It’s a common question: how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement? If you’ve been injured by the negligent actions of another person, business, or organization, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and pursue financial compensation for your injuries. The majority of personal injury claims will not go to court, but rather, be settled in the negotiation phase. Thus, most individuals who file a personal injury claim will reach a personal injury settlement with the defendant’s insurance provider. But of course, one of the most prominent challenges in this process is determining just how much you should ask for in your personal injury settlement.
In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at personal injury settlements and helping you determine how much to ask for in your personal injury claim. It can be complicated to determine a fair and full value for your injuries, especially for those inexperienced with the field of law. However, by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney, they will be able to help you assess the full value of your claim (which may often be “lowballed” by insurance providers) to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
At the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm, we pride ourselves on protecting the rights and interests of our clients. Whether you were involved in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, were the victim of bad faith insurance, or any other type of personal injury case, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys can help. Even if you believe you’re partially at fault, don’t hesitate to give us a call to learn more about what a personal injury attorney can do for you. We’ll do what it takes to ensure your rights are protected.
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What is a Personal Injury Settlement?
A personal injury settlement is a form of financial compensation awarded to the victim of another party’s negligent actions. In most personal injury cases, the settlement amount is negotiated between the two parties, usually with the assistance of a personal injury attorney. They have the experience and resources to accurately determine a fair amount for the victim’s injuries. A personal injury settlement may cover a range of expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, emotional suffering, and even punitive damages.
How Much Should I Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement?
Let’s say you’re involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. This accident would fall under personal injury law (also known as tort law) as the other driver had a legal responsibility to operate their vehicle safely. You then determine it’s in your best interest to file a personal injury claim so that you receive fair financial compensation for any injuries or emotional distress you may have suffered.
But now the tricky part: what’s the fair financial value of my injuries? With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you’ll be able to assess a fair value for your personal injury settlement. Primarily, attorneys use one of two methods: the multiplier formula or the per diem formula. Regardless of the approach, your settlement amount may still be influenced by several important factors, such as shared fault rules or damage caps.
- Multiplier method: commonly used by insurance providers and personal injury law firms, this method uses a simple formula: economic damages + (economic damages x multiplier). The economic damages include things like medical bills, lost wages, or property damage. The multiplier, ranging from numbers 1 to 5, estimates your non-economic damages, such as physical pain or emotional distress. The multiplier is based on the severity of your injuries.
- Per diem method: this method uses a different approach to calculate a fair settlement. The per diem method estimates your non-economic damages by the number of days (thus, per diem) that you’ve experienced pain or suffering. Generally, this daily rate may be based on your daily earnings.
To see an average settlement, head over to our personal injury settlement amount examples.
Should I Ask for a Higher Payout Than the Calculation?
Once you’ve determined what a fair settlement offer might look like, many personal injury attorneys may actually recommend that you ask for even more. But why is this? It’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, the settlement process is still a negotiation. This means that both sides will have to agree on what is considered “fair.”
If you ask for a fair settlement offer, you’ll be left with just two options: refuse to compromise and stick to your number or compromise and end up with a lower amount. It’s not like the opposing side will offer more than you asked, right? Many personal injury lawyers will ask for 75 to 100 percent more than the initial fair settlement you calculated. This higher amount means that you now have room to compromise without receiving less than you deserve. However, if you were partially to blame for the accident, the overall number you ask for may be reduced, or damage caps may be put into place.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Determine a Fair Settlement Amount?
It’s never recommended that you attempt to calculate your settlement amount on your own. While the formulas may appear straightforward, assessing the true value of the damages, especially non-economic ones that do not have an apparent price tag like a medical bill, is a difficult task best left to the experts.
By hiring an experienced personal injury attorney, like a Denver car accident attorney, you’ll have a legal expert on your side who will be able to:
- Accurately estimate the financial value of your damages.
- Make an informed judgment about the insurance provider’s initial settlement offer (remember—they often try to “lowball” these initial offers).
- Draft a demand letter during negotiations.
- Negotiate with the insurance provider or other lawyers on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair and full financial compensation for your injuries.
Conclusion – How Much to Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, bicycle accident, or any other type of accident where you were injured by the negligence of another party, you have the right to seek fair financial compensation. But of course, it’s not such a simple thing to accurately determine a fair amount. Since insurance companies are notorious for “lowballing” settlement offers, you need someone on your side to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve.
In addition to determining a fair value for your injuries, a personal injury attorney can help in a myriad of ways with your case. They’ll help you understand the specifics of your claim, manage evidence and file documents and paperwork, and work to settle your case as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life. If they are unable to reach a fair settlement during negotiations, they’ll even take your case to court and fight for your rights.
If you’re in Colorado and involved in a personal injury case, contact the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. It only takes a few minutes to learn more about the options available to you and your case. Call 303-333-7285 to learn more about our law firm and how we can help you.