Accidents happen – and as a result, people are sometimes injured. Negotiating an acceptable legal settlement in such cases is not always easy, and often requires the assistance of an attorney experienced in personal injury law.Injury cases can be settled in a number of ways. Regardless of whether a case is settled out of court or tried before a judge and jury, accident victims face a challenging road ahead of them. Therefore, it is essential to work with experienced personal injury claims lawyers who understand this legal process, and how to negotiate settlements. Together, injured victims and their lawyers can obtain the best settlement possible.
Putting A Value on the Damage
Before even discussing settlement, the most important job of any personal injury claims lawyers is to research the case, and determine actual damages. This includes the cost of medical care for injuries sustained as well as other financial costs, such as lost wages and benefits, lost earning ability, property damage, cost of ongoing medical care or treatment, psychological issues, pain and suffering, mental anguish, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and other related expenses.
Determining some of these expenses can be a considerable task. Lawyers who help clients with personal injury claims must carefully calculate aspects such as current and future economic loss as well as the restrictions that puts on the injured. These calculations vary by case and by other things such as the age of the injured, their profession and previous earning capacity, individual life expectancy, and many other elements.
Individual Case Considerations
Once a dollar amount has been estimated for damages, lawyers must then consider the individual case and make adjustments as necessary. Details such as where a case will be tried and the laws of that state must be taken into consideration. This is because there are different rules in different states regarding amounts, multiple defendants, and more. Personal details about the victim, including whether or not immediate medical attention was sought and also past medical history, must also be taken into account. Even the personality, profession, and age of a victim may come into question, requiring an adjustment on requested settlement amounts.
Settlement Offers and Negotiations
After considering all of the above in a personal injury law case, lawyers and their clients must come to agreement on what is a fair settlement. Once the attorney and client are in agreement, a settlement demand can be presented to the defense or their insurance company. In many cases, the initial demand will be rejected and a counter offer made. At this point, the negotiating begins. Personal injury attorneys must then present a valid case to insurance company lawyers to show why their client is entitled to the amount requested.
Once settlement negotiations begin, attorneys and clients must work together to negotiate a settlement and typically face two choices:
- The parties come to an agreement on the settlement amount and settle out of court.
- If no agreement can be reached, the parties proceed to trial.
It is essential that both lawyer and client agree on a reasonable settlement demand if avoiding court is the desired goal.
A person does not have to settle a personal injury case for less than what they and their attorney feel is a reasonable settlement. When all parties involved do not agree on the amount requested, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and proceed to trial. In either case, it is essential to work with experienced personal injury claims lawyers who can present a realistic settlement demand and then control negotiations that will result in a favorable outcome for their injured client!
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