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A personal injury settlement helps compensate you for your losses after an accident or injury that was not your fault. How much you ask for depends on several factors. A fair settlement should fully compensate you for your accident-related losses. These losses include medical expenses, property damage, wage loss, and pain and suffering.
It is crucial to work with a reputable personal injury attorney. They can help you negotiate a fair settlement by appropriately assessing your losses and helping you make an informed decision about the suitability of the initial settlement offer.
An experienced personal injury attorney can write an effective demand letter and protect your rights. In many cases, the insurance company will increase their settlement offer when you have legal representation because they realize it’s in their bottom line’s best interest to reach a settlement to avoid a personal injury lawsuit.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you decide how much money to ask for in your personal injury settlement. You must consider various losses you’ve incurred as you work with your attorney to establish a fair settlement demand, including:
Medical expenses: These are the total medical bills for your care after the accident or injury, including expenditures you did and did not pay out of pocket. In other words, you’ll include the total medical cost for your care, regardless of whether you paid for the expense or the insurance company covered it. Ensure your final medical expense number covers the cost of prescriptions, therapy, specialists, and hospitalizations.
Estimated future medical expenses: If you require ongoing treatment, your physician can help develop an estimate of the cost of those treatments. Sometimes, your personal injury attorney may hire a medical expert to help with this estimation.
Lost earnings: If you were unable to work after the accident, your attorney will ask you to document the amount of earnings you lost. You can do this with the help of your last pay stub and documentation from your employer.
Future lost income: If you have not yet been able to return to work or might never return to work, you and your attorney, perhaps with the aid of a financial expert, will calculate your future lost income and earning potential.
Property damage: The actual cost of property repairs or repair estimates should be included in your request for compensation. These types of loss are most common in vehicular accidents, but you also may have damaged property in other types of accidents.
Additionally, using their vast experience in these kinds of cases, your attorney will assess your non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium. There are two ways to calculate these damages.
If the per diem method is used, your attorney will determine the value of your daily loss. This value is then multiplied by the number of days it took you or will take you to recover.
The other method is called the multiplier method. This involves adding up your total economic losses and multiplying those by a multiplier. This is typically a number between one and five. The multiplier is based on the severity of the accident and your injuries.
For example, a multiplier of one may be used for an individual who broke a leg but is expected to make a quick and complete recovery. However, a multiplier of four or five may be used for an individual who is permanently paralyzed after the accident.
When you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, they will advise you that settlements are a negotiation. The process involves offers and counteroffers. The insurance company expects this, so whatever your first demand letter includes, they will make a lower counteroffer.
Your personal injury attorney can help you appropriately evaluate your losses to ensure that your first demand letter leaves room for negotiation.
If you were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you have the right to be compensated for your medical expenses and lost income. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC in Chicago will review the facts of your case.
We recognize that your situation is unique, and we use your details to develop a customized plan. You need an experienced legal team that protects your rights and is on your side.