What To Ask For In A Personal Injury Settlement in Pennsylvania
March 15, 2021
Being injured in an accident can be a difficult and life-altering experience to go through. You may have to undergo significant medical treatment and rehabilitation, all the while missing time from work and losing out on the income you need to pay the bills. Of course, injuries also come with physical pain and emotional distress, as well that deserves to be addressed.
When you were injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury claim. Most personal injury cases end in a settlement, so when you have a personal injury case, you may wonder what you should ask for when seeking a settlement in your case. Continue reading to find out what a personal injury settlement includes and how a lawyer can help.
What Can You Be Compensated for by a Personal Injury Settlement?
The first step in determining what you should ask for in a personal injury settlement involves identifying what damages you have suffered and calculating the extent or value of your losses. Damages that you can be compensated for in a personal injury claim includes:
- Costs of medical recovery, including hospital bills, doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, physical therapy, and medical equipment like braces or crutches
- Lost wages or future income, if you miss time from work recovering from your injuries or are permanently disabled from working
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life due to physical scarring or due to disabilities that interfere with daily living
Factors That Can Affect Your Personal Injury Settlement
Typically, you will arrive at an initial compensation demand to begin settlement negotiations by adding your medical expenses (both past and future expected costs) and past and future lost wages. You will then multiply your medical expenses by a factor ranging from 1.5 to five, depending on the severity of your injuries and any resulting disabilities, and add it to your financial losses to reach your total losses.
However, other factors can affect the actual amount of compensation you may receive in a personal injury settlement, such as:
- Applicable insurance policy limits – In some cases, the amount you can receive in a settlement is practically limited by the amount of insurance coverage available in the at-fault party’s policy, since the insurance company will not pay you any more than the policy limit. Where an insurance policy is the liable party’s sole or primary ability to compensate you, you may end up accepting the policy limit as a settlement.
- The risk of going to trial – Once you put your case in the hands of a jury, you cannot predict what the outcome will be. With a settlement, you and the other side have complete control over the outcome. In addition, litigation and trial are very expensive, which some parties may prefer to avoid.
- Legal representation – Having legal representation can often help maximize your settlement, since an experienced lawyer will know what your case is worth and more effectively and persuasively argue for imposing liability on the other side.
Successfully Securing a Personal Injury Settlement
Securing a personal injury settlement will almost certainly require some amount of negotiation — the at-fault party is not likely to offer you a figure that you would find fair, and is also likely to balk at the first settlement figure you offer.
The settlement negotiation process is usually helped along by formally filing your personal injury claim in court via a lawsuit. Once the litigation process begins, it can quickly rack up expenses for the other side. In addition, the suddenly real prospect of going to trial often makes parties more amenable to reaching a mutually acceptable settlement.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.