Settlement resolution isn’t easy. If it was I wouldn’t have built a successful career on helping others receive the healthy settlement they are entitled to. The first thing people ask when they come to me with a personal injury claim is “how do I know if the settlement I received is fair?”.
How to Know if the Settlement you Received if Fair
The question of how do I know if the settlement I received is fair is the hardest question I face as a personal injury lawyer, even as a tenured one. It is difficult because every personal injury case is different. Have you already filed the necessary paperwork within the right timelines and statutes of limitation? Do you have evidentiary support to back up your claim? How badly were you injured? How much have you lost as a result of your accident? The questions are numerous, but there are a few general guidelines to follow (this should be not accepted as legal council but solely as generic experienced advice about personal injury claims):
Was it their first offer?
Anyone with experience in negotiations, whether it be for a car, insurance premiums or legal settlements knows that your job is to start high and their job to start low. This is why the first offer is almost never the final offer, and often represents merely a low point on their settlement spectrum. Another point to keep in mind however is that many insurance companies will offer enough to entice claimants to settle out-of-court-as the award received after a successful trial will be significantly lower once the legal and other fees are paid.
Have you Negotiated (Well)?
Rejecting a large lump-sum offer is difficult-especially when dealing with the hardships of a personal injury-, but is a part of the negotiation process. The negotiation process is a lengthy one, which insurance companies may draw out in hopes your nerves-or finances-will get the best of you and cause you to accept their offer.
Does it Cover your Associated Costs?
Add up all your medical costs, lost wages, prescriptions, lost opportunities, the cost of repairing your car to its pre-accident states and the like. Does the settlement cover the total? If not, the offer is most certainly too low. Once you have tallied your damages consider if there is enough to cover pain and suffering.
Was the Fault Correctly Weighed?
In settlement claims it is not uncommon for insurance companies to over estimate the accident fault assigned to you. Does it follow the Fault Determination Rulings that insurance companies are required to adhere to? Does it align with any criminal-proceeding’s at-fault rulings? When it comes to innately knowing if the settlement you received is fair there often isn’t an undisputable answer. The myriad of factors involved truly needs to be assessed by a professional-and there are no more experienced personal injury professionals than the lawyers here at Conte & Associates – the top personal injury lawyers in Whitby and Oshawa. Call us today with your case information and settlement figure for professional advice on whether you are entitled to a larger settlement.