Important Things To Remember Before Settling An Incident That Left You Injured
When dealing with an injury and the ensuing settlement discussions (or legal proceedings), it can be tempting to get everything over and done as quickly as possible. The sooner everything is handled, you’ll have more time to focus on your recovery, hopefully, some money to help you make ends meet, and at least one stressful thing crossed off your never-ending to-do list. But settling an incident that left you injured takes time for a reason. One of the biggest reasons is wanting to make sure you’re given fair and just compensation for the harm you’ve experienced. The following will point out some things you need to keep in mind before deciding to settle a claim or case involving an injury.
Ensure You’ve Crunched The Numbers Properly
It can be gross and uncomfortable to put a price tag on your suffering. Unfortunately, in personal injury cases, this needs to be done. A tally needs to be compiled covering the costs of your medical bills, lost current and future income, damages to property, additional expenses incurred due to the injury (like childcare costs), and the cost of your mental, physical, and emotional anguish.
Many people aren’t able to accurately do this sort of calculation independently, and as a result, many turn to personal injury lawyers. Professionals can help you better understand how much an injury is costing you—spoiler alert: it’s more than you probably imagined at first. That’s why a personal injury calculator will be used to determine exactly how much you can and should be getting compensation-wise from the cause of your injury. Don’t allow insurance companies or other parties involved in the incident to do this for you. Almost certainly, they’ll be lowballing you to avoid spending more money than they have to.
Think About The Future Cost Of Medical Care
It’s not enough to include only what you’ve spent so far on medical appointments, medications, and specialist visits. You might end up needing to spend more on your health because of the injury in the future. Part of estimating this number should involve speaking to your doctor or healthcare professional about what they expect you’ll need to complete or as close to complete as possible recovery. Think about whether you might require therapy (take note, car accidents are the number one source of PTSD in America), physiotherapy, rehabilitation, changes to your home’s structure, prescriptions, and medical equipment. These costs need to be included in your estimates.
Think About Your Future Work Opportunities
Likewise, it’s not enough to consider how much money you’ve lost up until this point due to missed work (or the complete inability to work). You need to calculate how long you’ll be out of work and include that sum in your estimate. Beyond this, injuries can change your future work opportunities—maybe you’ll miss out on a promotion or be delayed in getting a raise. Ask yourself whether your injury lessens your future earning potential. Also include the possible money gained from a retirement savings matching program offered by your workplace.
It’s worth noting here that if you were out of work at the time of the incident, that doesn’t mean you should ignore this section. Did you expect to get a job at some point? What income bracket would you reasonably have been in?
Ask For Legal Advice
Before agreeing to anything with an insurance company, workplace, or other party involved in your incident—speak to an attorney. A lawyer will be able to tell you whether or not you’re being swindled. Many people are nervous to ask for what they believe they’re worth as they don’t want to seem greedy or hurt their pride to admit they need help. An attorney will let you know what a reasonable expectation is.
Stay Off Social Media
In addition to sorting through all of the above information, you must avoid posting on social media unless specifically directed by a lawyer. In cases where personal pain and suffering are being included in compensation calculations, judges, insurance workers, and law enforcement officers can look at your online presence to help determine how forthright you’re in regards to your injuries. If you need to vent, do so with a friend, not with the internet.
The above information should help you navigate the murky waters of settling a personal injury case. Whenever you feel doubt or suspect you’re not being treated fairly, ask for the advice of a legal professional.