How to Calculate a Personal Injury Settlement

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Many personal injuries, like car accidents or slip and fall incidents, can easily turn into a legal matter. If you experience a personal injury and can provide evidence proving a specific party is at fault, you’ll be able to consult a lawyer and file a personal injury claim.

Spending time in court is a hassle for everyone involved, so if your case is relatively solid, your attorney may reach out to the other party’s insurance company to settle the claim before it reaches civil court. Negotiating the exact settlement amounts can be a tricky process, as a lot of factors contribute to what the insurance will be willing to pay.

Factors That Increase Your Settlement

Your lawyer will be able to win a higher settlement for you if any of these are true of your case, and the more you can prove, the better your settlement will be. Factors include:

  • Permanent or long-term injury. If your injuries affect your daily life and will for the foreseeable future, you’re entitled to more compensation. If you cannot continue working, your chances increase. Even if the most permanent change is scarring or stiffness, you can still claim permanent injury.
  • Medical expenses.Any time spent in the hospital, treatments you receive, or medications your doctor prescribes, should be factored into your settlement claim. Therapy required to recover from your accident can also count as a medical expense.
  • Hard injury.If you break any bones or joints, or experience nerve damage or head trauma, you’ll receive higher compensation. These injuries require more skillful care and take longer to heal, if healing is possible, so they’re more significant to the case.
  • No shared fault. If the other party is solely responsible for your injury, and you could have done nothing to prevent it, your lawyer will be able to argue for a higher claim.

Factors That Decrease Your Settlement

Unfortunately, insurance companies are rarely passive in settlement claims. If they can prove any of these factors, you’ll likely receive a lower settlement than you had hoped for, and in rare cases, you may end up losing your claim. That includes:

  • Lesser medical expenses.If your diagnosis and treatment come from anyone without an M.D., you may find a lower settlement than you’d hoped. The likelihood increases if you don’t need long-term treatment or prescriptions for your injuries.
  • Short recovery. If your injuries don’t disrupt your daily life, or not for very long, you’ll have less of a claim. Soft tissue injuries, like bruises or sprains, require less recovery time than a hard injury.
  • Shared fault.If you are partially at fault, the insurance company will fight against a claim that blames their client entirely.

With all of these facets to consider, your choice of legal defense will sway your ability to win your case. Look for a law firm you can trust to win your settlement while saving you from time in court, so you can get back to life as you want to live it.