For those injured in a car wreck, the financial and emotional havoc wreaked can only be relieved with time and attention. You deserve monetary compensation for what you've been through, and taking legal action may be necessary to get it. Since you've been through so much already, it may be heartening to know that you might not have to wait too long to get what you deserve. Read on to learn more about settling your personal injury case outside of court.
What is meant by a personal injury settlement?
To settle a case means that you and the other side come to an agreement about what you are owed, and then you are paid that amount. No judges or courts are involved in a settlement, and that can mean faster compensation. Often, accident victims can have the cash in hand in a matter of weeks, and not the months it would take to take a case to court.
If you accept the money, then you agree to take no further action against the other side (the at-fault driver) so you must be very sure that the agreed upon amount is adequate to meet your needs. You will need a personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case to determine how much you might be entitled to get, or you might walk away with a lower amount of money and regret it later on. Understand that accepting a settlement is an option; you can always take a case to court if you are unhappy with the offer.
What should a good settlement include?
If a change occurred in your life or to your health as a result of the wreck, then you are owed money for it. Some common forms of damage include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medical treatment expenses
- Loss of personal property (your car and other affected property)
How are settlement amounts determined?
Adding up the above provides a starting point, but what the other side offers and what your personal injury attorney asks for are based on a few other factors:
- The strength of your case should it go to trial. This includes the evidence supporting fault and your injuries.
- Your age and education level
- Other similar cases in your area
- The dollar amount of your medical expenses. This number is used to determine your pain and suffering payment.
- The amount of insurance or other financial resources available from the at-fault driver.
To get a better idea of what you can expect if your case settles, speak to a collision attorney.