Determining the Settlement Value of Your Accident Case
Figuring out how much your accident case is worth
After suffering injuries from a car, truck, SUV, bus, or pedestrian crash, your life may be very different. While some accident victims can go back to their jobs, many are temporarily or permanently unable to work. Other victims require additional surgeries, rehabs, or treatments. Likewise, some suffer permanent disabilities that will require ongoing treatment for the rest of their lives. Undoubtedly, the pain and suffering that follows a catastrophic crash takes its toll on both the accident victim and their loved ones. Even the simplest tasks and every day chores can suddenly feel overwhelming. Moreover, the costs of all of these changes are often astronomical. Between medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, equipment and home modifications, and replacement services, the bills quickly stack up.
Luckily, there is a way to get some financial help. Filing a claim against the responsible actors can get you compensation to cover these expenses. Still, you may be wondering just how much compensation you can get. In other words, it can be difficult to determine the precise settlement value of your accident case. While no lawyer will be able to give you this exact amount, our award-winning personal injury attorneys at Munley Law explain what factors impact your settlement amount. Accordingly, you can use this information to better predict how much your automotive accident case is worth. Alternatively, if you’d like one of the nation’s leading car accident lawyers to evaluate your case at no cost, schedule your FREE consultation with a Munley Law attorney today.
To settle or not to settle your accident case…
Of course, any discussion about the settlement value of your accident case raises an obvious question: when should you settle and when should you take your claim to trial? In reality, almost all personal injury cases settle. In fact, according to the American Judges Association, less than 3% actually go to trial. (If you want to know why that is, then check out our blog post on this topic here). In short, there are 3 main advantages to settling your accident claim:
Settling your accident case guarantees you will get paid.
If you take your case to trial, there is always a risk that the jury will find for the other side. In such an instance, you will walk away with nothing. Even if the jury finds for you and you win, they may award you a low amount that does not even begin to cover your tremendous expenses. In contrast, settling your claim ensures that you will get money for your injuries. In short, it makes compensation a sure thing.
Trials cost a lot of money.
Simply put, trials are expensive. Between the costs of expert witnesses, jury research, preparing evidence, and more, lawyers on both sides must expend a lot of resources. In contrast, settlement discussions don’t require these formalities. This means that the other side will have more more to work with and will be motivated to avoid a costly trial.
Settlements will get you your money faster.
Trials are typically the culmination of months if not years of hard, painstaking work. You won’t get paid any money unless and until the jury finds for you. Even after, the defendants in your case may file post-litigation motions and further delay paying you. On the other hand, settling is a much faster, more streamlined option to get you the compensation you need fast. In fact, many cases settle before a claim is ever filed in court.
What is the value of my accident claim?
A good personal injury lawyer will be honest and upfront about how much he or she thinks you can get. You should always beware a lawyer who says you are guaranteed to get a certain amount or who promises you the moon. To maximize the amount, you’ll want an experienced negotiator strategizing and negotiating on your behalf. Your lawyer will be the one to predict the settlement value of your accident case and to do most of the talking back-and-forth. However, your lawyer must present all settlement offers to you, regardless of whether he or she thinks it’s a good offer. Importantly, the decision of whether or not to accept a settlement will be up to you alone. As a result, once you do decide to pursue settlement negotiations, you should have an idea about your accident case’s value. To do so, consider these factors.
What are the medical costs associated with your accident?
First, start by calculating your medical expenses. You should include all past, present, and future hospital bills and treatment costs.
What is the value of your lost wages?
Next, consider how much money you should have earned, but did not or will not because your injuries preclude you from working. This value is called “lost wages” or “lost earnings.” You should calculate lost wages looking backwards and forwards. This means add up all of the work you already missed while recovering from your injuries. Additionally, add all of your future lost wages as well.
How has the accident impacted your family life?
You should next consider the ways that your catastrophic crash injuries affect your family contributions. Think about the chores and “services” you provided your family before the accident. Did you do all of the yard work? Did you drive your children to school or sports practices every day? Additionally, consider whether your spouse or another family member is taking off time from work to care for you or take over your duties.
How permanent and serious are your accident injuries?
This last factor is difficult to put a price-tag on. However, it is another important factor for determining the proper settlement value of your accident case. Consider the severity and duration of your pain and suffering. Are you permanently disabled? Will your injuries likely affect you for the rest of your life? Generally speaking, the more permanent and serious your accident injuries are, the more money the defendant is likely to offer at settlement.
Are you ready to discuss the settlement value of your accident case with the nation’s leading personal injury lawyers?
If you want the best accident lawyers in America representing you at the negotiation table, then you want Munley Law. To discuss the value of your case and learn about the multi-million settlements we regularly negotiate for our clients, including our record-breaking $26 million settlement, schedule your free consultation today.
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