How Is The Amount Of Damages Determined In A Personal Injury Case?
The amount of damages in a personal injury case is based on the level/amount of necessary treatment, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. Unless the claim is denied, the insurance representative/adjuster will offer what they believe the case is worth, which is determined by the factors outlined above. The first offer may not be the best offer but if the final offer isn’t accepted, a lawsuit will be filed placing the outcome in the hands of a judge or jury.
Does The Severity of The Injury Ensure The Likelihood of A Larger Settlement?
Generally, the answer is yes–the more severe one’s injury, the larger the settlement amount. For instance, cases that result in surgery are generally worth more than cases where there is soft tissue injury. Cases that result in death or dismemberment are generally worth more than cases where surgery was performed and as a result, the injury resolves.
Will Future Medical Costs Be Taken Into Account?
Yes. Future medical costs are generally taken into account when there is a settlement or verdict. These may be handled by a structured settlement award.
Does Simply Having A Lawyer Involved Tend To Make Insurance Companies Evaluate A Claim Differently?
Yes. Usually, the presence of a trained lawyer will have a bearing on the amount offered. Having a lawyer definitely has an impact on when an offer is made. Unrepresented parties may receive quick settlement offers/checks to close the claim quickly. When an attorney is present, the insurance adjuster will place the matter on their follow up calendar in lieu of trying the aforementioned “quick settlement approach.”
Does The Threat Of Going To Trial Enhance The Likelihood Of A Larger Settlement From Insurance Companies?
Trials cost money because there is a cost with litigation. Hence, the insurance company weighs that factor when deciding whether to offer more or whether they will choose to let the matter go to trial.
How Does Going To Trial Affect The Overall Cost Of The Personal Injury Process?
When a personal injury suit is filed, the retainer contingency percentage usually increases because the lawyer has to undertake more work at that time.
If The Insurance Company And My Attorney Agree Upon A Settlement, How Long Will It Take Before I Receive Compensation?
The amount of time it takes before receiving a settlement check depends on the insurance carrier. After a release is signed by the client, checks are usually issued within two (2) weeks max.
What Unintentional Mistakes Do People Make That Can Potentially Harm Their Personal Injury Case?
Some of the mistakes people make that may harm their personal injury case is stopping treatment before they are fully healed. When the client has to return for treatment after a long period of time (i.e. lengthy gap) it tends to weaken the case value. Also, initial treatment delay may also have an adverse effect on a personal injury case.
How Can I Assist My Attorney In Getting The Most Favorable Outcome In My Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury clients who follow the treatment regimen and keep good notes are priceless to an attorney.
Will My Settlement Be Larger If I Take My Personal Injury Case To Trial?
Personal injury settlements that are taken to trial do not always result in a larger award. First, the judge or jury may offer less. Secondly, the higher retainer contingency and costs of litigation must be deducted prior to the client receiving their award. Therefore, receiving the same amount at trial that was offered as the final offer in a settlement prior to suit being filed will result in less money in the client’s pocket.
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