3 Key Factors that Determine Your Personal Injury Settlement Value
After a car accident or other event that leaves you injured, you are sure to face medical bills and other costs. For many injury victims who find themselves in similar circumstances, a personal injury settlement presents the quickest and simplest way of obtaining compensation for these expenses.
There is no one-size-fits-all settlement offer for personal injury cases. Even in situations where two victims have suffered similar injuries under similar circumstances, the amount of each victim’s personal injury settlement can vary wildly. This is due to the unique factors that distinguish each case from others.
How Settlement Values Are Determined
Whenever you, your attorney, and other parties in your personal injury case sit down to discuss a settlement, at least three major factors will be discussed. These include the following:
1. The Nature of Your Injuries
Injuries affect people in different ways depending on individual circumstances. As a result, your personal injury settlement will not be the same as someone else’s.
For instance, while you and another victim may have both suffered a broken bone in a car wreck, that does not mean that you both experience similar consequences. If you are younger than the other person, you may heal and return to work more quickly and therefore not need as much compensation.
And suppose that you are unable to work for a period of time and are the sole breadwinner for your family. In a case like that, you and your loved ones feel the effects of the injury more severely than someone who is retired might.
2. The Strength of the Evidence in Your Favor
Perhaps you and another person have both been hurt in separate truck or motorcycle accidents — but your cases differ in that one person has more or better evidence available to prove that another person was at fault. This dynamic can explain why some cases settle for larger amounts than others that might involve similar allegations.
Defendants who are accused of negligence in personal injury cases typically agree to settlements. This is because settlements allow them to control and reduce the compensation they might be ordered to pay by a court.
If the evidence suggests that the defendant is liable for the accident — and if the victim’s injuries are as severe as initially alleged — the defendant will likely be able to discern that the injured victim will be granted damages in the event of a lawsuit.
The defendant’s goal in such instances is to settle for less than the amount the victim would be awarded through the courts. If they can do that, they will consider a personal injury settlement to be a positive outcome.
If there is conflicting or insufficient evidence about how the accident happened, the defendant may feel differently about settling. In these instances, they may feel that they could prevail at trial. As a result, the defendant might offer a lower settlement amount.
3. Your Need for Prompt Compensation
Some personal injury victims have financial resources that allow them to wait for a settlement offer they feel is fair to them and their loved ones. For others, being unable to work can be financially devastating. A victim whose injuries do not cause any immediate financial struggle can weather the negotiation process better and hold out for a higher settlement amount.
Conversely, suppose that you do not have benefits or financial reserves and are being hounded by bill collectors demanding payment. Under these circumstances, you likely face great pressure to settle your claim quickly.
If the defendant figures this out, your personal injury settlement amount may not be as high. They may capitalize on your need to receive your award more quickly by offering you lower settlement amounts.
The Importance of a Skilled Attorney in Settlement Talks
It is absolutely crucial that you have a knowledgeable South Carolina attorney on your side in any personal injury settlement negotiation. Having an attorney who understands your needs and knows how to get tough in negotiations can make a significant difference in the ultimate value of your settlement.
Contact West Law LLC if You Have Been Hurt in an Accident