Top 4 Things To Understand About Personal Injury Settlements
Personal injury law is one of those areas of the legal system that is more well-known for its reputation than for the actual facts behind it. Plenty of people think that they fully understand all aspects of it just because they've seen it on TV or have a friend who received compensation for some injuries. But there are lots of things that aren't really that understood – even when people think they do understand them.
A perfect example of this has to do with out of court settlements in a personal injury case. Just because you assume that you understand everything about a settlement, there's likely to be plenty that you don't fully grasp. It isn't always as simple as just being offered a lump sum of money and taking it – there's much more that you need to consider.
With that in mind, here are some of the top things to understand about personal injury settlements as you go through the process of seeking compensation.
- • The Opposition Doesn't Always Want To Give You One – Simply put, the insurance company or legal team on the other side of your case doesn't want to give you a settlement in all instances. If you have no legal representation, it's almost always in their favor to head all the way to trial. Since you don't have the kind of experience and knowledge about the legal system that they do, a trial will usually go in their favor so it's worth avoiding a settlement.
- • … But Sometimes They Do – However, if you have a personal injury lawyer on your side – or if the case is very, very clearly in your favor, you might find that you're getting a settlement offer before you even have time to consider your next step after leaving the hospital. The reason? In those cases, the sum they're ordered to pay by the courts will usually be higher than a settlement amount they will offer. It's worth it to them to settle as soon as possible in these cases.
- • You Shouldn't Instantly Accept The First Offer – Because of that, it's important that you don't instantly accept the very first offer for settlement you're given. On some occasions it might indeed be the best option, but in others there's a good chance you're being given a lowball offer.
- • The Future Matters As Much As The Past – Many people are given an offer based on the total costs of their medical bills they've incurred, plus maybe a small amount more. But in settlements, things like medical bills you might have to pay in the future, potential lost wages, and more are also a factor. As a result, it's important that the future be considered just as much as the past.
- • Knowing When To Say Yes And When To Say No Is Vital – As you can tell from above, it's important that you know when the settlement you're being offered is worth taking. It's not always easy to do, which is why trusting in a personal injury attorney is a good idea – their experience will help them explain to you what an acceptable figure is. Of course, you'll have the final say in the matter, but they'll help you determine the best course of action throughout the entire process.
Getting the help of a lawyer makes a lot of sense not only for knowing when a settlement offer is worth taking, but also because they'll help motivate the other side of the case into settling for a fair amount. You'll have someone who is standing up for your rights, and that alone means that you won't be going solo into the process of seeking compensation.