Injuries are inevitable in life; sometimes, they are severe enough to warrant a personal injury settlement. If you or someone you love has been injured, but it’s not clear whether you have a legitimate case, there’s no harm in asking the following five questions before you sign an agreement.
What is a Personal Injury Settlement?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may wonder what a personal injury settlement is and how it works. A confidential injury settlement is an agreement between you and the person or company who caused your injuries. You agree to waive your right to take legal action in exchange for a financial payout.
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to accept a personal injury settlement, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of money being offered, and whether you believe the person or company who caused your injuries is at fault. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your case and make the best decision for you.
Questions To Ask Before You Sign A Personal Injury Settlement
- Have you completely recovered from your injuries?
Knowing how the accident has impacted you is essential before deciding whether to accept a settlement is necessary. Injuries like back or neck pain may not be easy to notice until months after the accident, leaving patients liable for an overwhelming amount of future treatment costs.
If you are thinking of settling, be sure to consider future medical expenses.
- Are past and future lost wages included?
The at-fault party must cover lost earnings. Because of your injuries, you may be entitled to recover lost wages. Many insurance firms leave out lost pay since most consumers are unaware they might be paid. If your injuries are substantial and you won’t be able to work for a long time after the settlement, make sure every single day of your potential lost income is covered, or you may wind up having to pay your expenses without that support, which may be financially disastrous in a short time.
- Are you being compensated for pain and suffering
Non-economic damages are expenses that can’t be quantified. This includes pain, mental illness, loss of loved ones, etc. When someone’s negligence causes you harm, they’ll be held liable. Don’t accept a hasty cash settlement when you’re entitled to much more. This is difficult to calculate since medical expenses and property damage don’t arrive with a receipt. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you argue for acceptable non-economic damages that the at-fault party or their insurance company would likely accept. If settling without a lawyer, read our article on how much to ask for.
- Is property damage fully covered in the settlement?
Your personal injury settlement should include property damages. Your vehicle will be repaired or replaced in a car accident, but what about additional costs? Rental vehicles, Uber trips to the auto body shop, transportation to physicians’ appointments, broken or damaged commodities such as mobile phones, personal possessions, etc., are all the irresponsible party’s duty, so don’t leave anything out, no matter how tiny. These expenses add up rapidly and might be significant when replacing them.
- Will this settlement affect eligibility to claim punitive damages
In rare situations, the settlement may contain a stipulation exempting the guilty party from punitive damages. This deceptive provision might leave much money on the table if not noticed. You may be entitled to punitive damages if the at-fault person acts recklessly. These fees are a consequence of breaching the law and injuring someone else. In most cases, the guilty party must pay the punitive damages out-of-pocket. Make sure your contract doesn’t include this exception.
Negotiating A Settlement Tips and Tricks
If you’re in the process of negotiating a personal injury settlement, there are some tips and tricks you can use to help you get the best possible outcome. First, it’s essential to understand the basics of negotiation. You need to know what you want, what you’re willing to give up, and how to best communicate with the other party. Once you have those basics down, here are some specific tips and tricks for negotiating a settlement :
- Make the first offer. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s essential. Making the first offer sets the tone and the starting point for negotiations.
- Be reasonable. It’s important to be cheap in your expectations. If you’re asking for too much, the other party will likely walk away from negotiations. Conversely, if you’re asking for too little, you may end up with a settlement that’s less than you deserve.
- Know your bottom line. Before entering into negotiations, it’s essential to know your bottom line. That way, you can avoid making any concessions that you’re not comfortable with.
- Be prepared to compromise. In any negotiation, both parties must be ready to compromise in some aspects, especially if you are partially at fault.
Before signing anything, it is essential to understand all the implications of a personal injury settlement. Always consult an attorney to ensure you get the best possible settlement for your case. At Pacific Attorney Group, our personal injury lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (714) 312-7652for a free consultation.