After you’ve sustained an injury due to the error or negligence of another person, you will likely receive a settlement offer intended to cover the cost of your damages. However, not all settlement offers are fair, and it can be difficult to determine whether or not the offer made to you is reasonable compensation. While seeing an experienced lawyer for a personal opinion regarding your settlement offer is always the best choice, it can be helpful to know the fundamentals to better understand the value of your offer.
When considering the value of your offer, there are a few key aspects of your case that you should keep in mind. Consider how badly you were injured, whether or not you are fully healed when you are offered the settlement, how long you underwent treatment, and whether property damage issues have been resolved. Each of these factors may contribute to the value of your settlement.
If you were injured in an accident, be it a car crash, slip-and-fall, or some other incident, it is crucial that you keep a record of your medical expenses. After an accident, especially a car accident or work-related incident, seeing a doctor for a medical evaluation is very important. Keep a folder of any documents or records of appointments regarding your injuries. Track the expenses paid, the extent of your injuries you’ve sustained, medicines prescribed, and any other relevant notes from your doctor. These expenses should all be paid for in your settlement.
Also, track every day you miss work for a doctor’s appointment or because of pain or recovery time. In certain circumstances, it could also be beneficial to keep a record of any important family events you’ve missed because of your injuries. For example, if you missed a planned family vacation because you were bedridden. While this may not be equivalent to an approximate dollar value, missing significant personal events can qualify as loss of quality of life or emotional suffering.
Not all injuries and illnesses can be cured, but it is important that you seek a state of maximum care following a serious injury. Some injuries require ongoing care and extensive physical therapy or other frequent treatments in order to ensure optimal recovery. Do not skimp on these treatments. For the good of your overall health, make sure you are receiving sufficient care and that everything that can be done is being done. If your doctor says that you may require future care, calculate the estimation of that care and see that it is covered in your settlement.
Property damage resulting from an incident can be another large factor in determining your settlement amount. If you were in a car accident, it’s likely your car sustained damage, resulting in mechanical costs, storage costs from a mechanic’s shop, as well as the tow truck fee to transport the vehicle to the shop. In some instances where a vehicle is totaled, an insurance company should pay for the value of the vehicle. In other types of incidents property damage may include damage to your possessions, clothes, your home, or anything else damaged due to another person’s error or negligence.
If you were presented with a settlement offer, it is important that you are completely confident in your decision to accept or deny before you do so. While these guidelines can steer you in the right direction, nothing can replace the sound advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Contact Cossé Law Firm, L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation with our New Orleans personal injury attorneys.