When a civil case is in the settlement phase, the most important step is determining how much a person should be owed in damages. This involves adding up the economic and non-economic losses of the accident as well as accounting for future needs. However, this can be more challenging than it appears. The law office of David E. Gordon can help you calculate a settlement for a Memphis car accident and ensure that you do not lose out on important compensation due to insurance company pressure.
Who Determines the Amount of a Settlement?
A settlement amount must be agreed upon by both parties. The injured party and their lawyer ordinarily begin with what is called a settlement demand, which is their initial offer. This is typically not an amount that they expect to achieve but it is a place to begin the negotiations. The negotiations continue back and forth until an agreement is reached or until they decide no agreement will be reached. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the lawyer can proceed with filing a lawsuit.
A jury has no involvement in a settlement calculation. If a case goes to trial, the jury will deliberate and come to their own conclusions as to what should be awarded. They are given no information about the settlement process or what amounts were offered and rejected in the past.
Does the Plaintiff’s Negligence Affect the Settlement Amount?
If the injured party is determined to be partially at fault in the accident, that can have a major impact on the settlement. In Tennessee, if a person is 50 percent or more at fault in an accident, then they will not be entitled to any settlement amount at all. If a person is 40 percent at fault then the value of the settlement is reduced by 40 percent, and so on. This potential portion of fault must be taken into account when calculating a settlement offer after a local auto collision.
How an Attorney Could Calculate the Value
An experienced lawyer has access to the records of every jury verdict in Tennessee for the last 15 years. They can look at these records and determine the approximate value before a jury. There are records that reveal the jury verdicts for injuries to various body parts, which could be used to determine what is possible in their current case.
However, the particulars of every case also make a difference. That can include:
- The amount of medical treatment someone received
- Whether there is a scar or some other permanent physical change
- Whether there is a limitation in mobility or cognitive thinking
- Whether a person lost their job as a result of the injury
With David’s guidance, a person could receive a better calculation of their potential damages award for their Memphis car crash injuries.
Factors to be Aware of When Determining a Settlement
Whenever a person considers settling their personal injury claim, they should understand that there will be no second opportunity to get more money. If a person settled the case and then suffers new pain from the injury a month later, they cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more money. That is why it is important not to begin settlement negotiations until a person is confident that they know the full extent of their injury.
A person does not need to be completely healed at the time of the settlement but they should be apprised of the potential for future problems. Some medical conditions are permanent and should be compensated with that fact in mind.
Calculate Your Memphis Car Accident Settlement with an Attorney
There are many aspects to consider when settling your auto collision injury, and it is easy to lose sight of some of them without professional help. David E. Gordon is here to help you calculate a fair settlement figure in a Memphis car accident. Call today to discuss your situation and how you can benefit from an experienced, Board-certified lawyer.