In the aftermath of a personal injury, reclaiming your losses through compensation is an entirely valid and expected course of action. However, what may surprise you is that over 90% of personal injury claims never even see the inside of a courtroom. These claims are typically handled and resolved out of court, often before legal action is ever initiated. This is primarily due to the court’s preference for amicable settlements that meet the needs of all parties.
Here, we’ll explore deeper into the critical aspects you must take into account while assessing a settlement offer. Though this process can be stressful, there is always a way forward, and understanding these factors is a critical step in this process.
1. The Foundation of Your Personal Injury Case Matters
In the process of building a personal injury case, consider what truly lays the foundation. It’s not just about the injuries you’ve suffered. In fact, there are several key factors, each playing a crucial role in determining the potential outcome of your claim.
First off, let’s talk about the circumstances of the accident:
- Where did it happen?
- How did it happen?
- Who was involved?
- What were the conditions leading up to the incident?
These are not just questions for idle curiosity. The answers help establish the context of the accident and can influence who is held liable.
Next, we move onto the extent of your injuries. Sure, the immediate physical harm or mental distress you’ve suffered is important. But what about the long-term effects of these injuries? If your injuries are extreme or catastrophic, leading to permanent physical impairment or a significant change in your quality of life, these factors are likely to be acknowledged by the court in a trial or a well-valued settlement offer.
Then, there’s the impact of the accident on your life. Has it affected your ability to work? Your enjoyment of life? Your relationships with others? If the accident has caused significant disruption or change in your life, this can strengthen your case.
Finally, the liability of the other party is a key factor. Proving that the other party was at fault for the accident can significantly influence the result of your case.
2. The Strength of Your Claim is Essential
The strength of your claim is more than who was at fault. It’s the details—the evidence you have to support your claim. This includes medical records that document your injuries and their impact on your life, witness statements that corroborate your account of the accident, police reports, and any other documentation or evidence that can prove your case.
Whether you’re a single individual or part of a class-action lawsuit, the strength of your claim can compel the defendant to pay a considerable settlement sum. For instance, consider a semi-truck accident where the trucking company is the defendant. If there’s compelling evidence showing that the trucking company failed to adhere to safety regulations or allowed an overworked driver to operate, it strongly indicates liability on the part of the trucking company. Faced with such clear indications of fault, the trucking company’s insurance provider may be more inclined to settle the matter before it reaches a jury.
Simply put, the strength of your claim is a measure of how convincingly you can prove the other party’s fault and the extent of your damages. The stronger your claim, the better your chances of receiving a fair and adequate settlement. So, when building your case, don’t forget—every detail counts.
3. Who the Defense Is
Have you ever stopped to consider who you’re up against in your personal injury case? It’s not just a question of who is at fault, but also who is defending them. This can greatly impact how your case ends up.
Firstly, let’s consider if you’re up against a private entity, such as a business or an individual. These entities might be more inclined to contest the lawsuit at trial with full force and effort. Why, you ask? Well, their reputation could be at stake, or they may believe they have a strong case. They might also have the resources to engage in a lengthy legal battle. So, if you’re up against a private entity, be prepared for a potentially tough fight.
On the other hand, if you’re dealing with an insurance company, the dynamics change. Insurance companies are in the business of risk management—and that includes financial risk. Their goal is often to save as much money as possible. So, they tend to offer lesser settlement amounts, hoping that claimants will accept these offers to avoid the stress and uncertainty of going to trial.
But what does this mean for you? It means that understanding who the defense is can help you and your attorney strategize more effectively. If you’re up against a private entity, you might need to prepare for the possibility of going to trial. If you’re dealing with an insurance company, you might need to be ready to negotiate hard for a fair settlement.
Remember, every case is unique. The defense’s approach can vary based on numerous factors, including its assessment of liability, the potential damages, and its own financial resources or policy limits. Therefore, you should consider these factors when evaluating a settlement offer or preparing for trial.
4. Your Financial Circumstances
Your financial situation is a significant factor when considering a settlement offer. It’s not uncommon for individuals involved in personal injury cases to face financial hardships. Medical bills can pile up, and if your injury has caused you to miss work or even lose your job, your regular income might be disrupted. This financial strain can make any settlement offer seem tempting, especially if you need immediate cash to cover your expenses.
Unfortunately, defense attorneys and insurance companies know that if you’re in a tight financial spot, and that you might be more likely to accept a settlement offer that’s lower than what you could potentially receive. This is often referred to as a ‘lowball’ offer.
These entities use tactics to try to exploit your financial needs and rush you into agreeing to a settlement amount that’s less than what your claim is truly worth. They bank on the fact that your financial struggle might override your judgment about the long-term implications of accepting a lower settlement.
Be mindful that a settlement is not just about providing immediate financial relief. It’s also meant to cover future expenses related to your injury, such as ongoing medical care, rehabilitation costs, and lost future earnings. Therefore, when evaluating a settlement offer, you should consider your current financial situation alongside your future financial needs.
Legal settlements are a common part of litigation, often providing a more efficient resolution than going to trial. But how do you know if a settlement offer is right for you?
Think of it like buying a house. You wouldn’t rush into buying the first house you see, right? You’d take your time, consider your needs, and consult with an expert—your real estate agent. Similarly, when considering a settlement offer, always follow your attorney’s advise and consider all aspects of your case. While immediate financial relief is undoubtedly critical, it’s equally important to ensure that the settlement adequately addresses your long-term needs.
If you’re currently struggling financially while waiting for a fair settlement, there are options available, from seeking help from government agencies and charities to borrowing from family and friends. But there’s another option you might not have considered—pre-settlement funding. Baker Street Funding offers pre-settlement funding for plaintiffs who need financial assistance. Think of it as a cash advance on your future settlement. You can use this advance to cover your current expenses, from medical bills to day-to-day living costs, while your attorney works to maximize the value of your case.
With Baker Street Funding, you’ll enjoy low interest rates, a three-year capped rate, and in most cases, same-day funding upon approval. It’s like having a financial safety net while you wait for your settlement. Plus, there is no repayment until you win your case and receive your settlement check.
So, before you rush into accepting a lowball settlement due to financial pressure, consider all your options. Remember, making an informed decision is in your best interest. And if you decide that pre-settlement funding is the right choice for you, Baker Street Funding is here to help.