When you file a claim for personal injury, you may find that you need to spend a significant amount of time evaluating the various settlement offers. However, a large number of individuals do not understand how to determine whether or not they have been presented with a settlement offer that accurately reflects the losses they have incurred as a direct result of the injuries they have sustained.
A fair settlement offer can look very different depending on the claim that’s being settled. Work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can give you a better idea of how much compensation you should expect as part of a reasonable settlement and, in many cases, how to determine whether or not that offer fits your needs effectively.
Working with such a lawyer can also help you determine whether or not you should accept the offer. If your insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement and you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix can also argue your case in court. If you have been injured and live in the Phoenix area, call a personal injury attorney today.
What Does a Good Settlement Offer in a Personal Injury Claim Pay For?
Even though a reasonable settlement offer might be contingent on the particular circumstances that led to your accident, a reasonable offer still needs to take into account certain fundamental components.
Compensation for all your current medical expenses
In the vast majority of cases involving claims for personal injury, a reasonable settlement offer will, at the very least, include compensation for the medical expenses that you incurred as a direct result of the accident. Your primary objective in filing a claim for personal injury should be to receive compensation for losses you incurred as a direct result of the negligent actions of another person. Your medical bills will, in many instances, form the basis of that financial loss.
Examine the actual financial costs that have been incurred as a result of the accident, and make sure that your medical expenses are calculated accurately. In an ideal world, you would have kept receipts for all of the medical treatment you have received as you move through the recovery process in order to accurately reflect the costs you have incurred.
You might want to seek compensation for the following things:
- Transportation by ambulance and treatment for medical emergencies
- Treatment in the hospital and hospitalization
- Long-term care, including, if necessary, care provided in the patient’s home
- Any necessary procedures to treat your injuries will be performed
- durable medical equipment, as well as equipment for the home medical setting
- Therapy can take many forms, including physical, occupational, and psychological.
Because of the injuries you sustained in the accident, you should also think about how much it would cost to make any modifications to your house that might have been required as a direct result of those injuries. For instance, did you need to have a new hospital bed put in so that you could more easily get out of bed?
Because you need wheelchair access, did you need to make any modifications to your doorways? You mentioned that you needed to install a wheelchair ramp in order to make it possible for someone to enter the door. Is that correct? These costs can quickly add up to a significant amount. Any reasonable settlement offer should include some form of compensation for the aforementioned financial difficulties.
Compensation for the anticipated cost associated with future medical expenses
Suppose you hire a lawyer to help you manage a claim for personal injury. In that case, that lawyer will probably advise you to postpone filing your claim until you have a clearer picture of the total cost of your long-term medical care. You may require your current medical costs in order to compile an accurate estimate of how much your medical care following the accident has cost you.
However, in addition to this, a reasonable settlement offer should include compensation for future medical expenses that you are aware you will have to pay as a result of the accident but that you may not have had to pay for as of yet.
Take, for instance, the scenario in which you find out three to five years after your accident that you will require a joint replacement procedure. Because you have to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, and you do not want to wait three or more years, you have no choice but to include those costs as a future anticipated medical expense related to your injuries.
In addition, you may find out that the injuries you sustained will necessitate ongoing medical care, in some cases, for the rest of your life. For instance, victims of accidents that result in injuries to the spinal cord can anticipate annual medical costs of at least one hundred thousand dollars, while those who have lost limbs can anticipate ongoing expenses for the replacement of costly prosthetics.
Have a conversation with your care team about the estimated costs of future medical care, including the nature of your long-term medical needs, and make sure that you include these costs as part of your claim.
Compensation for any wages you lost because of the accident and your injuries.
In many instances, a serious accident can result in an overall wage loss that is substantial and substantial. While you are recovering from those life-threatening injuries, you may be unable to work for several days, weeks, or even months. Even after you are able to go back to work, you may find that you need to adjust your routine in order to accommodate ongoing appointments.
In the event that you need any additional procedures while you are recovering, you may miss even more time from work. Losing those wages can feel like a catastrophe, especially if you are unable to rely on any other source of income while you are recuperating from your injury.
Talk to a personal injury attorney about the financial setbacks you experienced as a result of missing time at work while you were recovering from your injury. Your attorney will be able to assist you in determining the value of those lost wages, which is something that ought to be included in any reasonable settlement offer regarding your injuries.
