After sustaining serious injuries from a car accident, a trial may not be in your best interest. A trail is stressful and could impede your recovery process. However, you could still hold negligent parties accountable through a settlement offer. If you are not sure how much you are willing to need for your settlement, you need to contact a seasoned trial lawyer. Calculating a St. Louis car accident settlement is something that can be done by a lawyer, so reach out as soon as possible.
Calculating a Settlement’s Value
There is no book on how to calculate a settlement because determining whether to settle a legal case for personal injuries is a personal decision that is made by you. However, there are certain calculations that can be used to help you understand the approximate value of a case.
Factors to consider when calculating settlement ranges include knowledge of economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages. Guidance can also be offered should you need help establishing a value to the non-economic losses you have endured. After arriving at these numbers, then lawyers can calculate a value that you are willing to accept for settlement. The negotiation process between your counsel and defense counsel would determine if the two sides are able to reach an agreed-upon settlement amount.
Importantly, a jury has zero involvement in a settlement process. A case is presented to a jury only if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful. When a case goes to trial, the jury is presented evidence from both sides that they take into consideration as they deliberate on a verdict. The jury hears the evidence, talks amongst themselves, and reaches a verdict, which is different than a settlement.
A settlement is a voluntary resolution, where the two parties voluntarily reach an agreement. A verdict by a jury is an involuntary imposition of a dollar amount on both the defendant and you after both sides have presented their evidence to the jury.
Who Determines the Value of a Settlement
The amount of a settlement is determined by you, the victim, although you do not control what the wrongdoer offers. Your options are limited to either accepting or refusing the offer made by the wrongdoer in your case. If you were to accept an offer, then the case would be settled. That is a bit simplistic, but it is one of the least strenuous routes for compensation.
Getting the defendant to offer more money is the result of a lawyer maximizing the evidence he has in favor of your case. By emphasizing the wrongdoer’s negligence and the economic and non-economic damages you endured, the goal is that the defendant would hopefully offer more money to avoid the uncertainty of a trial.
If the two parties are able to reach a settlement amount, then the case is settled and no trial would take place. If they are unable to reach a settlement, then the case moves forward in litigation and possibly all the way to a jury trial where a jury makes the decision on the dollar amount.
How Negligence Affects the Amount in Negotiations
If you were partially at fault for the injuries you suffered in the Missouri car accident, then that negligent conduct may certainly be a factor when arriving at a settlement amount. Negligence on your part is called comparative fault. Different states view the negligent conduct of the injured party in different ways. Missouri operates under the doctrine of pure comparative fault, which is the most favorable to the injured party. Pure comparative fault simply means that a jury can make a determination that the injured party was a certain percentage at fault for causing their own injuries. When a jury makes that determination, the total verdict is reduced by the percentage of fault the jury assesses for you.
When determining settlement value, a knowledgeable and skilled Missouri personal injury lawyer with a good understanding of the doctrine of comparative fault can analyze how your actions may be viewed by a jury and negotiate a settlement with that in mind. It is important the lawyer be able to understand the evidence and adequately explain to you how your actions affect settlement negotiations.
Contact an Experienced Trial Lawyer Who Could Help
A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help determine the value of a personal injury settlement by obtaining information related to the injured parties medical expenses, lost wages and injuries. Utilizing their experience in handling previous Missouri car accident cases, a lawyer can provide quality advice on the value of your personal injury case. It is that recommendation of settlement value based upon experience, knowledge, and calculation of what the economic and noneconomic damages are that can be beneficial to you as you make the decision on whether to accept a settlement offer.
Do not waste time on starting your claim. Reach out to a trial lawyer who can begin calculating a St. Louis car accident settlement if you are willing to negotiate and avoid a drawn-out trial. A lawyer can still fight to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf, even with a settlement. But all of this begins by first contacting a lawyer. Call today.