Being injured due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or other bad decisions can be incredibly frustrating. Not only will you have medical expenses to deal with, but you may have a lot of physical and emotional healing to do as well.
Whatever the situation is, Morgan & Morgan is always here to help. With hundreds of lawyers across the United States, we can help no matter where you’re located. Over the course of our career, we have recovered more than ten billion dollars for our clients. We work our absolute hardest to recover the maximum amount of compensation for you, whether that comes from a trial or a settlement. You might be wondering, “What is a good settlement offer?” We can help you find that answer. If you need a lawyer because you’ve been injured in any type of situation, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free case consultation.
What Is Considered a Good Settlement Offer?
Most people who decide to file a civil lawsuit for an injury they suffered are wondering how much money they might be able to receive if they are successful. This is totally normal. You may have medical bills to pay, you’re likely missing work due to your injuries, you might have damaged property that needs to be repaired, or you may be suffering some emotional injuries as well. Regardless of the situation, it makes sense to want to know what to expect. What is considered a good settlement offer is incredibly fact specific and will change depending on several factors. The following are some of the issues that can determine the amount of the settlement offer you receive:
- Severity of your injuries
One of the most significant factors that will determine how much your settlement offer will be is the severity of your injuries. If you were barely injured, it’s unlikely that you will be able to successfully file a civil claim in the first place. In order to be entitled to compensation, there have to be quantifiable damages clearly shown. If you are not able to show significant injuries, the defense will know that your case is weak, and they will have no motivation to make a good settlement offer.
On the other hand, if your injuries are very severe and you have been inundated with enormous medical bills, the defense may have no interest in taking the case to trial. They might realize it’s a waste of time or they might also be concerned that a jury would award you more in compensation than they are willing to offer you. By making a good settlement offer, it cuts down their risk while still providing you with something positive. If your medical expenses are much higher than the settlement they’re offering you, and your case is strong, you probably won’t want to accept that offer. If you win your case, the defendant will, at the very least, have to pay your medical expenses.
- Emotional injuries
Another factor that affects your settlement offer is the emotional injuries you’ve suffered. To obtain a good offer, your attorney will likely speak with the defendant’s attorney and present pieces of your case that will push them to make a good offer. If you were very traumatized by the incident – for example, you’re in therapy, now on psychiatric medication, and suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or anything else, they might be willing to offer you a better settlement than if you couldn’t provide any evidence of these conditions.
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
This goes hand in hand with your medical expenses but isn’t quite the same thing. If you suffered severe injuries, chances are you have been out of work for a while and you might be out of work even once the trial is over and a settlement has been accepted. This is why it’s so important to look to the future in order to see how much medical treatment you’re going to need, and the loss of wages you’re going to lose moving forward. If you accept an offer that doesn’t take these factors into consideration, you could end up leaving a lot of money on the table. Another important issue to consider is if you will actually be able to go back to the same position at the same job. For example, if you previously worked in construction, will you be able to go back? Or will your injuries prevent you from engaging in manual labor in the future? If so, you could be entitled to recover compensation for the income you should have made but won’t because of your injuries. This is typically referred to as lost earning capacity. This is another situation that you and your attorney will consider when reviewing any settlement offers.
- Whether you share some fault
When the defense is making any settlement offer, they will look at the evidence and see if they believe that you played a part in the accident or not. If there is evidence that you were at least partially at fault, this will affect the kind of offer they present. In some states, if you played any role in the accident, you won’t be able to recover any compensation, even if you were only one percent responsible. If this is the case, the offer they make probably won’t be very good, if they make one at all – they might prefer to take their chances at trial. In other states, if you are less than 50 percent at fault, you can still recover some compensation. If you’re in a state that operates in this way, the settlement offer will likely be better.
Finally, in some states, you can recover compensation even if you were 99 percent at fault. If you go to trial, any awarded compensation is reduced by the percentage that you are at fault. If the evidence seems to point to you being just a little bit at fault, the offer will be better than if you’re in a state where you can’t recover anything if you’re even the slightest bit responsible for your accident or injuries.