If you’ve been in an accident that incurred serious injury, you may be entitled to damages. Many of these cases are settled out of court, which means you might have to sacrifice some of your potential compensation in order to receive money more quickly and keep yourself out of court—thus reducing legal fees. But how do you know if it’s worth it? In this article, we’ll look at what factors go into deciding a fair settlement.
Calculating Your Settlement Estimate
Estimating your settlement is not just a matter of adding these numbers up. There are essentially two categories of damages that play into determining a settlement. The first is Special Damages, which are actual expenses that are relatively simple to quantify. General damages, on the other hand, are much more complicated.
Compensation for Expenses
The first factor in your estimated settlement target is your actual expenses, including what you’ve had to pay out for medical expenses and vehicle repairs. Even if you did not pay your medical bills out of pocket, these costs should be included in any settlement estimate.
Compensation for Future Expenses and Losses
This category includes not only the lost income stemming from your recovery period, but also any future medical expenses and loss of income due to an inability to work. Remember, you’re working for a settlement that includes every dollar you lost as well as every potential dollar you could have earned if your accident never happened. If your injury is serious enough to incur some level of disability, your auto accident lawyer should include all future loss of income in the settlement estimate.
Compensation for General Damages
Some things cannot be compensated for with any amount of money. If you experience daily pain and suffering due to your accident, you deserve significantly more compensation than someone who received a minor injury with a brief recovery window. The problem is that these aren’t quite as easy to capture in a simple dollar figure. Included in General Damages is a sub-category called “pain and suffering,” meaning physical discomfort, mental anxiety, stress, and other negative effects of being injured such as interruption to the claimant’s day-to-day life. Your auto accident lawyer will be able to help you determine the right multiplier for factoring pain and suffering into your settlement target. The multiplier will be lower or higher depending the specifics of your case, such as the severity of injuries, the degree of medical treatment you’ve received and expect to receive, and the permanent or long-lasting effects of your injuries.
To find out how much compensation you can expect when your auto accident case is settled, contact an experienced Las Vegas auto accident lawyer today.