The Personal Injury Settlement Puzzle

After being hit by a careless driver, you may be interested in being paid a settlement. Personal injury settlements can be a quick and stress-free way to get paid compensation. However, a settlement is only possible when several factors are present. Read on to find out about the pieces of the personal injury settlement that must be assembled correctly.

Fault – This puzzle piece must be in place before you can consider compensation from the other driver. In many cases, fault is settled quickly, and you can move forward. If fault is not agreed upon, though, your lawyer will investigate and gather proof that the other driver caused the wreck. In some cases, the fault issue can cause a case to go to court rather than settle.

Medical Treatment – This is another important puzzle piece. You must prove that you were injured in the accident using medical records. Those who fail to seek treatment or who were not injured will have to settle for being paid for their wrecked vehicle only.

Other Damages – You can help your personal injury lawyer add more forms of damage to your case by supplying supporting documentation to prove how much time you missed from work and your usual rate of pay. If you lost more than your vehicle in the accident, list your losses for your lawyer. Some accident victims lose cell phones, child car seats, expensive clothing and handbags, and more.

Pain and Suffering – Your pain and suffering include the difficulties of dealing with the mental aspects of the accident. If you have experienced issues with depression, anxiety, or more, keep a journal. Journaling helps you in many ways. It's therapeutic to write about trauma, and can be used as evidence of pain and suffering. 

The Demand Letter – This letter lets the other side know that you have damages that you expect to be paid for. The demand also contains the amount you expect to be paid because of the accident. In many cases, the other side automatically turns the offer down, but it does serve to begin settlement negotiations, thus it's a major piece of the puzzle.

The Offer – Your lawyer will help you understand how much you should be paid and why. You will agree on a bottom-line minimum to accept. In many cases, a few weeks of back-and-forth will occur before you end up agreeing to an offer. For those that are unable to come to an agreement, a lawsuit may be filed.

That completes the personal injury settlement puzzle. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to learn more about any of the above.