When injured victims file injury claims and lawsuits against the people or parties who hurt them, the resolutions usually happen through settlements instead of jury verdicts.
Getting a settlement is almost always preferable as it saves time, reduces legal fees, and is less emotionally taxing on victims and at-fault parties as well.
The downside to settlements is that victims often don’t know if they’re getting enough money to pay for all of their medical bills and lost wages, especially those down the road. Victims can’t ask for more money later for the same injury, which makes it crucial that they get every penny they’re owed when they accept their settlements.
If you were recently injured and are thinking about filing an injury claim or lawsuit, here’s how to know if your settlement offer is enough to fully cover your damages.
The Settlement Offer Takes Your Future Expenses into Consideration
If the settlement offer you’ve received only considers your current medical bills and lost wages, it’s probably not enough. Injuries often continue to cost victims money for several months or even years after they happen.
For example, you may need future surgeries to help your injuries heal, physical therapy to regain mobility and strength, and even cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of injured body parts. You also may be unable to work for the foreseeable future.
Getting compensation for your damages up to the day you receive your check may only cover a small percentage of the total expenses of your injury.
The Settlement Offer Includes Pain and Suffering
Medical bills and lost wages are called economic damages, while pain and suffering are non-economic damages. Many insurers are hesitant to pay victims adequate compensation for non-economic damages, but pain and suffering is a major part of any injury claim and shouldn’t be ignored in the settlement process.
It’s likely that pain is preventing you from doing the things you loved before your injury, including exercising, participating in hobbies, spending time with friends and family, and more. You also may be suffering from psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pain and suffering can affect victims’ lives even more than their physical injuries, and no injury claim is complete without demanding compensation for it.
The Settlement Offer Wasn’t the First One You Received
While it’s possible for insurers to offer injured victims fair settlement offers right away—and in some cases, unprompted—it’s rare.
When insurers are quick to offer settlements to victims, it’s often because they know the injured victims deserve significant compensation (and more than the offer). By offering fast settlements, they hope victims will accept them, and in turn, forgo their right to get fair compensation.
Always be wary of an unprompted settlement offer from the insurance company, and never accept one without speaking to a lawyer first.
The Settlement Offer Was Approved by Your Lawyer
Lawyers can quickly and accurately determine the value of injury claims. When their clients receive settlement offers, they know if they’re fair or not. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous lawyers push their clients to accept lowball settlement offers so they can move onto their next clients.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we strive to ensure our clients are always paid in full for their damages. That often means rejecting insufficient settlement offers during the negotiation process to ensure our clients get fair compensation. When we believe our clients have received fair settlement offers, we make sure to tell them so they can accept them and begin getting back to their lives.
Our Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers Can Maximize Your Chances of Getting Fair Compensation
Injury claims and lawsuits are “one-and done” deals. If the insurance company offers you a settlement, you need to be absolutely certain that it’s enough money to fairly compensate you for all your damages, including your current and future medical bills and lost wages, as well as your pain and suffering.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we never pressure our clients into accepting settlements that are less money than they deserve, and we always take the time to let them know if the settlements they’ve received are fair or if more negotiation is needed. Contact us anytime for a free case review and to find out how much your claim is truly worth.