If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve proper compensation. However, it can be hard to know how much to ask for.
It’s easy to want to be nice and not demand too much. However, your injury can cause you problems both now and later on in your life, so it’s important not to sell yourself short. You need to be able to care for any needs that come up, and you won’t be able to go back and ask for more money.
How do you know how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement? Here are some factors to consider.
Your Total Medical Expenses
It goes without saying that all of your medical expenses related to the injury should be covered. The dollar amount of your current bills should be easy to determine, but don’t stop there.
Your settlement should also include your future medical bills, along with any rehabilitation and therapy you may need.
That can be hard to predict, but you may know what treatment is expected, and your accident lawyer can look up expected costs.
The next step is to multiply these current costs by an appropriate number to account for pain and suffering, emotional injury, and other unknowable costs. This multiplier is a way to ensure that you aren’t caught off guard by future injury costs and are fairly compensated for your loss.
This multiplier is generally between 1.5 and 5. Your injury lawyer can help determine which number to use. The initial demand letter will often use a higher multiplier, allowing you room to negotiate with the other insurance company.
Once you have your medical expenses multiplied out, it’s time to add the formula’s last element — lost wages.
How much time have you missed from work, and how much more will you miss? What’s your hourly wage? This gives you a simple answer for how much lost wages you’ve suffered.
If you’re injured to the point that you have to change industries or jobs, you may have more lost wages as a result. Your personal injury attorney can help you take everything into account.
The Key Negotiation Strategy: Silence
It’s essential to be quiet about your personal injury settlement strategy. You don’t want to share your formula, totals, or loss numbers with anyone.
It’s a serious (but common) mistake to talk about your injury amounts on social media or in any other public forum. Even private messages between friends can be shared where you don’t intend them to. So follow the number one strategy of negotiation: don’t reveal anything.
Get Help With Your Personal Injury Settlement Today
If you’re facing a personal injury settlement, don’t feel like you have to go it alone. Let a qualified personal injury attorney help you create a demand letter and get the compensation you deserve.
Have you been injured? Contact us today for a free consultation!