Circumstances You Might not Realize Can Increase Your Personal Injury Settlement

personal injury settlement
Should you ever be involved in an accident that is almost certainly not your fault, you quite naturally have the option of pursuing a claim at court. If the accident in question has resulted in any outstanding medical bills or meant a general loss in your livelihood and income, you absolutely should. However, something that is not always understood is how the circumstances that result in payment are calculated. For example, just how much pain do you have to be in before you can claim compensation for it? Is a broken leg accounted for the same as a broken arm?

The circumstances that can increase your personal injury settlement are codified and regulated. If you do find yourself in a lawsuit over injuries you have suffered, knowing these sorts of things can really help you get the most out of your settlement, which can be helpful for those extra medical costs or to assist with getting by while out of work.

Naturally, each case is unique, so there may be certain exceptions, variants and caveats to these listings but these will give you a place to start.

No Pain, No Gain

As a general rule of thumb, most court cases will use the amount of pain suffered as a general yard stick for determining how much compensation is due to the injured party. The more you’ve suffered as a result of your injury, the more you will receive in your personal injury settlement.
Bear in mind as well, this isn’t just physical pain. You don’t have to scream in anguish whenever your broken collar bone is touched. Mental anquish is also taken into account, as is any pain caused by a disruption in your regular life and means of income. So, for example, if you make a living as a guitarist and you suffer from broken fingers, you’d get more in a personal injury settlement than a professional singer would for the same injury.

Other things related to your injury that can result in increased personal settlements include:

• Hard Injury - broken bones, fractures, nerve damage, dislocated joints, spinal column damage, etc.

• Medical Expenses - this only covers expenses directly related to treatment, as well as prescription costs.

• Permanent Injury - facial scarring, loss of use in limbs, weakness, indefinite continued treatments etc. 

• Disruptions to Daily Life - once again, this includes not just the length of recovery, but how much the injuries prevent you from living your normal life and maintaining your livelihood.

Pointing Fingers

Of course, there is more to your personal injury claim than simply how much your broken leg prevents you from your usual job as a tap dancer. There is also the matter of the legal liability, in laymen’s terms who exactly was responsible for the injury in the first place. This will play a very important role in determining how much compensation you will receive at the end of the case, assuming you’re even awarded a settlement at all.

Naturally finding out that you were at least partially responsible for your injury will damage your case, so you may want to ensure you have the following before proceeding to court.

• Blame - you were completely faultless for the injury, or prevention of it was completely beyond your reasonable control.

• Evidence - having witnesses or video footage of the injury will greatly bolster your case in a claims court.

• Good Presentation - it pays to be patient and calm during the proceedings. Keeping a level head will make your case more credible. You should also be organised and presentable during the hearing. Make sure to wear a smart suit, and that you have all necessary paperwork.

• Luck - if the person you’re suing is unsympathetic or otherwise held suspect, you may be rewarded with an increased settlement.

A Second Opinion

If you’re uncertain as to whether you may be entitled to additional payment following your accident or injury, you should probably consider asking for legal advice from an attorney. Most law firms such as Heil Law will offer a free consultation upon your first visit, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t approach one to see if circumstances can give you a greater personal injury settlement, or greater chances of success. They may also alert you to potential weaknesses in your claim, or unseen laws and ordinances, that may damage your chances of a successful claim too.

Christian Mills is a freelance writer and family man who offers articles and advice on a variety of challenges affecting families and life in the home.

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