You may have heard about multi-million-dollar personal injury verdicts where a jury awards a plaintiff a huge amount of money. In reality, most personal injury cases settle for a more reasonable amount and never go to trial. In light of this, it’s important to know that there are ways to maximize the personal injury settlement you can get from the insurance company.
What Is a Personal Injury Settlement?
When you are injured by someone else, whether it’s in a car accident or you slip and fall at a place of business, you have a right to file a claim against them. If they were negligent, or acted in a manner that caused harm, then they are responsible for your monetary losses and other damages.
In most cases, those people or companies who are responsible for your injuries will have an insurance company that is financially liable. Instead of going to court and enduring an expensive and time-consuming trial, the insurance company may make you a settlement offer.
A settlement offer is an offer of money in exchange for you to drop the claim against them. In most cases, you are also required to sign documents stating that you will not file any future lawsuits and you cannot seek further damages from the defendant or their insurance company. Most settlements are the final amount of money you can get for the accident that occurred.
When Does the Insurance Company Offer a Settlement?
In some cases, especially where the fault is clear, the other party’s insurance company will make a quick initial settlement offer. You should never accept this initial offer. It is likely a low-ball settlement offer that will not cover all your damages. You need a personal injury attorney to review your case and determine exactly how much it is worth.
Once your attorney determines the value of your case, they might send a monetary demand letter to the insurance company. There will be some negotiation, but in the end, most people settle somewhere between the initial offer and the demand sent by their attorney.
How Much Money Can I Get in a Personal Injury Settlement?
The amount of money you can get in a personal injury settlement depends on the injuries you sustained, your exact damages, and the insurance policy of the defendant.
According to a Nolo.com study, personal injury settlements received by those who were injured average the following:
- Less than $3,000 – 16% of people
- $3,000 to $10,000 – 37% of people
- $10,001 to $25,000 – 21% of people
- $25,001 to $75,000 – 10% of people
- More than $75,000 – 16% of people
The more serious your injuries are, the more you can get in a settlement. Similarly, the higher your actual damages, the more you can get.
However, none of that matters if the defendant’s insurance policy will not cover all the damages. Some insurance policies have limits. If your damages exceed those limits, you cannot get a settlement from the insurance company that is higher than those limits.
You do have other options, such as seeking compensation from your own insurance company or filing a lawsuit against the defendant personally.
How Can I Get the Most Money Possible in a Settlement?
There are a few things that are proven to help plaintiffs get the most money possible in personal injury cases.
Use an Attorney
According to Nolo.com, there is a significant advantage to having a personal injury attorney on your side. Only 51% of people without a lawyer received a payout. However, 91% of people with a lawyer received a payout.
Similarly, the amount of money people received was much higher when they used an attorney to help them. Those who had a personal injury attorney got an average compensation of $77,600. Without an attorney, plaintiffs only got an average of $17,600. Even with a contingency fee, the net payouts were much higher with the help of an attorney.
Negotiation a Settlement
Another tactic for getting the maximum amount of compensation is negotiating instead of accepting the first lowball offer. For people who accept a first offer, settlements average $11,800. However, when people negotiate or have their personal injury attorney negotiate for them, they average settlements of $42,500.
File or Threaten to File a Lawsuit
Insurance companies often try to strongarm people into taking the lowest amount possible. They may even deny your claim and try to make you go away. Sometimes you must actually file a personal injury lawsuit or threaten to file one in order to get them to recognize that you mean business.
People who do not take steps toward a lawsuit only get an average of $23,000 in settlements. However, those who file or threaten a lawsuit get an average of $45,500.
Use Strong Evidence
It’s essential that you have strong evidence in your personal injury case. You will need to prove fault, liability, and negligence. You must show how much you have lost and all damages you have incurred.
Strong evidence includes photos, videos, documents, experts, witnesses, and physical evidence that can support your case. Your personal injury attorney can best guide you to finding the best information to prove all elements of your case.
Attorney Venus Poe Can Help You Maximize Your Compensation
Although money cannot make everything better, it can help you get through a rough time after a personal injury. You likely have bills piling up and you may not be able to work. You deserve the maximum amount possible to ensure all your damages are covered.
Attorney Venus Poe is here for you. She has helped countless clients get the most compensation possible in their personal injury claims. Call today at (864) 963-0310 for a case consultation.