It’s unjust that you should have to suffer because of another person’s negligence. That’s why personal injury law exists – to help you get justice in the form of financial compensation. Unfortunately, even after the accident, you might be the victim of more injustice if you’re not careful.
What To Expect From Insurance Companies
Insurance companies exist for their bottom line. So while they advertise promises of security for their clients, they often hesitate to offer settlements that actually cover the value of the claim. Often, insurance companies (whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance or filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance) will try to convince you to accept a settlement that is less than the amount you’re entitled to. They often get away with this because many accident victims don’t know the real value of their damages and what they could legally claim – we’ll get to that later in this article.
The first thing you need to know is that insurance companies in Shreveport are counting on you to want to settle fast and with as little inconvenience as possible. They know that you’ll have medical bills and property damage expenses piling up and that you might be impatient to get the money. They’re counting on you to not understand the full scope of your damages and what the law might allow you to claim.
Don’t accept a settlement too soon or you’ll lose out on compensation you deserve.
Evaluating The Total Value Of Your Damages
To evaluate the total value of your damages, you need to think outside the box. Your accident damages could be far more than just the cost of a new car or your first medical bills.
Personal injury damages can be broken down into two general categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages
Justia defines economic damages as “tangible damages that can easily be quantified, and their value does not change depending on the jury that is evaluating them.” In personal injury cases, economic damages usually include expenses such as:
- Car replacement or repairs
- Rental car costs
- Hired services such as housekeeping (if your injuries prevent you from doing daily tasks)
- Lost wages due to missing work while recovering or because you lost an ability to earn in the future (sometimes called lost earning capacity)
- Medical bills (past and future – including expenses required for your full recovery such as physical therapy and treatment for PTSD or other psychological issues)
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-Economic Damages
Also sometimes referred to as “pain and suffering,” non-economic damages are harder to valuate but are often some of the greatest losses after a serious accident. Non-economic damages can include:
- Emotional anguish
- Reputational damage
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Worsening of prior injuries
Who determines the value of these damages? Economic damages can be proven by signed statements from medical professionals, receipts or statements from mechanics, and other records that show your expenses. Non-economic damages will usually need to be presented by a personal injury lawyer and evaluated by a judge or jury.
When trying to put a number on the amount of money you can claim, it’s best to get legal assistance so that nothing falls through the cracks.
When Is It Safe To Settle?
As you can guess, evaluating your damages can take a lot of time and careful attention, as well as the opinions of many professionals and/or witnesses. So at what point can you accept a settlement with confidence?
Generally, when it comes to medical expenses, you should wait until Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) before you accept a settlement. MMI is the point in your recovery in which your condition is stable to the extent that additional intervention won’t make things any better. It doesn’t mean you have fully recovered, but it means that a doctor can confidently assess what your recovery journey will look like, what treatments you will require, and what the costs of those treatments will be.
Do not accept an insurance settlement without getting advice from medical and legal professionals. It makes sense that you’re anxious to get your compensation, but remember that a little patience can go a long way when it comes to your settlement.
Do you want experienced legal assistance to help you determine the value of your case and successfully claim your compensation in Shreveport, Louisiana? The world might feel like it’s against you after a serious accident, but our legal team is all for you! Don’t guess when it comes to your personal injury settlement. Don’t risk missing a significant portion of your compensation. It’s not just about the money, it’s about justice for you! Contact our Shreveport office at (318) 855-0285 or contact us online!
1815 Roselawn Ave
Monroe, LA 71201