What Is a Reasonable Settlement Offer in a Personal Injury Case? How a Lawyer Can Help You Decide
Dec 05, 2023
When you have been injured in a car accident or any other event, you will likely have the opportunity to settle your claim with the at-fault party. To be adequately compensated through a settlement agreement, you must understand what is a reasonable settlement offer in your case and what offers you should pass on.
Ultimately, a reasonable settlement amount is one that compensates you fairly for medical bills, lost wages, and any other losses you have suffered.
An experienced attorney can do more than just help you file a personal injury claim; your lawyer can evaluate the strength of settlement offers you receive, negotiate a more favorable personal injury settlement, and take further legal action to resolve your claim if a settlement cannot be reached.
Is There a Standard Settlement You Should Expect?
It would be helpful if there were an objective resource that all injured parties could use to evaluate their settlement offers. Unfortunately, no such resource exists, and as a result, every personal injury victim must decide for themselves whether the offer being extended is one they should take or reject.
For instance, a three-day hospital stay alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the specific care that you need. Even if your accident resulted in a short hospital stay, it could impact the value of your case and the settlement your attorney will negotiate.
Factors That Can Influence a Settlement Offer
Some of the factors that are most pertinent to how much a personal injury case settles for include:
Severity and Permanency of Injuries
The greater and more permanent the harm suffered by the victim, the larger the settlement amount should be. In such instances, the settlement will need to address ongoing and future needs along with expenses already incurred by the victim.
Strength of the Evidence in the Plaintiff’s Favor
Next, the stronger your case is, the better the position you are in to demand a higher settlement amount. When there is an abundance of credible evidence to support each of the elements of a personal injury lawsuit, insurance companies may extend higher settlement offers than for claims with weaker evidence.
Need for Settlement Funds
Conversely, when you need settlement funds quickly, the at-fault party has a slight edge over you in negotiations. Because one of the benefits of a settlement is the ability to receive compensation quickly, the at-fault party may hold off on increasing the settlement offer to encourage you to agree to an amount that is more palatable to them.
How an Attorney Can Help You Review Whether a Settlement Is Reasonable
An experienced personal injury lawyer can use their legal knowledge to review settlement offers and help you make the best decision.
First, your attorney may evaluate a settlement offer against previous offers in cases that involved similar injuries. Comparing your settlement against these offers is a good starting point in evaluating the reasonableness of a settlement.
Next, your attorney can review the expenses and losses you sustained and then compare that figure with the settlement being offered. If the lawsuit settlement offer compares well with the total losses you experienced, it is likely a reasonable amount.
Finally, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can review with you the strength of your case and the risks associated with going to trial. Where the evidence supporting your claim is robust, your attorney may recommend that you ask for a settlement that compares more favorably with the value of your losses.
An attorney can do more for you than simply evaluate and comment on the settlement offers you receive. Using their legal skills, they can help negotiate a settlement that is fairer to you. This can help you resolve your case more quickly and put you in a better financial position.
FAQs About Personal Injury Settlements
Common questions that victims have about personal injury settlements include the following:
How Long Will My Case Take to Settle?
There is no standard answer for how long your case will take to settle, just as there is no standard answer to “What is a reasonable settlement offer?” Some cases may take weeks to settle, while others will not conclude for months or longer. Still, other personal injury cases will never settle but will have to proceed to trial.
Must I Accept a Settlement Offer Made to Me?
No, you do not have to accept a settlement offer if you do not want to. If you feel the settlement is too low, for example, you can decline to accept it. You can even respond by indicating the amount for which you would settle your case, which the other party can then accept or reject.
Is Setting My Claim the Right Move for Me?
Only you can answer this question, although an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you make this decision. Settling your case presents advantages and disadvantages, just as taking your case to trial has potential risks and rewards. You must weigh these and decide which option is in your best interests.
Ready to Get Started? Contact The Spence Law Firm
When you or a loved one has been injured in Wyoming, trust the experienced legal team at The Spence Law Firm to have your back.
We’ll help you understand your rights to recovery and determine what is a reasonable settlement offer in your case. Then, we’ll get to work, making a strong case for a fair settlement offer. To learn more, contact our law firm today and schedule a consultation with an experienced Wyoming personal injury lawyer.
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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.