How Much Should I Accept For A Personal Injury Settlement
Personal injuries comprise the following -- the cost of the repairs to your car, the cost of medical expenses to you and the occupants of the car, loss of wages and income arising out of the accident and finally an amount towards pain and suffering.
The cost of car repairs can easily be quantified and so can the cost of medical expenses. The latter includes all costs from time of accident -- ambulance, emergency room, hospitalization, X Rays and other special tests, referral to experts, a chiropractors charges etc. Loss of wages and income can be substantiated easily.
The problem arises with pain and suffering which is subjective and difficult to quantify. Generally this is assumed to be compensation for physical and mental anguish you have had to bear and also compensation for loss of the quality of life you were accustomed to. Furthermore it takes into consideration future pain and suffering you are likely to experience and the effects of trauma by way of lack of sleep etc.
Invariably this becomes a sticky point when negotiating with an adjuster. Usually, in the case of an accident, adjusters work on a formula. The total amount of medical bills is taken as the basis for assessment of compensation for pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of the accident this could be multiplied by a factor of between 2 to 4 times to arrive at a final offer. In general they are prepared to pay thrice this amount to settle out of court.
The norm whilst negotiating is to push the adjuster till he reaches a figure beyond which he will not go. At this stage it is up to the injured party to decide to accept or proceed on the next course which may eventually end in litigation.
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