Ways to Unintentionally Ruin Your Accident Settlement

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by | Feb 29, 2016 | Auto Accidents

There are plenty of factors that can influence your accident settlement amount – whether in a positive or negative way. If you have filed an injury claim, it is important that you understand what factors impact your settlement and how your own actions can inadvertently ruin your chances to recover compensation at all. It is equally important to work with a skilled personal injury attorney – one that can counsel you on how to act, what information to gather, etc.

What Factors Influence Your Settlement Value?

There are factors that can apply to all types of accident cases – whether it is a slip and fall, a medical malpractice or even a car accident. These factors include:

  1. The Type of Injury – The type of injury ultimately influences how much of a settlement you will receive. For example, a hip fracture would be worth more than soft tissue injuries just like a traumatic brain injury would be more than a fracture. If the injury is something that a victim will suffer through for long periods, they will ultimately receive more than someone that can quickly recover.
  2. Past Verdicts and Settlements – The type of injury will also be compared to past verdicts and settlements for similar cases in the area. Historically, insurance companies will compare settlements for similar cases awarded in jury trials and then assess how much they are likely to pay if they too were to take your claim to trial.
  3. Calculating Settlement Value – This is where a skilled personal injury attorney is helpful. An attorney can accurately calculate your settlement value and determine the compensation you need for past injuries, future treatments and disability. It takes experience knowing how to calculate such costs – and your attorney will know what costs you can include based on your type of injury claim.
  4. Pre-Existing Injuries – If you have pre-existing injuries, those will be assessed during settlement negotiations. This is because you may not receive as much in compensation for injuries that occurred prior to the accident. If you can prove that the injury was no longer an issue and was only re-aggravated because of the accident, you can increase the chances for a higher settlement.
  5. Your Honesty and Trustworthiness – If you are not honest during depositions or even during the initial claims stage, that can hurt your settlement later on. It is imperative that you always tell the truth, never exaggerate details and be honest. If you are not trustworthy, a jury is unlikely to award you maximum settlement for your injuries.
  6. The Type of Negligence – The negligence of the defendant is also important. If a defendant’s actions were purposeful or qualify for punitive damages, your settlement will be higher. If, however, the negligence was more accidental, it is unlikely you will receive a high settlement.
  7. Evidence You Have – The evidence you have proving the defendant’s negligence as well as the validity of your accident will also play a pivotal role during settlement negotiations. That is why it is imperative you save medical records, bills, and other costs associated with your accident so that you can prove them in court.

If you have been injured in a car accident and wish to increase your settlement value, contact a personal injury attorney at Horn Law. We are here to work as your advocates and we will work hard to ensure you get the settlement you deserve for your injuries, financial losses and pain and suffering. Schedule a consultation with an attorney today by calling 816-795-7500 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.