Living with injuries caused by the negligence of another can be painful, stressful, and overwhelming. But you shouldn’t let emotions cause you to fall into inaction. Instead, you should do everything in your power to build a compelling personal injury case that seeks to find accountability and recover the compensation you deserve.
But even if you’ve started looking at your case, you may find the other side coming forward with a settlement offer. Although the thought of avoiding trial and quickly recovering compensation may be enticing, these settlement agreements aren’t always in a victim’s best interests. After all, you have to keep in mind that the other side is trying to do what’s best for it.
Analyzing your settlement offer
So how do you go about determining whether a settlement offer is right for you? Well, there are several things that you’ll want to take into account, including each of the following:
- How thorough of an investigation have you conducted: In many instances, defendants to these claims offer a quick settlement hoping that the victim won’t delve too deeply into the situation to uncover just how egregious the negligence was that cause the victim’s harm. Don’t fall into that trap. If you haven’t yet fully investigated your case, then you should do so before accepting a settlement offer. By pursuing a thorough investigation, you may find that you’re entitled to much more than you thought and that your case for negligence is stronger than you realized.
- Know how much your case is worth: You can’t successfully analyze a settlement offer if you don’t know how much your damages are worth. Therefore, you should be diligent in speaking with your medical professional to figure out your prognosis and your need for medical treatment moving forward. Be sure to also calculate your lost wages, both realized and expected, and consider whether you’ve lost any earnings capacity on account of your injuries. Then, you’ll want to think about how your injuries have affected your daily life so that you can paint an accurate picture of your pain and suffering. These non-economic losses are difficult to valuate, but your attorney can help you there.
- Take comparative fault into account: In most personal injury cases, the defendant argues that the victim is partially to blame for the incident in question. If they’re successful in doing so, then the victim’s ultimate recovery can be significantly reduced. Therefore, you’ll want to think about your behavior at the time of the incident to see if the other side has a strong argument for comparative fault. This may dictate whether you think accepting a settlement is best for you.
- Consider your short and long-term needs: If you need cash as quickly as possible and are struggling to get by on a day-to-day basis, then you might be more interested in accepting a settlement offer. If you can hold out in hopes of recovering more compensation, though, then you may be more tempted to take your case to trial. The determination is fact specific and unique to your needs and the surrounding circumstances of your case. What’s important is that you’re thorough is analyzing what is best for you.
Fight for the outcome that you deserve
You have a lot of power in your personal injury case. Therefore, don’t be forced into an agreement that isn’t right for you. You can avoid this outcome by working closely with a legal professional who is prepared to put in the work necessary to build the persuasive legal arguments that you need and deserve.