Whenever you are involved in a personal injury accident, the first thing you will (probably) do is hire a lawyer. Since you are (probably) not a legal expert, you’ll have lots of questions for him or her. Well, before you question your lawyer, read this article. You’ll be given some more insight into the most frequently asked questions regarding personal injury damages.
Some of the questions you’ll (probably) be asking your personal injury lawyer are listed below. Keep in mind that most other personal injury plaintiffs ask these questions as well.
Can I get a settlement if my case is settled out of court?
The first thing your personal injury lawyer will (likely) tell you is that your case will probably settle out of court. You’ll be told that the reason why is because most personal injury cases never go to court. As for damages, your lawyer will inform you that this is a legal term that describes the economic (measurable) and non-economic (intangible) losses you have sustained because of your personal injury accident. Your personal injury lawyer in San Leandro will inform you that any settlement amount you will receive is intended to help you cover these damages financially.
You’ll also learn that you don’t need to win your case in court to get a settlement. You, the defendant, and your legal teams can work this out in a series of discussions that are known as negotiations.
How does a pre-existing condition or injury affect my claim’s value?
According to personal injury law, the defendant is the one who proclaims his or her innocence in the personal injury accident and provides tangible and admissible evidence to prove that. Since you’re the plaintiff (the one who is suing for damages) it’s up to you to prove that the defendant was not only at fault but was responsible for the bodily injuries and/or property damage that you suffered from your personal injury accident. You will be informed that you don’t need to worry about not being able to completely prove that the negligence from a personal injury accident made your pre-existing condition or injury worse.
Is there a floor or cap on the settlement value you can obtain from a personal injury case or claim?
You’ll be told that floors and caps are nonexistent in terms of settlements for personal injury accidents. This is because every case is unique. The settlement amount is largely determined by how severe your bodily injuries were and the extent and nature of medical treatment(s) that you needed to ‘make yourself whole again!’ Your likelihood of being at least partially disabled for even a temporary period of time, the nature of the defendant’s fault (guilt), the type and amount of insurance coverage he or she has and many other factors are what play huge roles in determining your final settlement amount. Some of the most commonly considered factors include:
● The dollar amount of your medical bills
● Lost past income and wages
● Loss of future income and wages
● Costs of future medical care
● Your age and ability to earn
● Any permanent disabilities you may have presently
● Whether or not you would be believable in court
● The validity of the testimonies of other witnesses.
Your personal injury lawyer in Pleasant Hill will tell you that you should never accept any settlement (and especially not the first one) from the defense before you have completely calculated the dollar amounts of your future medical care, any lost future income or wages you may have, and the ways in which your injury will affect your overall quality of life.