calculates a payout based on the following:
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Future lost income if you won’t be able to work
For non-economic damages, most insurance companies will estimate and multiply the amount based on the severity of the case.
Steps To Negotiating A Personal Injury Settlement
A defendant’s personal injury settlement is something you need to review in detail to ensure you receive fair compensation. Here are three tips for negotiating an agreement that works for you:
Gather All Your Evidence
Before you come up with a specific amount, keep track of your expenses or other evidence of your injury. This way, you can determine what damages the defendant is at fault for and an accurate estimate of what they owe you. Asking for a reasonable settlement backed by facts is also more likely to be accepted by an insurance company.
Decide On An Amount
Make sure to have a range in mind when determining the final amount. The negotiation process can be a lot of back and forth between you and the defendant, and you might have to meet them halfway. A minimum range allows you to negotiate a fair settlement that benefits both parties while receiving total compensation for damages.
Don’t Automatically Accept The First Offer
Sometimes, insurance companies may offer you a lower settlement initially. They do this with the belief that you don’t understand the actual value of your claim or do not have enough evidence to back up the amount you propose.
If their first offer is lower than your minimum range, you may need to apply more pressure in your counteroffer. But if their initial amount is close to your final settlement figure, try to negotiate with them while still emphasizing the main points of your case.
Our Attorneys Can Help You Maximize Your Compensation
Settling out of court can be a simpler way to close your case without dealing with extra fees and stressful court hearings. However, you and your attorney need to review your case in detail to determine a range where you can recover your losses and negotiate with the other party.
If you need help negotiating your settlement, our team of professional personal injury lawyers will help you win the benefits you deserve. Call us at 866-506-3694 or fill out our contact form if you have any questions or want to schedule your free trial consultation today.