If you have suffered an injury at the hands of someone else, you may be entitled to receive damages. Injury cases in which fault is clear often get settled out of court to avoid a lengthy, costly court battle and unwanted publicity. The big question is, how much of a settlement can you expect?
Determine Actual Damages
The first thing you must do to determine your potential compensation is to calculate actual financial damages. This includes how much you paid in medical bills, how much you spent on repairing property damage, and the paychecks you didn’t receive because you were unable to work. These amounts can be found by gathering your receipts from the different medical providers and contractors you consulted with. To calculate your missed earnings, you’ll have to use your regular hourly rate and multiply it by the number of hours you missed due to your injury.
Calculate Future Damages
Not every personal injury case includes future damages, but many of them do. If your injuries require additional medical treatments, including surgeries or physical therapy, your settlement value should cover these costs. If you’re still unable to work and can’t work for the foreseeable future due to your injuries, you must also estimate lost future earnings and add them to your settlement estimate.
Use the Multiplier
The first two steps required you to calculate how much this personal injury case has cost you and will cost you in the future. But being compensated for your financial losses is just the baseline. The wrongdoer should pay more than that to make up for the pain and suffering you had to go through. That’s where the multiplier comes in.
The multiplier is usually a number between 1.5 and 5. You’ll multiply your actual damages by this number to arrive at the compensation for pain and suffering. How high the number is depends on the case and the amount of suffering. For example, a broken leg will receive a lower multiplier than a spinal injury. If you’re not sure, your personal injury defense lawyer in Lakewood Ranch, FL, can help you arrive at a reasonable total.
It’s Time to Negotiate
Now that you have an idea what a reasonable settlement amount could look like, it’s time to negotiate. It will be your attorney’s job to achieve the highest possible settlement for you, and they’ll talk to you about your expectations. In return for receiving a settlement check now, you have to give up your legal claim. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you receive enough money to pay your future expenses. You should keep in mind that your lawyer’s contingency fee must also come off the top.