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Four tips when confronting a personal injury settlement offer

Most people who have been injured in a car accident want compensation as quickly as possible to offset their financial losses, including their medical expenses and their lost wages. While most personal injury lawsuits result in settlement well before they get to trial, this doesn’t always mean that settlement is in your best interests. In fact, if you move too quickly through your case, then you could end up cutting yourself short on your recovery, thereby leaving yourself at a financial disadvantage for years to come.

How should you analyze your settlement offer?

As you proceed through your persona injury case, you’re likely to be offered a settlement. Although the figure contained in that settlement might seem enticing, you shouldn’t immediately jump on it. Instead, you should carefully analyze the terms of the settlement to make sure that it supports your best interests. This includes looking at each of the following:

  1. The extent of your damages: You can’t tell if a settlement is right for you unless you know the full extent of your damages. Therefore, before accepting or denying a settlement offer, you should calculate your incurred lost wages and medical expenses, while also paying attention to your future losses, including anticipated medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. You should also consider your non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life so that you have a true understanding of what your claim is worth.
  2. Evidence of liability: If you have a strong case against the defendant, then you’ll be in a stronger bargaining position, meaning that you might be able to push back for a higher settlement amount. If there are some question marks remaining in your case, though, then you’re at an increased risk of losing your case at trial. In those instances, you might want to be more willing to negotiate resolution before your case heads to court.
  3. Evidence of comparative fault: One commonly utilized defense in personal injury cases is comparative fault. Here, the defense claims that you’re partially to blame for the wreck. If the judge or jury agrees, then the amount of compensation that you’ll be awarded will be reduced in accordance with the percentage of fault allocated to you. If you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, then your claim will be denied altogether. This evidence, then, can steer how you’ll want to negotiate and potentially resolve your case.
  4. Your immediate needs: There are ways to bridge the financial gap between the time of your accident and the resolution of your case. But if you’re able to secure those resources or you’ve almost tapped them out, then settlement may look more appealing. That said, don’t rush to settle your case until you’ve fully considered all the other relief options that you can utilize to hold you over until such time as you can resolve your claim.

Fight to attain the outcome that’s right for you

There are a lot of different directions that you case can go. You need to choose the one that works for you and gives you the greatest chance of obtaining the favorable outcome that you want.

Figuring out the right path can be challenging, though, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the legal arena. That’s why you might find it beneficial to continue to read about the personal injury claims process and seek answers to any remaining questions that may be unanswered. With that information, hopefully you’ll be prepared to make the decisions that are right for you and your claim.