If you’ve been injured in an accident, the recovery period can be trying. In addition to physical and emotional pain, you may also find yourself trying to navigate the process of filing a personal injury settlement claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate the personal injury settlement landscape, calculate a reasonable claim amount, and manage your expectations.
How to Put Together a Claim
There are a few different factors to consider when determining how much money to ask for in your settlement. First, calculate the total cost of your medical bills to date, and when appropriate, estimate the cost of any ongoing or future care. In many cases, the amount of damages you can claim will be directly correlated with the severity of your injuries.
If your injuries caused you to miss work, consider the wages lost during this time period. Additionally, if damage sustained from your accident will prevent you from working in the future, include the amount of future income you expect to lose. Finally, if any personal property was damaged in your accident, such as a car in the case of an automobile accident, factor in the cost of repairs or replacements.
Once you’ve come to a number that makes sense for your settlement, it’s important to collect any documentation that supports your financial claim. This can include medical billing statements, pay stubs, auto repair bills, and other relevant documents. Your lawyer can help you identify and collect the necessary paperwork.
Things to Consider
Different states have different laws pertaining to personal injury settlements. Some states are modified comparative negligence states. This means that in these states, if you are determined to be at greater than 50% at fault, you may be unable to claim damages. Other states are contributory negligence states. This means that if even if you are at a lower percentage of fault, sometimes as low as 1%, you may be ineligible to collect damages. Consult with your lawyer to find out if you live in one of these states.
While calculating a personal injury settlement amount can seem daunting, a personal injury lawyer can help you create a claim and give you your best chance of receiving damages.