Determining settlement value in Medford personal injury cases is a difficult task that requires a great deal of experience. It is important to know that a settlement’s value is not necessarily the total amount of damages associated with an injury. Rather, it should reflect what you are willing to accept in exchange for not pursuing any legal claims arising from an accident or other event resulting in damages.
Consulting with an experienced Medford personal injury lawyer may be of great help to determine what an accurate and reasonable settlement amount may be in a given case.
Common Factors Affecting Settlement Value
- Medical Expenses – Common medical expenses in personal injury cases include ambulance rides, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, prescription medication, medical equipment costs, and all associated bills and charges.
- Property Damage – Any damage to property associated with the incident is included in this category. This may range from high-value items like vehicles to low-value personal items like eyeglasses that may suffer damage in an accident.
- Lost Wages & Earnings – Any wages that may have been lost because of injuries sustained will be included here. If paid time off was used for recovery, the estimated value of these benefits should be included.
- Lost Future Income – If injuries are so severe that they leave an accident victim unable to work for some length of time, or if returning to work during recovery is not possible, an estimate of these future losses should be included in any potential settlement. This component of determining settlement value in Medford personal injury cases should consider the approximate value of any benefits used (e.g. paid personal or sick leave).
- Estimated Future Medical Expenses – Ongoing medical treatment for injuries, physical therapy, and other such long-term costs may result in future medical expenses which should be estimated and included in a settlement’s total value.
Other Potential Damages
Other damages that may add to a settlement’s proper value can include pain and suffering, unusual weakness, permanent nerve damage, scarring, and other so-called non-economic damages sustained due to the event.
Typically, courts in Medford consider pain and suffering to be multipliers, meaning they increase the total amount of the settlement based on how severe the injuries and/or damages may be. More serious injuries that are longer-lasting and more painful often result in a higher multiplier.
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where there is a strong impetus to sanction the defendant in order to explicitly discourage their behavior that caused the accident in question, or make a clear example that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Examples of behavior that could merit punitive damages include:
- Willful conduct
- A specific intent to cause harm
- Conduct committed while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Acts of malice, fraud, wantonness, or oppression.
Speak with a Medford Personal Injury Attorney
One of the primary reasons for reaching a settlement is to avoid litigation. A court case could be incredibly costly, and often a case can be settled without stepping foot into a courtroom.
If there is a high likelihood that a jury might award significant damages to a victim, there may also be a high likelihood the defendant will seek to settle out of court. This could work to your advantage when negotiating a settlement with the plaintiff.
An experienced attorney could assist in determining settlement value in Medford personal injury cases. Call today to schedule a consultation.