The truth you need to know about personal injury compensation
Are your hopes for your personal injury compensation realistic or outrageous? If you ask any personal injury attorney about tough conversations they’ve had with clients, you’ll hear this one. It’s the conversation where the lawyer explains that a client’s case may not be as valuable – or viable – as they thought.
Often, personal injury claimants believe their settlement amounts will be much higher than what’s realistic. Sometimes, this belief seems justified. After all, if an injury causes pain and suffering, frustration, or financial loss, someone should pay.
But sometimes, a client’s hopes are sky-high based on hype. You’ve seen the television ads. Some fancy attorney practically promises to get clients millions of dollars. Never mind the details of the case.
Before you file a personal injury suit, you need to have a realistic target for your recovery. In some cases, you may need to temper your expectations. However, in other cases, you may actually be able to raise your expectations. It’s hard to know until your attorney gets all the facts of your case.
The Strength of Your Injury Case
The main factor that will determine the settlement amount is the strength of your injury case. Injury victims will need to have legally viable grounds in order to receive damages for the injuries they suffered.
The vast majority of injury cases are not proven by the facts alone. It’s more about striking a bargain. Potential settlement amounts rely on an understanding of how much an injury victim could win if the case goes to trial.
If a case would not be able to hold up if it went to trial in terms of liability, the settlement amount you receive will likely be less. An unbalanced level of liability on the plaintiff and lack of proof of fault or two factors that will prevent a case from being able to hold up in a trial. If there is controversy in terms of who is at fault, the other side will be reluctant to offer a settlement amount anywhere close to your expectations.
What Is the True Value of the Claim?
Every injury case involves an individual who has suffered an injury or damages of any sort. The case comes before people who decide the just compensation for that injury. However, the extent and type of these damages differs from case to case. You can determine the baseline for your out-of-pocket losses by adding up the special damages, which include lost income, medical bills, and other losses that are economic in nature.
The law also allows victims to receive compensation for general and non-economic damages. Some examples of such damages include anxiety, disfigurement, pain and suffering, mental distress, and other negative results of the injury or cause of the dispute. To determine the general damages, an examination of the amount in damages received by victims in similar cases is necessary. An insurance company may use a multiplier and a damages formula to determine the value of a claim when it comes to settlement.
Who Are the Parties Involved?
The final factor you should keep in mind when coming up with realistic goals for your settlement amount is who is party to the case. For example, if the other side is an uninsured driver who possesses few personal assets, you should not expect a huge settlement amount.
However, what if the other side of the case is a large corporation with liability coverage applicable to your injury? It would not be unreasonable to keep your expectations for the settlement amount fairly high. You might also expect more in terms of a settlement amount if the other party is willing to settle rather than to dispute liability. As always, the facts of the case make all the difference.
Have you been injured? Do you have questions about what you should do next? Wondering whether it makes sense for you to pursue your case? Find out what you need to know about personal injury compensation by calling the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. at (706) 335-2355.