Before starting the personal injury claim settlement process, it’s imperative that you receive medical care for your injuries. A physician will be able to determine the nature and extent of your injuries, and start the proper treatment. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to calculate what your case is worth and demand a settlement. Once the treating physician has determined the nature, extent, and duration of your injuries, your personal injury lawyer in St. Thomas can start the settlement process as follows:
Step #1: Calculate economic losses (special)damages – the intent of these damages is to compensate you for your financial losses and can include:
• burial and funeral expenses
• lost earning capacity
• lost wages
• medical expenses
• property damage
Step #2: Calculate non-economic (general) damages – general damages include those damages wherein monetary compensation is an approximate substitute. These damages typically include:
• embarrassment and humiliation
• emotional distress / mental anguish
• loss of companionship and society
• loss of consortium
• loss of reputation
• physical pain and suffering
Depending on the severity of your injuries, these damages can vary between 1½ to 5 times the amounts of the economic (special) damages in your case.
Step #3: Claim value adjustment – once the first two steps are completed, the amount of damages above must be adjusted to reflect these 5 factors:
• Liability – establishing liability can lead to a higher settlement amount compared to cases where this is disputed.
• Location of the trial – some trial venues, such as, urban communities that are more densely populated can be more conservative and award a lower settlement award.
• Mitigating damages – the injury victim must mitigate or reduce damages if this is reasonably possible to do so. For example, if your injuries have worsened because you failed to seek medical treatment, the amount of your settlement could be reduced.
• Multiple defendants – there could be issues concerning how much each defendant should pay. It can be discussed during negotiations and fixed.
• Plaintiff’s characteristics – this can influence the amount of the settlement you eventually receive.
Step #4: Presentation of the settlement demand – after completing the 3 steps above, your personal injury lawyer will be prepared to submit the settlement demand to the at-fault party and their lawyer or the insurance company.
There could be a lot of back and forth negotiating at this time until an agreement is eventually reached. However, if a settlement cannot be reached at this time, you will have to present your case to a judge and jury. Then they will decide the outcome of the claim settlement.
For more information on negotiating a settlement in a personal injury case, contact the Barapp Law firm at (888) 226-4264 today. We are here to help you get the damages that you are entitled to.