A personal injury lawsuit has the power to provide you with compensation to pay for your medical care, recoup your lost wages, and ease your pain and suffering. It can also leave you with a sense of accountability, which can help you turn the chapter on a dark period in your life.
Additionally, the vast majority of these cases result in some sort of settlement, which is good news. However, even if you think that the evidence in your case will support a positive outcome, you shouldn’t leap at the first settlement offer that you receive. This is because these initial offers are often far lower than what you deserve. Yet, they’re aimed at enticing you into settling your case quickly.
So, what should you do when faced with a settlement offer? Before you do anything with your claim, you should ask yourself each of the following:
- What’s the cost of your damages? It can be hard to put a price tag on your accident injuries. Yet, that’s exactly what you’re going to have to do if you want to position yourself to recover the resources that you need to cover your damages. Therefore, calculate your incurred and anticipated medical expenses, think about how your injuries will impact your ability to work, write down the wages that you’ve lost already, and think about how much your pain and suffering and mental anguish are to you.
- Is there evidence that you’re partially at fault? The amount of compensation that you ultimately recover from your claim will depend on a number of factors, including whether you’re found to have contributed to the wreck. If it is determined that you are at fault in some way, the amount of compensation that you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This is known as comparative negligence, and it can have a profound impact on the outcome of your case.
- How strong is your evidence? Remember, the burden of proof is on you in one of these cases. That means that before you accept a settlement offer, you need to analyze the evidence that you have to prove not only negligence but also the extent of harm that you have suffered. By doing this, you’ll have a better idea of whether you’ll prevail in the event that you take your case to trial. This, in turn, may give you leverage at the negotiation table.
- How quickly do you need resources? The financial challenges that you face immediately following an accident are real and severe. That’s one reason why a quick settlement is appealing. But there are ways to offset your losses and pay your bills while your case plays out. You simply have to consider how quickly you want to resolve your case and how much risk you’re willing to take with your claim.
- Are there others whom you can sue? If your accident was caused by multiple individuals, you should take legal action against each of them. So, before you agree to settle, you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of who else you can take action against, and which parties are most responsible for your injuries and resulting injuries.
An attorney can help you analyze your case
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of this, try to take comfort knowing that you don’t have to deal with these issues on your own. If you want to ease the burden of taking legal action, you might want to consider talking to an attorney about the specifics of your case. Hopefully, you’ll develop a plan that leads to the favorable outcome that you deserve.