Five Factors That Can Influence the Value of a Settlement or Verdict

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If you have been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you are entitled to compensation for your damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages. However, even with an experienced lawyer in your corner, personal injury claims are rarely a “slam dunk.”

Whether you suffered injuries due to the negligence of a distracted driver or negligent doctor, insurance companies will vigorously fight your claim. Some of the factors that can strengthen or weaken your case include the following:

  • The negligence of the parties — In order to bring a successful personal injury claim, you must be able to show that the defendant acted carelessly. For example, in a medical malpractice case, you must show that doctor failed to follow the appropriate standard of care. The more egregious the conduct, the easier it is to establish liability. However, your damages may also be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
  • The nature of your injuries — You must be able to provide medical evidence that shows you sustained injuries due to the accident. The more serious and potentially long lasting your injuries are, the higher the value of your claim.
  • The existence of prior medical conditions —A common defense tactic is to blame your current injuries on a pre-existing medical condition or injury. While a clean bill of health prior to the accident often boosts the value of your claim, medical records showing treatment for a similar condition may reduce your settlement or verdict.
  • The severity of the property damage — In a motor vehicle accident case, the lack of property damage may be used to suggest that the injuries suffered were not severe. Conversely, if the vehicle was totaled, you may have a stronger claim.
  • The credibility of the witnesses — The consistency of the statements made by witnesses, especially the victim, are critical. Any contradictions or false statements can damage your credibility and make it more difficult to prove your claim. To avoid any potential problems, you should avoid making statements directly to the claims adjuster without first consulting an attorney.

Of course, the skills and reputation of your personal injury lawyer also play a significant role in the outcome of your injury claim.

Topics:  Bodily Injury, Negligence, Settlement

Published In: Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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