General Article

Negotiating a Fair Settlement for Auto Wrecks

The most inquired topic to injury lawyers is “how much is my case worth?” It certainly is a fair question, since most people need to know what to expect in terms of compensation for their injuries. The first step in understanding the neighborhood of your probable compensation is understanding the legal rules that apply to an injury case.

When it comes to negotiations, says an experienced car accident injury attorney babylon ny residents can sue or work out a settlement. This is the point where the responsible party offers to settle the claim for a certain amount of money. Keep in mind that a settlement means that you give up your right to sue the person that injured you, so you must make sure you obtain fair compensation.

Figuring Out Your Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, often called general damages, are not easily quantifiable, as you cannot simply add up a specific dollar-for-dollar amount. However, the money is used as a way to compensate for these injuries, including

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Value of enjoyment of life

Special damages and general damages are added together to make up the total damages in many, if not most, injury cases. Take for example, if Sam Shepard was asking for $10,000 in general damages and he has $22,000 in special damages, then in the negotiation process, he would have a claim of $32,000 total damages.

It sounds simple, but insurance companies complicate the issue by disrupting the amount you are seeking. Insurance companies often dispute the medical bills. They might say you went to the doctor too often, or that your medical treatment was really for something other than the injuries you suffered in the car wreck. There can always be disputes about whether medical treatment, after an injury, resulted from the wreck. However, if the treatment can be shown to be related, then the amount can be fairly easily determined by a mathematical calculation.

A Dispute of Damages and Coming to a Compromise

Often, insurance companies pay more than they think a jury would award at trial. Sometimes the injured person may accept less than they think a jury would award at trial. Very often, a compromise between the two parties will happen because neither side knows for sure what a jury might decide.

In many injury cases, the amount for pain and suffering that should be paid is the subject of dispute; the insurer and their attorney will try and minimize the payout, and the injured person, of course will try to maximize it. One jury might think an award of $10,000 for pain and suffering is adequate and fair, while another jury, hearing the same case, may award $25,000. All of this is considered in negotiations and the final amount will be somewhere in the middle. Both sides compromise in personal injury cases, but the experienced attorney knows about these general practices, and will be ready to negotiate a fair settlement.