As you try to recover from your car accident injuries, you’re going to need time and money. Although a personal injury lawsuit might be able to give you the financial resources that you need to pay for your recovery and provide stability while you’re unable to work, you aren’t guaranteed that you’ll win your case. However, if the evidence supporting your claim is strong, then you might be offered a settlement, which can be enticing given its ability to provide you with a quick influx of cash.
But before you sign off on one of these agreements, you need to carefully think through whether doing so is in your best interests. After all, the defense is simply trying to escape as much liability as they can, which means they’re probably going to offer you far less than your claim is actually worth.
How do you know if a settlement offer is right for you?
It’s going to heavily depend on the circumstances. However, there are a few key aspects that you can look at to determine if a settlement really is right for you. Let’s look at them here:
- The extent of the offer in light of your damages: Your starting point in assessing a settlement offer should be analyzing your damages. Once you’ve calculated your losses, including incurred and anticipated lost wages and medical expenses, as well as you pain and suffering, you’ll have a better idea of how the settlement offer stacks up. If it’s significantly lower than the damages that you’ve already suffered or are expected to suffer, then you might be setting yourself up for financial hardship if you settle your case.
- The evidence you intend to present: The evidence that you have to support your claim can be a powerful bargaining chip during settlement negotiations. If the initial settlement offer is too low, then you can threaten to take the case to trial knowing that if you do so you’re likely to win. This can drive the settlement upward to a range with which you’re comfortable.
- Your story: Although proving economic damages like lost wages and medical expenses is usually based on hard calculations, demonstrating your non-economic damages, like loss of enjoyment of life, pian and suffering, and mental anguish, is more subjective. Therefore, to maximize your showing of loss here, you’ll want to be able to paint a clear picture of how your accident injuries have negatively impacted your life. If you have a compelling story, then you might be able to increase a settlement offer. If the defense doesn’t respond to that, then you might have to be prepared to let the issue play out in court.
- Your desire to get the matter over with: Litigation takes time, and a lot of people don’t want to deal with the hassle of it all. This can shape how you approach your settlement negotiations. Just don’t let your desire to rush through the process leave you with a less than favorable outcome.
Are you ready to advocate for what you deserve?
If so, then you need to start gathering evidence to support your claim. This can include everything from medical records to police reports and witness accounts. You also can’t overlook anything that is indicative of your non-economic damages, including your own personal accounts of specific incidences demonstrative of your losses in this regard.
As you’re trying to recover from your accident injuries, taking legal action may not sound all that appealing. But you know it’s necessary if you want to recover compensation for your losses. Even though that can be stressful to think about, take comfort knowing that you can choose to have an experienced legal professional by your side every step of the way who will fight to position you for success.