Negotiating a Personal Injury Settlement

Copyright (c) 2011 Benjamin Glass

When you file a personal injury claim you will be dealing with the insurance company, which will almost never offer you a substantial injury claim settlement. The insurance company is interested in keeping the money in their pocket and not paying out claims.

Your Initial Personal Injury Settlement Offer

If you’re lucky enough that your insurance company does not deny your claim from the start, the injury claim settlement they offer you will most likely be far too low to account for all the damages you are entitled to. This injury claim settlement offer will be given to you quickly in an attempt to pressure you into a settlement.

The insurance companies prey upon the fact that you are probably frustrated with the personal injury claim process and are desperate for an injury claim settlement. Most victims are worrying about their accumulating medical bills and the fact that they have lost income for being unable to work after their accident. The fact that you are most likely desperate for any sort of compensation to help offset these costs is what the insurance company is hoping for.

If you accept this meager injury claim settlement for your personal injury claim you are basically closing off all chances at further compensation. Most of these offers come with a waiver you must sign saying you agree that this is the only compensation you will seek for your personal injury claim. By signing this agreement, you will be unable to seek compensation for further damages that may result from future treatment needs or expenses.

Damages Your Personal Injury Settlement Should Cover

When you file a personal injury claim your settlement amount should take certain types of damages into consideration. A fair settlement should look at these 4 basic types of damages and loss:

• medical expenses;

• lost wages;

• future damages; and

• pain and suffering.

In many cases, a sub-standard personal injury settlement will not account for pain and suffering, or it may not fully assess your future damages and needs.

Negotiating with the Help of an Attorney

When you begin filing a personal injury claim you should first get in contact with a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to help you negotiate a suitable injury claim settlement and prevent you from accepting less than your personal injury claim is worth.

With experience comes a good repertoire of cases to draw comparison to. The more cases an attorney has handled to settlement, the more examples they have to compare to your own case and the better they can assess if a settlement is fair.

When your injury claim settlement is not fair or is wrongfully denied you can consider taking your case to trial as a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases of a personal injury claim this may be your only chance at obtaining a fair settlement. An experienced attorney can help you through this process and get you on the path to a fair settlement for your injuries.

Ben Glass is a personal injury attorney in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a frequent speaker on personal injury topics. Accident victims can download 31 Tips for Handling Your Own Virginia Accident Case at
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