Many auto accidents result in personal injury lawsuits that need to be compensated. Compensation takes place in two ways. The victim can either accept an out-of-court settlement, or choose to pursue a civil lawsuit so that they can collect damages incurred.
The entire process can be lengthy and vigorous, especially when an attorney is not involved. Because of this, it is always wise to equip yourself with knowledge on how such cases are conducted and solved, whether in court or out of court.
Understanding the settlement process
When an insurer or defendant makes a settlement offer to the injured victim, it would result in an out-of-court settlement.
This settlement may be offered quickly before a potential lawsuit can arise. It can also be made when a case has reached trial but no final judgment has been passed. Finally, other settlements tend to occur in the process where a jury is deliberating and both parties are anxious on what it will decide. In such cases, the parties involved may opt to settle the case out of court.
Compensating the full value of the case
Personal injury damages are categorized under ‘’compensatory’’. This is because they are intended to compensate the injured plaintiff in the event that they were involved in an accident and suffered damages.
This kind of compensation is designed to make the injured plaintiff whole again after they’ve suffered damages. This means they should somehow be able to restore their original lifestyle, at least from the financial standpoint of things.
This also means trying to assign a dollar figure on all losses incurred as a result of the accident. Nevertheless, it should be noted that some compensatory damages tend to be relatively easy to figure out. This includes determining the amount that shall be paid in reimbursement of medical bills or property damage.
However, it’s much harder to try putting a dollar value on pain and suffering caused by lingering injuries that were suffered from the accident. The inability to participate in a hobby that the injured person once took part in is just among the many damages that can influence the payout amount.
If the case is settled in court, the injured plaintiff will be able to recover the full, estimated cost of the injury to take care of their medical-related bills at present and in the future.
This compensation is designed to replace money that a victim has lost at present as well as that which they would have made in the future. If the injury results in loss of income, this compensation is issued under loss of earning capacity.
Property loss may influence the amount of payout a victim recovers. The plaintiff in question may be entitled for reimbursement of repairs or compensation on the fair market value of the damaged item.
Pain & suffering
The pain and suffering that a victim experiences in the aftermath of the accident will also influence how much the injured plaintiff shall receive. Other forms of compensation that may emerge as a result of the injury include loss of enjoyment, emotional distress and loss of consortium.
Other things worth noting
Once a settlement has been agreed on, the injured plaintiff won’t receive all of that money because a part of it is considered taxable income.
Medical bills are not taxable, although settlement which covers pain and suffering falls under punitive damages, so it will be taxed.
Also, a victim may end up dealing directly with the individual who caused them damage instead of their insurers. This follow up process is never easy.
Lastly, a personal injury claim will only result in full compensation when the person responsible for the injury has enough assets to do so.
Because of the tough challenges at hand when filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s always in your best interest to communicate with the Law Office of William H. Harding in Charlotte. You’ll increase your chances of a successful outcome.