Compensation for the suffering you faced because of your injuries
In the event of a successful personal injury settlement, your direct financial losses will be taken into account, and you will also receive some compensation for the non-financial losses that came along with your injuries. These losses, in many instances, can prove to be just as devastating as the physical injuries that were sustained as a result of the accident. A reasonable settlement offer should take into consideration compensation for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, also referred to as the general damages associated with the accident.
Talk to your attorney about the anguish you’ve been through and how to accurately calculate it so that you can determine how the insurance company should justifiably include it as part of your claim.
You might want to inquire about:
- Did you experience severe physical pain as a result of your injuries? Will they still be painful?
- After you’ve healed as much as you can from your injuries?
- Do you find that your injuries have limited your ability to participate in the things that used to bring you so much joy?
- Have your injuries prevented you from participating in any of the things that would normally bring you joy?
- Have you had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression as a result of your injuries?
- Did your injuries cause any strain on your relationships?
A fair settlement offer will take into account both your medical expenses and your non-economic losses as a result of the accident.
How the Insurance Policy Can Impact Personal Injury Claims Settlements?
What constitutes a good or reasonable settlement offer may be significantly impacted by the insurance policy covering the liable party. The amount of money an insurance company will pay you for injuries you suffered due to the insured party’s negligence is typically specified in the policy. However, there may be loopholes in those policies that make it easier to get the full compensation you need for your injuries.
The terms of the insurance policy will determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries, and having a personal injury attorney review the policy can give you a better idea of what to expect. A lawyer can also help you prove fault in order to receive the compensation you are owed more quickly and with less hassle.
How Do You Know You Have Received a Good Settlement Offer?
Losses sustained by the injured party may play a significant role in determining the best settlement offer to accept following a personal injury. Take these necessary measures to ascertain if the settlement offer you’ve received is fair and adequately addresses your concerns.
Review your financial losses related to the accident
Your injury-related financial losses will be a major factor in determining the amount of compensation to which you are entitled. If you broke your leg in a car accident but were able to return to work without too much trouble, you might not need as much money as you might think.
A person who loses their ability to work for months after suffering a spinal cord injury in a car accident may be entitled to significantly higher compensation for their injury.
Think about the money you lost and how it has affected your life as a whole since your accident. The cost of medical care and time away from work must be estimated. Knowing how much money you have already spent on the accident and your injuries can give you a good idea of what a fair settlement should cover.
Talk to a personal injury attorney about what might constitute a reasonable settlement offer.
If you try to handle a claim for serious injuries on your own, you may end up settling for much less money than you need to recover from the accident. Injured parties may be taken advantage of by insurance companies in a number of ways, including by accepting lowball settlement offers that don’t cover their expenses and then claiming that the policy’s limits are to blame for the shortfall.
On the other hand, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix can examine your case and the amount of compensation you are entitled to on your behalf. A lawyer can look at precedent cases, the insurance policy, and your losses to give you an idea of what you can reasonably expect to receive from the insurance company.
Having an attorney on your side can also increase the likelihood of receiving a favorable settlement offer. When insurance providers learn that their clients have retained legal representation, they are more likely to offer a fair settlement that adequately addresses those clients’ needs.
Plan to negotiate
It can take a long time and a lot of negotiation to get the compensation you deserve in a personal injury case. It’s not uncommon for the initial settlement offer made by an insurance company to fall short of what you’re actually owed under the policy and the extent of the damages you suffered as a result of the accident.
It may take several rounds of settlement negotiations to reach an acceptable agreement. A settlement that more accurately reflects your losses may be possible with the assistance of a lawyer who can help you demonstrate the full scope of your financial losses as a result of the accident and advocate for the compensation you deserve.
Recognize that it could take some time before a fair settlement agreement can be reached and that you may have to continue negotiating in the meantime. Successfully negotiating for the salary you’re due can improve your long-term financial outlook.
What if I Receive a Bad Settlement Offer? Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The initial settlement offer made by an insurance company is often inadequate and will not cover all of your medical bills or lost wages. You are under no obligation to accept a settlement offer that doesn’t adequately address your concerns. However, you can keep fighting and seek assistance in order to eventually file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you haven’t already done so, you should get in touch with a personal injury law firm as soon as possible if you receive a lowball settlement offer.
How Our Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
From disputing the insurance company’s assertion of blame for the accident to submitting a counteroffer that reflects the damages you sustained and, as a result, expect from the insurance company, an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney can advise you on the next steps to take.
You can get a better idea of how much you can expect to be compensated for your injuries and losses if you contact a personal injury law firm and hire an experienced lawyer.