How to tell if your settlement is fair and you are getting a good offer.
Most cases are settled out of court, which means the plaintiff and defendant won’t have to go to trial. However, this doesn’t mean that the settlements are fair. Sometimes, the person receiving the settlement receives much less than the case is actually worth. In other instances, the defense may pay a premium to dissolve the case. So, how do you know if you’re getting a good settlement offer?
How to Tell If Your Settlement Is Fair
Some people determine a good settlement based on whether or not both parties come away from the situation satisfied. This often means that the person at fault paid more than they desired, and the settlement wasn’t as much as the plaintiff wanted. There are several factors to consider when you’re considering accepting a settlement. If you can get pretty close to the value of the case in your settlement, you can assume that your settlement is acceptable.
One of the most important things you and your lawyer should consider is the possibility of prevailing when it comes to liability. If the other party is definitely at fault for the assault or accident, your settlement offer shouldn’t be reduced due to the risk of losing your case. If you only have a 60% chance of winning based on liability, it’s a good idea to consider taking about 40% less money in a settlement.
However, there are some cases where it isn’t clear who is at fault. In a personal injury case, the blame may not rest on one party. This means that several entities may be responsible for your injuries or pain and suffering.
If your case involves several parties, your settlement offer has to account for the fault of everyone connected to your accident. This can be a challenge if one or more parties can’t contribute to your settlement or is not solvent when it comes to your case.
If you’re at fault in any way for your accident, this has to be factored into your settlement deal. If the fault of all parties involved, including you as the plaintiff, is estimated to be around 80%, the defendant should offer you about 80% of damages for your settlement.
You’ll also have to think about the fairness of your compensation based on the court jurisdiction your case is in. Some jurisdictions will have juries that are more liberal or conservative. If your case is heard before a liberal jury, your settlement offer will likely be higher; if the jury is conservative, your settlement will be as low as possible.
Many settlement offers won’t take judicial interest into account. Judicial interest is given to you if you’re the plaintiff and you win your trial. If your case is older, judicial interest can be significant.
Keep in mind that your financial need can also result in you receiving a lower settlement. When a defendant is trying to pay as little as possible, they may delay payment on purpose. If the plaintiff is desperate for the money to pay for medical bills and maintain household bills due to time off work, the defendant will offer a lower settlement, and the plaintiff is likely to take it. However, if the defendant knows that you have a lawyer and that you and your attorney are willing to wait it out, they will be more willing to offer a higher settlement.
When it comes to severe injury cases, it’s best to get in touch with a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer from the defendant. You may want to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney to ask any questions you have about your case and get an accurate idea of what you can expect in your settlement. Jacoby & Meyers law offices have been practicing since 1972, and the qualified legal team specializes in helping clients receive fair settlements.