Factors That Affect Compensation in Settlement Negotiations
Not all car accident cases in Baltimore County go through the full trial process, as many are resolved through settlement agreements intended to compensate the injured party for his or her losses. In a typical scenario, the attorney representing the accident victim will discuss settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company. The sides have competing interests, with the victim’s lawyer attempting to get the highest amount possible and the insurer trying to keep the monetary settlement low. If you’ve been hurt in a Maryland car accident, here’s what you need to know about the factors that impact the amount of compensation you may receive for your injuries.
Permanent Versus Temporary Injuries: The primary factor that affects the amount of compensation in a settlement is how long you’ll suffer with your injuries. In severe car accidents, you may experience a permanent condition that you’ll carry for the rest of your life. Brain trauma, limb amputations, spinal injuries, and other harms are examples of medical issues from which you’ll never fully recover – possibly because you’re left unable to walk or function normally. A temporary injury might include a broken bone, whiplash, cuts and contusions, or bruises. Permanent injuries are compensated at a higher rate as compared to temporary conditions due to the extensive pain and suffering.
Type of Injury: Somewhat related to the permanence of a car accident injury is the type of injury you suffer. Bruises and contusions tend to be on the lower scale in settlement discussions, as compared to a broken bone; likewise, a broken bone would likely result in lower compensation than injuries to your internal organs, brain, or spine. In settlement negotiations, an insurance company will also look at the type of injury as it regards to the location on your body and function. Adjusters typically weigh ankle and foot injuries differently from wrist, hand, and finger issues, for example.
Strength of the Medical Evidence: In settlement discussions, both parties will analyze the evidence that supports their side of the case – especially the medical records documenting your injuries and treatment. While your attorney may not admit weaknesses during negotiations, it’s possible that he or she sees potential problems in proving the severity of your injuries because the medical evidence is unconvincing. The insurance company may perceive vulnerabilities in your medical records, too, leading an agent to offer a lower amount. In general, the stronger the evidence, the higher amount you may be able to obtain in settlement negotiations.
While every case is different, there are certain common factors that affect the amount of compensation you may obtain if you’re able to settle your car accident case. Of course, you’ll be more successful in getting a higher settlement amount if you have a qualified personal injury attorney on your side. A knowledgeable Maryland lawyer will fight for your rights against tough, stingy insurance companies to get the compensation you deserve – and will pursue the matter in court if settlement negotiations fall through. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to discuss your case.
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