How Are the Settlement Amounts Calculated?
Many insurance companies use computer programs to evaluate specific injuries, or treatment codes, average settlements and jury verdicts. These programs usually project a range of settlements which adjusters use as a base for their offer. With proper documentation, a good attorney will often move up the chain and get senior adjusters who have authority to go beyond the standard offer.
Settlement amounts are typically calculated by considering various economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and out of pocket expenses from the injury. However non-economic factors should also play a significant role. Non-economic factors might include pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assess your claim for you, request all of your medical bills, estimate lost wages and out of pocket expenses, and make a demand for non-economic damages. Once an insurance adjuster sees you have hired an attorney and have an itemized list of damages with specific monetary expenses, they will be more likely to make a fair and reasonable settlement offer for your claim.
How Do You Calculate Pain And Suffering?
There is no specific formula to calculate pain and suffering. The severity of the injury and the amount of medical damages are often used as a base for calculation. Treatment expenses for injuries often equate to pain and suffering while diagnostic medical expenses, contribute much less to pain and suffering.
When you pay $1,000 for an MRI, it will add little to your pain and suffering while that same $1,000 for Physical Therapy treatments will generate a larger settlement for pain and suffering. If you are treated and released from the ER after an accident and have no follow up treatment, an insurance company will assume that you did not suffer very much and you can expect a low offer.
Medical records provide much of the basis for a pain and suffering award. The general rule is that if your doctor did not write it down, the insurance company will not believe it happened.
Do You Have To Pay Taxes On A Personal Injury Settlement?
As a general rule, the proceeds received from most personal injury claims are not taxable under either federal or state law.
Can I Reject A Settlement Offer?
Yes, you are free to reject any settlement offer. A personal injury attorney will be able to tell you what you can expect to settle for, what is and isn’t a fair amount, and your various options if you reject an offer. An attorney will also handle all settlement conversations with the insurance company for you. However, even with an attorney you are in control of accepting or rejecting an offer. Your attorney cannot accept or reject any offer no matter how good or bad the offer is without your consent.
How Is My Lawyer Paid?
For a personal injury case, your attorney will be paid from your recovery contingent on your attorney recovering a settlement for you or winning your case in court. It is standard practice for a contingency fee to be one third if the claim is settled and forty percent if the claim is not settled and goes to trial. An attorney is also typically refunded for fees and expenses incurred for perusing your claim. This is important because it ensures that everyone is able to get adequate legal representation at no risk and it ensures that your attorney has an incentive to recover the maximum amount for your claim.
Are There Potential Factors That Might Limit Or Minimize A Settlement In My Injury Case?
When an insurance adjustor prepares a settlement offer, they see specific numbers for economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages. These numbers are difficult to dispute and there is not much room for negotiating the settlement with clear economic damages.
Pain and suffering damages are where potential factors could limit or minimize your recovery. Things such as the seriousness of your injuries, treatment bills, recovery time, and physical or emotional distress form the accident can enhance or minimize your settlement.
What Can I Do To Assist My Attorney In Getting The Best Possible Settlement Outcome In My Auto Injury Case?
First and most importantly, you should truthfully present all possible facts you can to your attorney at the free initial consultation meeting. This allows your attorney to accurately assess your claim and if there are any facts that negatively impact your claim, your attorney can prepare for how to handle these facts and take care of them from the very beginning.
For more information on Calculation Of Settlement Amount In MD, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.