What Is A Good Settlement Offer?
No matter what accident you have been involved in, you may be offered a settlement from the other party. Whether you have been involved in a car accident, bus accident, truck accident, metro accident, etc. You may receive a settlement offer from the insurance company or from the defendant.
What is a settlement?
Settlement negotiations are negotiations entered into before parties could go to trial. Usually, it could be very costly for any party to go to trial. Also, going to trial could be a gamble, since you don’t know what the jury members might be thinking at the time of deciding liability. Around 95% of all personal injury cases end up being settled instead of going to trial.
It is very important to have an experienced accident attorney on your side to negotiate the settlement offer after investigations have concluded. If you are not represented by an attorney, insurance companies or the defendant will try to take advantage of you and offer a very low settlement offer. They will not take into consideration all of the factors necessary for your injuries. For example, they may only offer an amount that addresses your lost wages.
How do you evaluate the settlement offer?
After we receive a settlement offer from the other side, we let our clients know immediately. There are several factors we take into consideration when evaluating a settlement offer, and whether you deserve more. The different factors we consider are:
- The severity of your injuries: if you have sustained a permanent disability, you will most likely have to live differently for the rest of your life. Therefore, the settlement amount should be able to compensate you for these physical hurdles you will have to encounter. This is one of the most important factors we advise our clients. You must always consider how your life has changed after the accident. For example, if you have lost all feeling in your right hand, you have to take into consideration how dramatically your life has changed from not using your right hand. You may have taken months off work, and may be unable to return back to work given the circumstances of your occupation.
- The liability of the other party: if the other party was determined to be 100% liable for your injuries, you should be able to receive a higher settlement offer than if you were partially liable for the accident.
- Where the accident occurred: if the accident occurred on another person’s property, then we may be able to file a premises liability claim against the landowner.
- Medical bills: if you have encountered thousands of dollars in medical bills, you should be compensated for that.
- Future injuries: oftentimes, injuries that have been suffered in a car accident do not usually end there. Injuries may become aggravated. For example, if you have sustained scarring and disfigurement from an accident, you may need several supplemental cosmetic surgeries in the future. If you have suffered traumatic brain injury, you may require months, even years of physical therapy.
Should you accept the settlement offer?
Before accepting the settlement offer, there are certain questions you must ask. This includes:
- Look at your damages: look at all the different types of damages that you have suffered after the accident and how your life has completely changed. Not only should you include your physical loss, but also your emotional injuries.
- Determine the liability of each party: if you are partially responsible for your injuries, then you most likely will receive a lower settlement offer.
- Calculate the amount of time you were off from work to determine your lost wages.
- Attorney’s fees: you should take into consideration the attorney’s fees prior to accepting a settlement offer. Our accident attorneys work on a contingency fee schedule, which means that when we recover compensation in your favor, we will take a percentage of that settlement amount. This percentage amount will differ depending on the circumstances of your case, and will be communicated to you prior to taking you on as a client.
- Other factors: if there are workers compensation claims involved, or an insurance policy maximum, this may limit the amount that the insurance company may offer. These factors can be very complex, and so we advise anyone who has these questions to contact our attorneys today.
What if I have received a settlement offer before seeking an attorney?
Insurance companies send settlement offers very early after an accident. This is simply to get your claim out of the way since they deal with thousands of claims each week. If you have received a settlement offer and have not contacted an attorney yet, you should not respond to that settlement offer until it has been reviewed by an attorney. Although the settlement offer may seem high at first, an experienced attorney will be able to show you what damages the settlement amount will not cover.
What is a good settlement offer?
A good settlement offer is a monetary amount that should be considered final. This means that there is no more opportunity to negotiate, and the final settlement amount addresses all your losses. A good settlement offer should be able to compensate you for several different injuries you have suffered. To name a few, a good settlement offer should compensate you for:
- Past medical bills: this includes all the prescription medication, cost for surgery, and physical rehabilitation needed to treat you for your injuries.
- Future medical bills: this refers to all of the medical costs necessary to maintain the treatment of your injuries. Injuries almost always require future care such as physical therapy.
- Your medical bills should be paid off with a good settlement offer.
- Past lost wages: this refers to the amount of time you spent out of work while in the hospital.
- Future lost wages: if you have suffered permanent disabilities, you may be unable to return back to work, and could seek compensation for loss of income in your settlement offer.
- Permanent disability.
- Temporary disability.
- Your lost wages should be paid off with a good settlement offer.
- Emotional distress: If you suffered severe injuries, this not only affects your physical healing, but it may also affect your emotions. It can be very frustrating to heal from an injury, especially since it may take months, even years to learn to adapt with your injuries.
- Pain and suffering.
- Your emotional suffering should be paid off with a good settlement offer
Do I have to hire an attorney to settle my claim?
Although it is not required by law for you to have an attorney represent you when settling with the other party, having an attorney will make the process exponentially easier. An attorney knows exactly how to negotiate settlement offers with the insurance company, and will be able to communicate with the insurance company while you focus on your injuries. Our car accident attorneys have decades of experience dealing with insurance companies, and we know exactly how to recover the best compensation for you.
If you have received a settlement offer while working with a different attorney and would like another opinion, contact our attorneys at Megeredchian Law today to see how we can help you. We have been dealing with settlement offers for decades, and have recovered around 300 hundred million dollars for our clients. We know what it takes to get a good settlement offer, and we work tirelessly to make sure that you are compensated for your injuries. We always want our clients to be able to get justice for their injuries.
Contact our top-rated California legal team today to see how we could assist you. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your settlement offer.