Value Of Your Personal Injury Settlement

5 Factors That Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Settlement

In every case, the anticipated goal is to settle quickly, meaning that each party can reach mutually agreeable terms and conditions without the need for litigation. It comes as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom. There are many factors that affect the value of your personal injury settlement. Below you’ll find a list of 5 important factors that will determine the value of your personal injury settlement.

1. Negligence of Defendant: In order to recover damages in a lawsuit based upon negligence, the defendant’s negligence (fault) must be a cause of your injury. It’s simple, if the defendant wasn’t negligent, then you’re not entitled to compensation. Negligence is conduct (the commission of an act or failure to act), without wrongful intent, that falls below the minimum degree of ordinary care imposed by law to protect others against unreasonable risk of harm. A prima facie case of negligence consists of four elements: i) Duty, the obligation to protect another against unreasonable risk of injury; ii) Breach, the failure to meet that obligation; iii) Causation, a close causal connection between the action and the injury; and iv) Damages, the loss suffered. The plaintiff must establish all four elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. In general, a duty of care is owed to all foreseeable persons who may foreseeably be injured by the defendant’s failure to act as a reasonable person of ordinary prudence under the circumstances. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions were both the actual cause (also known as the “factual cause” or “cause in fact”) and the proximate cause (also known as the “legal cause” or, under the Restatement, the “scope of liability”) of the plaintiff’s injury. The plaintiff must also prove actual harm, i.e., personal injury or property damage, in order to complete the requirements of liability for negligence.

2. Pre-existing injuries: One of the most common ways for an insurance company or attorney to prove their client isn’t liable is through medical records. After a car accident, insurers of the at-fault party will work to try to pay as little as possible for your claim, including attempting to prove your injuries were not caused by the accident or minimizing their severity. In general, the victim in a personal injury case isn’t entitled to receive payment for injuries and conditions that are unaffected by an accident. They are, however, entitled to receive compensation for preexisting conditions to the degree that the accident made them worse. This is known as exacerbation or aggravation of pre-existing conditions, and victims may be able to receive compensation not only for physical ailments and injuries, but also mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. They will look for pre-existing conditions or injuries in your medical history and argue that all or some of your damages are not eligible for compensation. A major question of liability arises when a second accident or incident happens that worsens a prior injury or condition. Fortunately, Florida has addressed the issue of liability by applying the “eggshell skull doctrine” to personal injury claims. In general, this doctrine applies to all personal injury claims, and it states that the relative frailty of the injury victim is not a valid defense against a claim.

3. Entitlement to Pain and Suffering Damages: Even if someone’s negligence caused your injury in a Florida car or truck accident, you do not automatically get compensated for pain and suffering. In Florida, a person injured in a car accident must meet the tort threshold, which means they must have a permanent injury, in order to get even one penny for pain and suffering. Most, if not all, Florida uninsured motorist insurance policies say that a claimant can’t recover pain and suffering compensation unless the claimant has a threshold injury. This also applies even if the victim is injured in an out-of-state accident where the law of that state that doesn’t require a permanent injury.

4. Gaps in Medical Treatment for Injuries: Gaps or delay in receiving medical treatment for your injuries can decrease the value of your personal injury settlement. This allows the defendant’s insurance company to downplay the severity of your injuries by arguing that you delayed in receiving medical treatment. TIP: Remember, in Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage will not pay medical bills if the patient waits more than 14 days to receive treatment.

5. Past Jury Verdicts (and Settlements) for Your Particular Injury: Insurance companies calculate settlement value by analyzing past jury verdicts and settlement amounts to estimate costs. It may help to pull up jury verdicts and settlement figures and forward them over to the insurance adjuster working on your claim for a comparison. Sending out these figures, lets the insurance company know that you’re well aware of the value of your claim and it can help speed up the resolution of your case.

Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today!

A good lawyer must be able to foresee how the jury will view your case. Your attorney must be extremely knowledgeable of the true value of your case and be open to the possibility of bringing a bad faith claim against the defendant’s insurance company—as well as weigh many more factors in order to realistically inform a client whether their accident case is worth pursuing. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.

The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys represents accident victims injured in various types of accidents including:

• Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers

• T-Bone Car Accidents

• Road Rage Car Accidents

• Head-on Collisions

• Rollover Accidents

• Rear-end Car Accidents

• Left Turn Accidents

• Failure to Yield Car Accidents

• Sideswipe Accidents

• Merging Accidents

• Lane Change Accidents

• Construction Zone Car Accidents

• Truck Accidents

• Semi-Truck Accidents

• Bicycle Accidents

• Train Accidents

• Pedestrian Accidents

• Boating Accidents