If you're being offered a settlement for your injuries, think carefully about your wants and needs before agreeing to anything. A sufficiently damaging injury affects more than just your income and hospital bills; it can put a stop to your life aspirations and comfort. Consider the costs of your quality of life and measure them against your settlement offer by analyzing your life costs and potential negotiations.
A Settlement Isn't An Admission, But It's Close
When you settle with a legal opponent in court, it may be to drop the case entirely without pushing harsh, permanently-scarring penalties.
Settlements don't necessarily have to harbor ill will; your settlement may be with an employer, public group or organization who didn't cause your injury, but is responsible in some way and is ready to pay for the issue with a systematic settlement. Full guilt is not necessarily part of the equation.
It does, however, mean that the opponent accepts some responsibility in the matter. If even a dollar is offered in compensation, it's reasonable to ask for more. When negotiating for higher rates or services, don't let a cold and systematic process stop you from pushing back for better payment.
Assess Your Life Costs
Life isn't easily plotted out on a spreadsheet without knowing a lot about what you do and want to do with your life. As you look through your legal options, consider consulting a personal finance professional and personal injury lawyer for your case.
As you organize your needs, consider a few of the following general costs:
- Medical. The medical cost for your injury should be covered, but be careful with your calculations. It would be better to enter an agreement where your legal opponent agrees to pay all related medical costs with a cash settlement on top of that. If you're absolutely unable to get such a deal, a lawyer and finance professional would be best for interviewing doctors and leaving open-ended settlement language in case the medical costs overrun in the future.
- Transportation. If you were injured in an accident and your vehicle was damaged, insurance may not pay for the cost of full replacement or repair. Anything not covered by your insurance--and maybe even price increases caused by the accident--should be negotiated in the settlement.
- Food, drink and shelter. An injury can reduce your ability to earn income and pay for the bare essentials. Make sure that the settlement covers rent, mortgage, grocery and/or utilities for the duration of the injury until you're able to return to a productive lifestyle.
The analysis may be complex and depend on different circumstances affected by your injuries. Consult a personal injury attorney like Sharkey Gregory V Attorney as soon as possible to avoid agreeing to a settlement that doesn't work for your best interests.Share