In a high percentage of personal injury cases, the resolution that’s eventually reached is done so via a settlement agreement. This is where the two sides of the suit come together to arrange a fair number before going to a civil trial, and it’s one of the primary areas where a personal injury lawyer can be of great help.
At the offices of Kelly & Bramwell, we’re here to help walk you through all these processes, including a settlement if this is the route you choose to go. Here are some basic steps that go into the personal injury settlement process.
For starters, whether or not you plan to reach a settlement, your personal injury attorney will draft and send a settlement demand to the opposing party or insurance company. This document will outline all the damages you’re seeking and all elements of exposure they may face.
There are a few important areas within the settlement demand: Potential future wage losses and future medical costs, job retraining expenses, QRC costs and more. We’ll make a detailed itemization of these areas.
Once the demand is received, you’ll usually receive a counter-offer in short order. This is the start of negotiations, which may take place in a formal court or may be far more informal in a meeting setting.
This is a stage that’s only reached if a settlement cannot be agreed upon mutually. A hearing before a judge will take place, during which the judge has the sole discretion to decide whether benefits are awarded and what amount they’re to be awarded in. This judgment will come in the form of a weekly benefit payment number.
Deciding whether to accept a settlement counter-offer is one of the toughest parts of a personal injury case, one that requires balancing the risk of losing in a trial – and getting nothing – versus taking a smaller amount than you desired, but still getting something. This is where a personal injury attorney comes in; we can help you weigh your chances of winning or losing in front of a judge, and advise you on the safest course of action to get the money you deserve.