What Is a Good Settlement Offer
A good settlement offer for accident-related damages should include compensation for the following, as applicable:
- Physical injuries, including bone fractures or concussions
- Psychological injuries, including depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Financial losses, including the cost to repair your car
- Effects on your career, including wages or jobs you lost recovering from your injuries
- Effects on your social life, including changes in your relationships with family members
How much you should request in compensation often depends on the severity of your injuries. If you seek compensation after a personal injury or wrongful death, it is essential to know what a good settlement offer is before speaking to the at-fault party’s insurer or lawyer.
What Goes into an Accident Settlement?
The items for which you may seek compensation will depend on what types of injuries or losses you sustained, their severity, and what sort of impact they had on your life. Common examples include:
- Medical bills: You could be compensated for any treatment you needed to survive, heal from your injuries, or improve your quality of life.
- Loss of income: This category applies to workers who took time off from their job while their injuries healed.
- Reduced earning capacity: If you can no longer earn as much money as before the accident, the at-fault party may have to help make up the difference in income.
- Pain and suffering: Physical and mental anguish has taken a noticeable toll on your life and health.
- Disability: You might have sustained a permanent injury, such as an amputated limb, or a temporary one, such as a broken bone.
- Reduced quality of life: Your overall health and happiness have suffered since the accident. You cannot engage in all the activities you used to do.
If you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you could ask for compensation for funeral expenses or loss of companionship in addition to the above damages.
How do I Get an Accident Settlement?
Before you can file a lawsuit, you must prove that someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior caused your injuries. For example:
- A driver ran into you while they sent a text message.
- A nursing home did not provide proper care to your loved one, leading to bedsores or other injuries.
- A property owner failed to warn you of slick spots on their property, causing you to slip and fall.
A lawyer can help you identify the liable party (or parties) that you can sue.
A lawyer can also collect the proof you will need to demonstrate the liable party’s role in your injuries. In addition, you must show the serious nature of your injuries. To do so, you can compile this evidence:
- Medical records can tie your injuries to the accident and prove their severity.
- Bills and receipts from accident-related purchases show how much money you have spent so far.
- The police report can establish basic facts about the accident.
- Experts can analyze your situation and confirm the liable party’s responsibility for the accident and the seriousness of your injuries.
Finally, and most importantly, you can only collect compensation if you file your case within the applicable statute of limitations. The statute that applies to your case may depend on:
- The type of accident you suffered
- Whether you file a personal injury or wrongful death case
- The liable party in your claim (e.g., you often have less time to sue government entities than other entities)
If you speak to a lawyer immediately after the accident, they will have more time to determine which statute applies to your case and file a lawsuit before the deadline runs out.
What If the Other Party Will Not Settle?
Most civil cases end with a pretrial settlement. This conclusion results from the liable party’s insurance company not wanting to go through the time, trouble, and expense of a trial. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get a fair payout.
If the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, you have the option of taking your case to court. This involves:
- Scheduling court dates and being on time for all meetings and hearings
- Submitting evidence to the court and exchanging evidence with the defense
- Preparing and delivering opening and closing remarks to the jury
- Preparing witnesses to testify and questioning them on the stand
- Writing and submitting legal briefs as necessary
A personal injury attorney from our firm can do all this and more for you.
Get a Free Evaluation Today
Distasio Law Firm has more than three decades of experience providing compassionate, personalized legal help to people like you. Call us today at (813) 259-0022 to learn more about what a good settlement offer may be in your case. We would be happy to show you how our dedication, expertise, and genuine concern for clients combine to make The Distasio Difference.