What is a Personal Injury Settlement?
If you have suffered a personal injury, it is important for you to know that you may be entitled to receive compensation for certain expenses that you may have incurred. These may include all your medical bills, your estimated future medical expenses, the costs associated with your rehabilitation, any therapy that you might need, and loss of income now and in the future, due to you being unable to go back to work.
How can you receive this compensation?
After filing a claim, you may receive damages paid out either in a single lump sum or in a series of payments at regular intervals (a structured settlement). These frequent payments can be tailored to meet your specific needs and once they are agreed upon, they cannot be changed.
It is recommended that you discuss the different implications of a lump sum or a structured settlement with your personal injury lawyer or with your financial advisor to make a decision that will be the most convenient for you.
Do you have to go to court to receive compensation?
Not necessarily. Your personal injury claim may never make it to trial. It may happen that the defendant and their insurance will negotiate with you or with your personal injury attorney in order to come up with an amount that will be satisfactory to both parties.
What is the main purpose of a settlement?
A settlement is offered in order for the plaintiff to drop the case. In many cases, even before the case is even filed. To arrive at the settlement amount, each party comes up with a number that reflects what they think the case is worth. Both an insurance adjuster and a personal injury lawyer have the practical experience and the needed knowledge to determine this amount. By factoring such items as how much similar cases have been awarded in the past, the unique circumstances of this case, and others, they are able to establish the value of the case. In some cases, insurance companies might have predetermined amounts in order to settle different types of lawsuits.
What happens when each party has established its own estimate amount?
Demand letters and settlement offers will be sent back and forth. Each party will start to get a better impression of how likely it is that the plaintiff will win or lose at trial, making the amount move up or down.
When an acceptable offer is accepted, both sides sign an agreement. Then, the plaintiff signs a release in which they give up all rights to pursue a legal remedy over this same accident.
Are you trying to determine the settlement value of your personal injury case?
If so, there are online publications or resources that will shed light on the median jury verdict or settlement for personal injury cases. A median will help to give you a middle range of all the cases combined. Keep in mind, however, that this range can be quite wide, and that some very large cases, which are the exception, may make the numbers appear much more favorable to you than what they will be in the end.
Personal injury attorney Jesse Minc recommends that you seek legal representation for your personal injury claim and follow the advice of your lawyer as to the steps needed to take to get the most favorable settlement amount.