How Much Will I Get From My Injury Settlement?
Whenever you have an accident or an incident in which you have been injured through no fault of your own, this question of settlement amounts is one of the first to come up—and rightfully so. Whether it’s injuries from a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, or an injury on the job, or an injury from some product—you’re probably facing at least some hefty medical bills and possible some time off work when you’re not able to earn an income.
On top of that, there could be other questions running through your mind. You may be confused about how to file a claim with an insurance company. You could also be trying to understand what expenses will be covered by insurance. Or, maybe an insurance company has already reached out to you to offer a settlement.
You may be convinced that there is a rubric or some set of guidelines to calculate your approximate personal injury settlement—but there really isn’t. Here’s the reality: the amount of a settlement you may receive is dependent on several factors including the strength of your case, the insurance coverage available (from both you and the defendant), past and future medical costs, past and future lost wages, and how much you’re willing to accept through a settlement instead of taking your case to trial. With just those factors, your case and your settlement will greatly vary.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in your case if your injury occurred because the defendant acted in a “reckless or wanton” manner. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the current limit on punitive damages is $350,000.
With that said, people who sustain serious injuries, including from car, truck, motorcycle, or work-related accidents, typically do receive larger settlements, but only if they hire an experienced personal injury lawyer as their fierce advocate.
The Difference Between a Settlement and a Lawsuit
The reason it’s important to secure legal counsel for a settlement is that insurance companies hope that by offering a settlement to you directly, you’ll be dazzled by the dollar amount, or relieved that you will not go to trial. But you could be entitled to more compensation after an attorney looks over your case.
Personal injury attorneys always strive to get your case settled out of court, even before filing a lawsuit. This is to save you both time and money. If you choose to file a lawsuit, then your case could drag on for years, and the awarded damages may be a lot less after court and attorney fees are deducted.
Settling out of court is also more favorable for the insurance company. Both the plaintiff and the defendant take a risk when a personal injury case goes to trial. For yourself, you could stand to gain less compensation than you deserve because of court and lawyer expenses. For the insurance company, they will need to hire a defense trial attorney and take a gamble by going before a jury. This could mean that the jury verdict is not in their favor and they are ordered to pay a higher than desired amount.
So to help boost the chances of receiving a favorable settlement, you should be going to all of your medical appointments, taking notes of what the doctor says. It also means that when you speak with your doctor, you should report all pains that you have. This will help your case in terms of evidence that you have a legitimate injury, as well as your recovery from your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident or injury in Virginia, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle settlements and can assess the nuances of your case. To learn more, contact the knowledgeable and effective Charlottesville personal injury attorneys at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz at 434-977-7977.