Should I Settle?
About 95 percent of all personal injury cases filed settle and never go to trial.
Despite this statistic, however, when to settle is a tricky, yet vital consideration. Settling your personal injury claim at the appropriate time is crucial because:
- Settling too early may lower your settlement award and preclude you from collecting compensation for further treatment you may need.
- Waiting extended periods of time to settle may not help you recover more money and can preclude you from collecting money you need to live (particularly if your injury has prevented you from being able to work).
One of the most common mistakes plaintiffs make when settling their claims is settling too early – at times, days after the accident before the full extent of the injuries are apparent.
To ensure that you obtain the maximum possible compensation, it's essential that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. During an initial meeting, a personal injury lawyer will:
- Thoroughly evaluate your case.
- Determine whether you are entitled to a settlement for your injuries and losses.
- Advise you on the best manner in which to pursue your claim.
When to Settle Your Claim
The following are some general guidelines that may indicate it's an appropriate time to settle your personal injury claim:
- When you are done receiving all necessary medical treatments
- When you are aware of whether your injury will or won't permanently affect your ability to earn a living and/or perform certain daily activities
At this point, your lawyer will work with the third-party insurance company (representing the defendant) to negotiate a settlement.
How Settlement Amounts are Determined
Settlement amounts vary from case to case based on:
- Whether someone was negligent
- The amount of medical bills already incurred as a result of your injuries
- The amount of property damage that occurred
- Whether the defendant has insurance and/or assets that can be used to compensate you
Typically, settlement awards will be calculated by adding the costs or estimated worth of:
- medical bills
- future treatment costs
- lost wages
- permanent disabilities
- an inability to earn a living
- decreased quality of life (based on new limitations)
- a new susceptibility of developing further health problems
- emotional pain and suffering
- your age
If you suspect that you or a loved one has a personal injury claim, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer today. We will aggressively represent your rights to help you recover the maximum settlement awards that you deserve.
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