How Much Should I Ask for in a Lawsuit?

Your life probably looks very different after you’ve had an accident. You have various expenses and daily adjustments to get used to. This can feel frustrating, overwhelming, and even hopeless. Most accident victims have to make major adjustments if they develop serious injuries when another person is reckless.

If your injuries were caused by anything from a car accident to a slippery floor and by no fault of your own, you deserve to have compensation so that you can pay your bills and put this chapter behind you. But how do you know how much you should ask for in a lawsuit if you’ve never been in one before or don’t know how long you’ll suffer from the injury? You might get some basic information from your doctor about your prognosis, but your lawyer can help you piece this together in order to tell the bigger story in court and throughout your case. The initial offer might be something the other side responds to positively shortly after you send it. If you are unsuccessful in your effort to get them to pay up in the demand letter, however, your case is not over.

Your lawyer might have a better understanding of how the case will proceed especially if your lawyer has been involved in cases with the insurance company before. 

If you have recently been hurt in an accident or were injured in any other way in which another person is responsible for those injuries, you probably have questions like how much should I ask for in a lawsuit? These questions cannot be answered easily and usually require the insight of an experienced and dedicated lawyer. 

Your lawyer is there to guide you with every aspect of your legal claim, from sitting down and coming up with the initial number of what you might ask for to what you decide you’ll take as a settlement offer. Having someone who has been through this process before can make a big difference, and it’s important to find a lawyer you can trust from end to end.

More answers to commonly asked questions

When you are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, one of the first and most important things you need to do is to get a clear handle on how this will impact your future. This is because your lawyer may put this information into what is known as a demand letter. A demand letter lays out the ways in which the accident has influenced your life and makes a claim for what you should be paid as a result. There is a very strong chance that what you want to happen from the demand letter and how the insurance company perceives it are two different things. This is why your lawyer starts the process with a demand letter but might continue it through many different stages of the process. Where a clear and fair settlement cannot be reached outside of court, your lawyer will even take this case to trial to answer the question “how much should I ask for in a lawsuit?” If you and the other party are unable to come to terms of agreement on what is a full and fair settlement offer, this is one of the most common ways that these cases can get delayed and brought into court. In this initial demand letter phase, it is very possible that your lawyer is able to come up with a clear estimation of your current and future costs but will also note that the other side will turn it down and decline to pay this amount. In some cases, companies or other parties involved in these kinds of situations are not aware of the stakes at play or the uncertainty of going to trial, but they assume that they are in the right. Remember that they will need to get their own legal counsel too and their lawyer can help them understand whether or not they have a good perspective on what the case will likely look like in court. Because there are so many unknowns at this early stage of the case and none of the parties involved have had a strong chance to discuss all of the legal options yet, this is the least likely time for you to resolve and settle the entire claim but it can still happen.

When you are hurt in an accident, your initial inclination is to file a claim with your insurance company and hope that the right thing will be done. This does not always happen, however, as the insurance company is not advocating for your best interests and may not see eye to eye with you on a full and fair resolution in terms of payment compensation. Your lawyer will sit down with you to map out all of the expenses you have already undertaken as a victim and your likely future expenses, too, since in many cases your injuries might require payment of medical bills for years to come. In all of these circumstances your lawyers work directly with you to help walk you through the entirety of the case and to assist you in gathering additional evidence. Even though you probably see yourself as the victim, remember that the other party in the case will likely do everything they can to argue against you. If they hire legal counsel, it becomes their legal counsel's job to minimize the strength of your claims. This is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you from the beginning of the case.

Some of the most important factors influencing how much you should ask for in a lawsuit all have to do with the injuries you have already sustained. After all, if you've accumulated things like medical bills and other expenses directly related to the injuries that you've been diagnosed with, you can argue that the person who caused the accident was responsible for you having to undertake the treatment and the associated costs. Things like lost wages and medical expenses can be some of the easiest to argue when they have already been incurred, but even in those cases the other side might still claim that you underwent unnecessary medical care or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. This can be devastating to realize as an accident victim, but this is where it becomes very important to rely on the experience of your lawyer to navigate this process clearly and to know when to push back against an unfair settlement offer. 

There are many different types of damages that you may be entitled to as a result of living through the accident and suffering the consequences. These can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even how your injuries have impacted your spouse. The only way to know for sure which kinds of compensations could apply in your case is to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who can walk you through each aspect of the legal concerns in your claim. You need a lawyer who has been there before to help you calculate full and fair possible outcome events based on the injuries you have sustained. It can be difficult to figure this out on your own especially when you are still actively involved in the treatment of your injuries. 

A lawyer who has assisted other victims like this before will sit down with you to calculate what has already developed in terms of expenses and bills for you and will compare this with the prognosis for your medical condition so that you can have a better and long term perspective on what it might cost to treat your injuries. No victim should have to figure this out on their own and thankfully you don't have to when you retain the services of an experienced and dedicated attorney. 

Far too many victims find themselves in over their head or being pressured to take the first compensation settlement offer from the other side. You need to have a long range view of how your injuries will influence your life and get the support of an attorney who cares about your future.

If you’re ready to take your next steps, you can contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started. Let us help you determine how much you should ask for in a lawsuit before it’s too late.