6 Facts You Need to Know About Your Personal Injury Settlement

Posted on: 9 July 2015

When you're injured in a car accident or on someone's property, you may be entitled to a settlement to help pay for your injuries and any property damage. If you've been injured, and feel someone else is to blame, check out these six must-know facts. They'll help you understand a bit about your personal injury settlement.

You Need to Attend to Your Injury

When you're injured, it's your responsibility to seek medical treatment and try to reduce the extent of the injury as much as possible. If you don't, the injury could get worse, increasing future medical expenses. In some cases, an injury may even turn into a life-long struggle because you didn't take steps to treat it. If you fail to try and minimize the financial impact of the injury, you will probably end up with a significantly smaller settlement than you would have gotten otherwise.

You May Be Found Partially Responsible

There are many instances where the injury isn't completely one-sided, and you may be partially responsible for your own injury. When this happens, it doesn't necessarily mean you won't get any money, but it does affect your settlement.

For example, if you are found 10 percent responsible for the accident, you'll get 10 percent less in your settlement. However, a few states support contributory negligence; if you are found partially responsible, you may not get any money at all.

Insurance Companies Use a Formula to Determine Your Settlement

If you are seeking money from an insurance carrier, expect your settlement to be determined by a formula to help determine the total extent of your injuries. The first step in the formula is to add up all your medical expenses from the injury. This amount is then multiplied by a number based on the severity of your injuries. If your injuries are minor, the amount is multiplied by 1.5 or 2. If your injuries are severe, the amount may be multiplied by 5. Any lost income is also added to the amount. This amount becomes the starting number for negotiations.

Your Settlement Should Include Medical Expenses

Even the most basic personal injury cases award money for medical expenses, if you win your case. The settlement doesn't just include medical expenses you've already incurred. It also includes medical expenses you'll need in the future, which is why it's important to work with your doctor to determine what your treatment plan looks like.

It May Include Lost Income and Property Loss

If your injury is severe enough, you may have to miss work for a while until you are healthy enough to return. In these instances, your settlement may include lost income for the days you've already missed and income for days you are still going to miss while you are recovering from the injury.

Some Settlements Include Pain and Suffering

A broken arm is easy to spot, but there are some injuries that are hidden, such as pain and suffering. These injuries may be physical or mental, and the mental damages are the most difficult to spot, but they can affect your life in ways you'd never imagined. Some people with pain and suffering no longer get the same enjoyment out of life after the injury. They may no longer be able to do the same activities they once did. Others suffer from depression, anger, anxiety and other emotional distress. In some instances, you may even discover that your relationship with your spouse is not the same after the accident.

After an accident that isn't your fault, you deserve to be made whole again, and a settlement is designed to award you enough money to do just that. If you've been injured, don't wait. Contact a personal injury attorney through resources like http://www.dlplawyers.com.