If you suffer a personal injury that is not your fault, you’re entitled to financial compensation to pay for everything from medical bills to lost wages. Unfortunately, there are quite a few hurdles that stand in your way of getting the money you deserve.
We’re here to teach you how to negotiate a personal injury settlement and how to make it through the tedious process of securing the money that’s rightfully yours.
Prior To Negotiations
Before you start thinking about how much you’re owed, there are a few important things you need to take care of.
Prior to anything else, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. Most personal injury cases begin with a car accident, and car accident injuries are not something to ignore.
Even if you don’t feel the accident was severe, you should still see a doctor, as not all injuries are apparent on the surface. Too many people ignore a slight pain, only for it to grow into something worse in the coming months.
In addition to starting the road to recovery, getting medical attention also serves to provide you with information crucial to your settlement. Your injuries and treatment will directly affect your settlement payout, and courts like seeing official statements from doctors.
While you don’t technically need an attorney to begin the personal injury negotiation process, you do need an attorney and a lawsuit if you want to seek pre-settlement funding. However, just because you don’t require an attorney doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one.
Your best bet at securing a sizable settlement is with legal counsel backing you up. In addition to a lawyer’s invaluable experience, there are also people you’ll encounter at every step along the way who will take you more seriously if you have an attorney in your corner.
For instance, you may be able to avoid an initial lowball offer if you have a lawyer. Few people will try to pull a fast one on you if you’re working with a lawyer who can tell you in an instant whether someone is wasting your time.
Numbers, math, and calculations aren’t everyone’s favorite way to spend several weeks of their time but diving into the nitty-gritty is the best way to ensure you come away with the money you deserve.
Past and Future Economic Losses
Past and future economic losses are part of a category known as “special damages.” This simply means there is a calculable monetary substitute that’s comparable to what you lost. For instance, if 40 hours on the job nets you $1,500 and you’re unable to work for a week, that’s $1,500 of lost wages.
For this step, you must look at both the money you have already lost and the money you will lose if your inability to work persists. If you needed or will need to take off work to get medical treatment, if you had to postpone your return to work due to health complications, or if other obstacles arose as a result of your injury and resulted in an out-of-pocket loss, be sure to tabulate the specifics here.
In addition to wages, you can also tally up your past and future medical expenses as well as any property damage you incurred. If your car was totaled, your phone screen was cracked, or you had to pay to fix any physical item, be sure to make note and detail the associated costs.
While special damages refer to things with direct monetary parallels, general damages are less exact. When you can’t tie an exact dollar value to something, it’s considered a general damage. Your list of general damages may include items such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, or loss of reputation.
It’s best to work with a lawyer for this step. Otherwise, the dollar values you tie to these discomforts may not be realistic.
Once you have calculated the amounts for your special and general damages, add them together. The final step in the calculation process is to adjust this number based on a few factors.
First, consider liability. If the defendant is definitively liable for the incident, you’ll be able to get more from your calculated total. However, if you or your lawyer think the other team could make a good argument against the defendant’s liability, you should adjust your claim accordingly.
In addition, your own traits and characteristics can influence how much money you receive. With a settlement, you have to consider how a judge and jury will view the case. For example, a court may not look at an 18-year-old in the same way they do a 45-year-old.
How Do You Pay for Everything Before You Settle?
As you may have guessed, all the steps listed above take time. No matter how hard you try to barrel through the defense, you’ll encounter roadblock after roadblock on your way to the money you deserve. That’s not to say you shouldn’t keep pushing, but you should prepare for an uphill battle.
One of the best ways to forge ahead with confidence is with personal injury litigation funding. It may sound a little complicated, but it’s really quite simple. Essentially, litigation funding is an advance out of your settlement. It can often take years to see a dime of your settlement money, but this form of funding allows you to access a portion of what you’re owed now when you actually need it.
You shouldn’t be worried about how you’ll pay medical bills and legal fees until the first settlement check comes through—that’s no way to live. Instead, contact Apogee Capital Partners and fill out our short questionnaire to see if you’re eligible for pre-settlement funds. You don’t need to repay a dime if you don’t win your settlement.
Pre-settlement funding is not a loan—it’s an advance on your settlement. If there’s no settlement, there’s no need to repay. We want the same thing you do—justice. Reach out to us today to learn more about personal injury litigation funding.
Now that you know how to negotiate a personal injury settlement, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. After addressing your health concerns, this should be your very next step. Together, you and your lawyer can decide on the best course of action to get the money you deserve.