How Much to Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement?
When someone else’s negligence has caused you injury, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. This compensation can come in the form of a personal injury settlement. Negotiating a settlement agreement usually begins with the injured party sending a demand letter to the other party’s insurer. So, you may wonder how much you should ask for in your demand letter.
The typical rule is that you should ask for more than you need. If you agree to a lower amount in the negotiation process, you can still arrive at a dollar amount that covers your medical expenses and other accident-related costs.
Types of Compensation in a Personal Injury Settlement
You must first determine how much money you need to cover the costs of your injuries and losses from the accident. Here are some of the types of compensation you may seek:
- Medical expenses: The cost of medical treatment is a crucial factor to take into account. When reviewing your medical expenses, you should look at the fees you’ve already incurred and the cost of ongoing treatment. Your demand should take into account all your medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctor visits, medication, and therapy.
- Lost wages: If you have missed work or will be off work in the future because of your injuries, you should include this in your determination. Past wages are easy to calculate by keeping track of how many hours you’ve missed. To assess future lost wages, you should consult your doctor and attorney.
- Reduced earning capacity: If you are able to work but not at the same capacity as you could before your injury, you can seek compensation for your reduced earning ability. You will look at your pre- and post-injury earnings to determine how much to ask for.
- Pain and suffering: You should also consider the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced because of your injuries. This can include physical pain, emotional pain, and loss of enjoyment of life. Calculating your pain and suffering can be more complicated than calculating other expenses because there is no cut-and-dry way to figure out this type of compensation. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount to ask for.
- Property damage: If the incident leading to your injuries caused property damage, such as your car, you should include that in your demand. When determining how much to ask for, you must consider the cost of repair or replacement of your vehicle.
An experienced injury attorney will provide guidance and help you determine the value of your case. They can also draft a demand letter that includes your compensation demand considering all factors relevant to your lawsuit.
Tips for Negotiating a Fair Settlement
Once you have determined the amount to ask for in your personal injury case, the next step is negotiating your settlement amount. The following are some tips for negotiating a fair settlement agreement:
- Document everything: Keep records of all your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses related to your injuries. Detailed records will help demonstrate the full extent of loss supporting your compensation claim.
- Don’t be afraid to say no: Insurance companies will likely start with a low settlement offer. You should not agree to anything that doesn’t seem fair. If you need to say no, say no.
- Be patient: Negotiating a fair settlement can be time-consuming. You should not rush the process or get impatient with the other party. Being patient gives you a better chance at a fair settlement agreement.
- Don’t sign anything without consulting your attorney: You should consult your attorney before signing your settlement agreement. An experienced attorney can review the contract to ensure it’s fair and that you are not waiving any necessary rights or claims.
Determining how much to ask for in a personal injury claim requires careful consideration of the factors described here. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney is essential when it comes to determining the amount you should ask for.
Contact Us Today
When you have been injured in an accident, taking on an insurance company can seem overwhelming. Our experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue the settlement you deserve. With our knowledge and experience, we can help you determine the right approach for your case.