How To Settle a Personal Injury Claim

By  //  April 5, 2020

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In case you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, then you are legally inclined to claim compensation for the loss or damage that you have gone through.

You need to consider whether you need the case resolved in court or out of court. Solving the issue using a voluntary settlement agreement can be of benefit since it will save you on time and the money you could have spent when going through a trial.

However, getting fair compensation is a complicated process since various factors must be considered during the evaluation. Before you begin, the injury claim settlement process, first seek medical attention.

The doctor will determine the injury extent and offer you medication. Without a medical assessment, it would be challenging to decide on the value of compensation. Once the evaluation is complete, you will need an attorney to mediate the process. 

Here are some steps that you should follow:

1. First, Calculate All Damages

You need to evaluate the cost of special damages, also referred to as economic losses. Special damages include property damage, medical expenses that you have incurred, the lost earning capacity, lost salary or wages, funeral, and burial expenses.

Calculating the special costs is more comfortable when considering lost fees and past medical expenses provided that you keep detailed doctor reports or reports from your physical therapist.

Besides, you need to have a list of all medication and subscriptions issued by your caregiver.

The future medical expenses and lost wages might, however, be difficult to approximate, thus calculating the figure will depend on the facts that you lay down.

You will need to engage your caregiver to testify on the future medical expenses. The process might be complicated for you, given that you are in pain; therefore, professional injury attorneys would advise you to click here and leave the mediation duty to a skilled lawyer.

You will also need an economics expert to issue a damage analysis given the impact that the injury has on your income.

Damages that you suffered will be measured by the difference between your projected earning and your actual salary. Generally, calculating costs serves to protect your income based on retirement age and life expectancy.

2. Calculate The General Damage

It would be necessary to calculate the general damages for which money cannot be used as a substitute. The general damages include loss of reputation, emotional distress, loss of consortium, physical pain, shock, and mental anguish, among other costs.

When calculating the damages, remember that they could be equivalent to up to 5 times the special damages depending on the magnitude of the injury. 

3. Make Adjustments On The Claim

The next step would be to adjust the value you calculated and ensure that it includes factors such as liability. In case the injury is determined to be a liability, you should get higher compensation, but if you were partly to blame, then the settlement will reduce based on your contribution to the injury.

Also, consider whether there are multiple defendants; in case there are many defendants, the issue of the amount that each of you needs to be paid should be considered.

Consider the character of the plaintiff, given that their behavior can influence the amount of settlement you table. For instance, when adjusting the price, look at the age, likeability, occupation, and prior medical history of the plaintiff.

You must also consider the location where the case will be tried given that some venues are more conserved; thus, the mediator might award lower compensation for injury damages.

Remember that a personal injury attorney will keep all these factors in mind during negotiations; therefore, you will need one. 

4. Finally, Table Your Offer

The final step involves submitting your compensation demands through a letter either to the defendant or to their insurance company.

In most cases, there will be numerous negotiations and counteroffers between you and the insurer regarding the value of the claim. Talks will take place until an agreement is made.

Despite having an insurer mediate the settlement process, always know that the company is not a settlement agency. You must go to trial where the judge will determine the amount of compensation that you are entitled to.

Generally, it is in both parties’ interests that the claim is settled fairly, but sometimes negotiations might fall apart. You need a mediator who looks at both parties’ interests when resolving the case.

However, the above steps can help you settle a personal injury claim. Never wait till the last minute to protect your claim, ensure you consult an attorney before settling for anything.