Anyone who has suffered a personal injury knows the expense and disruption to their life that it can cause. They have to worry about the medical bills as well as any lost wages due to time off from work. That is why anyone who has experienced a personal injury is entitled to a fair settlement. So what is a fair personal injury settlement?
The answer varies depending on the individual, but in general, a fair settlement is one that covers all of the victim’s expenses that were caused by the personal injury. Continue reading to learn what goes into a fair personal injury settlement. If you want to know how a lawyer can help you with that settlement, then click here for more information.
What Is a Fair Settlement?
A fair settlement is one that covers all of your medical bills and compensates you for any lost wages. The settlement is calculated by adding up the victim’s damages, which are the losses they sustained from the injury. Insurance companies separate damages into two different categories: special damages and general damages.
Special Damages – These are measurable expenses like medical bills, lost wages, vehicular repairs, and other expenses. They are calculated using receipts, bills, and invoices.
General Damages – Things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other types of psychological trauma fall under this category.
The general way of calculating a personal injury settlement is by adding up all of the special damages and then adding one to five times that amount for the general damages.
What Factors Affect a Personal Injury Settlement?
The severity of the injury is one of the main factors, basically, the more severe the injury, the larger the settlement. That means injuries that involve broken bones or traumatic brain injuries pay out more than soft tissue injuries like sprains or bruises. The longer it takes to recover from an injury, the larger the payout is likely to be. That means injuries that cause permanent damage offer the largest payouts.
The disruption an injury causes to the victim’s life is also a big factor. If the injury makes it difficult to perform normal movements like walking or even standing up, then the victim has a higher chance of a big payout. One of the reasons is that such a disruptive injury would make it difficult for most people to work and earn money. Related to this is the amount of time it takes to recover from an injury, the longer it takes, the larger the settlement is likely to be.
The possible cost of a trial can also affect the settlement amount. Trials can become very expensive because of the need to hire experts, depose witnesses, court costs, and many other expenses. So if it looks like a trial will end up costing a lot, then the party that caused the personal injury will offer a large settlement instead. The reason is that they do not want to have huge legal expenses in a case where they are not guaranteed a victory. The insurance company of the party responsible for the personal injury is another major element because they will not offer a settlement amount that is higher than their policy limit.
How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting a Fair Settlement
The first and most important thing you can do is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. That is because they can help you with all of the other ways of increasing your chances of a bigger payout. Such as negotiating with the insurance agency for example. Insurance agencies will always offer the smallest possible amount at first, which is understandable, as they cannot make a profit if they keep offering large payouts. A personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help you get a fair settlement amount.
A lawyer can also help you to file a personal injury lawsuit. While personal injury claims are often resolved without a lawsuit, the threat of one can increase your chances of getting a better settlement offer from the insurance company.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?
It can take anywhere from a few months to a little over a year to resolve a personal injury claim. While some people may balk at the longer wait times, in most cases a longer wait means a bigger payout. The reason is that it can take some time to gather the necessary resources needed to increase the chances of a higher payout. Plus the other factors that can increase the payout amount, such as hiring a lawyer, negotiating a settlement amount, and filing personal injury lawsuits, also take time.
Always Fight for a Fair Settlement
One thing is crystal clear about personal injury claims: if you want a fair settlement, then you will have to fight for it. You need to stand up for your rights or risk getting lowballed with a paltry offer. The best way to fight for your rights is to hire a personal injury attorney. They will do most of the heavy lifting that will increase your chances of getting the favorable payout that you need and deserve.
Michael Davis is the Content Director of Miami’s On the Map Marketing, Inc. As the chief content editor of one of the fastest-growing internet marketing firms in the country, Michael has made it his mission to provide high-level, factual, and error-free content that emphasizes the best SEO practices and helps his company’s clients convert sales.