How Much Do I Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement? (And Should I Consult With a Mobile, AL, Personal Injury Lawyer?)October 12, 2021
- 1. Here’s How the Value of Your Personal Injury Case Is Calculated
- 2. 3 Steps to Protect the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim (and Future Settlement Amount)
- 3. Understand How Much to Ask for in Your Mobile Personal Injury Claim With Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys
If you were hurt, the first thing you need to do is file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The question is: for how much?
For most people, it can be hard to know what your injury and insurance claim is worth. That’s because we never think we’ll get hurt in a car crash, fall in a store, or suffer because of someone else’s mistake. The reality, though, is that these types of incidents happen every day in Mobile, and when they do, injured people should know their rights, how much they’re owed, and what to do if the insurance company’s offer isn’t fair.
If you need to know how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement, keep reading to learn more.
Here’s How the Value of Your Personal Injury Case Is Calculated
Specific injuries do not have assigned values that are automatically awarded. It’s also hard to say what is an average personal injury settlement because every case is different. Instead, compensation is awarded based on a variety of factors. These factors are divided into two categories:
- Economic damages: How the injury or accident affected your finances, including new medical bills and ability to earn a wage.
- Non-economic damages: How the injury or accident affected your emotional wellbeing, family, mental health, and personal life.
“Damages” is a legal term that simply means “harm.” From these two categories, damages can include:
- The cost of your medical care, including emergency services and follow-up doctor appointments
- Tests like x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, bloodwork, and more
- Medical devices like splints, casts, braces, crutches, or wheelchairs
- Ongoing medical services, like physical therapy
- Mental health services
- The cost of home modification to accommodate mobility aids
- Lost wages and lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- And other factors, depending on the circumstances
To understand what can be included in your claim and what your claim is worth, you (or the insurance company, or your attorney) will add up the financial value of your damages. This sounds simple, but in reality, the process is extremely complex, especially for non-economic damages.
Let’s say you’re rear-ended while you’re stopped at an intersection. You suffer whiplash, a concussion, miss two weeks of work, and continue to deal with painful migraines, even though the car accident was months ago. Here’s what they will look at to determine the value of your claim:
- Your medical bills from after the car accident
- The wages you couldn’t earn for the two weeks you were unable to work
- The wages you won’t earn if the migraines interrupt your work now or in the future
- The cost of future medical bills if your doctor decides you still need treatment
- The cost of your decreased quality of life, stress, or ability to take care of things at home or in your personal life
Because the monetary value of your pain and suffering is subjective and calculating its value depends on who is doing the calculation, the insurance company will likely tell you it’s not worth very much. Don’t believe them.
If You Need to Understand the Value of Your Personal Injury Case, Contact a Mobile, Alabama Attorney
The insurance company’s number one interest is protecting itself. The insurance adjuster is under no obligation to offer you a fair settlement offer, good legal advice, or an honest estimate of what your claim is worth.
There are plenty of online settlement value calculators that many people turn to for a more accurate picture of their claim. Unfortunately, they aren’t reliable either.
If you truly want to understand the value of your case, skip the personal injury settlement calculator and speak with an experienced Mobile personal injury attorney. An attorney can use their experience and knowledge to calculate the value of your injuries—now and in the future.
Unfortunately, far too many people accept initial offers because they need the financial support, without realizing that the cost of their future medical care could be covered under the settlement offer as well. Once the settlement is in hand, they’re no longer able to request compensation for the cost of their care. That’s why it’s so important to consult with an attorney before you accept any offer from the insurance company. Only an attorney will truly have your back and stand up for your right to a fair settlement.
Once you speak with a lawyer and they have a clear picture of your injury’s value, they’ll use their skill to put together a claim and demand fair compensation. And if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair payout, your Mobile personal injury attorney will hold them accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
That’s why it’s so important to consult with an attorney before you accept any offer from the insurance company. Only an attorney will truly have your back and stand up for your right to a fair settlement.
3 Steps to Protect the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim (and Future Settlement Amount)
The value of your personal injury claim depends on many things. Unfortunately, simple mistakes can affect your claim’s value for the worse. If you’re considering filing, take these steps to protect the value of your personal injury claim.
1. Get Medical Treatment Right Away
Going to the doctor can be inconvenient, especially if you’re a generally healthy person. However, if you’ve been in an accident or crash that wasn’t your fault, going to the doctor is critical. Not only can a medical professional diagnose the extent of your injuries and treat them, but their medical records and medical expenses will serve as strong evidence and can be used to demand a fair settlement later.
2. Don’t Post About Your Injury on Social Media
Social media might seem like your private online platform, but the reality is that what you post online can affect your personal injury claim, and not in a positive way. Anything you say about your injury, your case, the person responsible for your injuries, and more can be twisted to suggest you’re not as injured as you say, or worse. To be safe, avoid posting anything at all. If you’re not sure what’s OK to share, consult an attorney and get legal representation.
3. Don’t Lie or Exaggerate Your Symptoms
Depending on your situation, you might have to describe what happened to another attorney, to a doctor in an Independent Medical Exam, a mediator, insurance adjustor, or someone else involved in your case. In these situations, it’s important to be honest about how your injuries impacted your life. Don’t exaggerate or downplay what happened to you. This can result in your claim being less than you deserve, because the opposition considers you untrustworthy. To learn more about navigating these situations, contact an attorney.
RELATED: How to Prepare for an Insurance Company’s Independent Medical Examination
Understand How Much to Ask for in Your Mobile Personal Injury Claim With Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys
If you were hurt in Mobile, Alabama, you deserve to know how much your personal injury settlement could be worth. Getting that information from the insurance company or an online settlement calculator can be difficult. With Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, it doesn’t have to be.
Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys knows how to calculate the value of even the most complex case so you can feel confident about your case, your settlement, and your future.
To get started on understanding your options, schedule a free consultation with our Mobile law firm. A member of our legal team will meet with you in a case evaluation meeting to hear your story and offer down-to-earth legal advice about what you should do next. Simply call or text (251) 888-8888, 24/7, or complete the contact form on our website to get started!
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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