What to consider before I settle an injury claim?
If you have spoken with a personal injury lawyer and the two of you have decided you have a solid personal injury claim, you and your personal injury attorney will need to decide whether you should settle your personal injury claim or whether you should take your personal injury case to court.
Considerations prior to settling a Personal Injury Claim
There are many factors to consider before making your final decision. Here are the top 5 considerations:
- The defendant's insurance coverage
If you have been injured due to another person's negligence you may have high medical expenses. Medical bills can include: emergency room visits, MRI testing, radiology services, costs for the medical equipment, doctor visits, and chiropractor, dentist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, homeopathic doctor, and physical therapist expenses.
Before settling a personal injury claim you will need to review the defendant's insurance policy and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive. Whether it is payment from the defendant's car insurance or homeowner's insurance or whether you were injured at a store (premise liability), it is important to understand if your personal injuries and the associated medical costs can be paid in a timely manner.
If medical compensation is provided by the defendant's insurance, they may be more likely to try to prematurely end benefits. You need to make sure you find the treating source that is most likely not to interfere with your medical care.
- The time and energy needed to file the personal injury claim
If you have suffered severe injuries, you may not have the time or energy to fight a protracted legal battle in court. Hiring a good personal injury lawyer, who is able to negotiate a fair settlement for your loss, may negate the need to take your case to court.
Keep in mind that personal injury settlements are generally less complicated than personal injury trials, but there are pros and cons of accepting a personal injury settlement.
- What concessions you are willing to make to settle the personal injury claim?
It is impossible to know what types of concessions you can make, unless you fully understand the cost of your personal injury. Your personal injury lawyer is an invaluable resource to review your personal injuries and determine a settlement amount that will fully compensate you for your loss.
Prior to agreeing to a settlement you must know the immediate and future medical costs of your personal injuries, all non-economic factors (pain and suffering), your lost wages and your future earning capacity.
- What are the defendant's financial resources to pay a settlement?
If the personal injury was caused by the negligence of a person who does not have insurance or who has very little financial resources, your settlement could be minimal.
- Whether your personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement for your personal injury claim
There may be no way to know for sure how well your personal injury lawyer can negotiate your settlement, but it will always pay to do your homework. Find out as much about your personal injury lawyer's history and reputation as you can, prior to hiring them.
Find a personal injury lawyer who specializes in your type of personal injury case. Look at peer ratings and make sure you feel comfortable with the lawyer you choose. Read about your personal injury lawyer, their history, experience and expertise. Ask them for references and find out what types of awards they have received for personal injury cases.
Finding the right personal injury and asking the right questions can ensure that you get the compensation you need for your personal injury case. Do not settle your personal injury claim without contacting a personal injury lawyer.