Nailing Down A Number In Personal Injury Settlements


In many personal injury cases, a particular amount of money in a court award or settlement is the ultimate goal. Here are some ways that personal injury lawyers evaluate settlement offers.

Adding Up Costs

One of the things that an injury lawyer might do when called upon to advance a client's interests in court is to add up all of the likely or potential costs of an injury over time and present these to the client to try to figure out a meaningful amount of settlement money to request.

Lawyers may first look at what kind of volume of medical bills the patient is expected to have. They can also try to calculate lost wages for a job or costs related to loss of livelihood. Many of them will also apply ballpark amounts of money for pain and suffering. All of this is added together to form the basis for an approximate settlement request.

Evaluate Offers

Personal injury attorneys will also help evaluate offers of settlements from defendant parties. This is an absolutely crucial part of what these lawyers do for their clients.

Injury victims will often receive an initial settlement offer quickly, sometimes before they have a chance to really consult with a lawyer. But later, they  will often find that those settlement numbers that were offered were extremely low compared to what the actual costs will be for care and recovery. So one of the services that personal injury lawyers are known for is that they will stop an injury victim from accepting an unreasonably low settlement offer, and help them to evaluate what they can actually get in an injury case.

Injury lawyers also have the experience to understand when offers may be calculated according to criteria that's different from the injury victim's actual needs. For example, if a defendant party offers a settlement of some round number like $100,000, and it's subsequently found that their insurance coverage limit is $100,000, it's obvious that the offer was based on a break-even strategy and not on trying to fully compensate the victim.

Providing Settlement Numbers to Defendants

As mentioned above, injury lawyers can help generate reasonable settlement numbers. But they can also deliver these to a counterparty's counsel. This is one of those things that you often see in televised portrayals of people practicing law. Numbers go back-and-forth and get negotiated according to what opposing lawyers feel is practical. When there is an agreement, it saves all kinds of time and effort and lightens the burden on local courts.

These are some of the basic things that personal injury attorneys would do for their clients to try to bring cases to a speedy and equitable resolution.


7 October 2015

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