Personal injury lawyers often hear this question from a client: What is the average settlement for my type of case? The answer is simple: There is no average settlement, because no 2 accidents are the same. Consequently, any number of complex factors could influence the settlement’s final size.
What is the settlement’s purpose?
The defendant pays the settlement in hopes of encouraging the plaintiff to drop the case.
What factors are considered at the earliest stage of the settlement process?
• What juries have awarded in the past to plaintiffs that had suffered similar injuries?
• What were the unique circumstances, regarding this particular accident?
• After a consideration of those 2 factors, the lawyer for the plaintiff sends a demand letter. In response, the other side comes forward with a settlement offer.
What other factors enter the picture as negotiations proceed?
Are there contentious issues? Does it appear that the injured victim may be required to meet the demand created by future medical expenses? Does medical science place a limit on the lifetime of a device that is used to treat the plaintiff’s injury? That would force installation of a newer device in the future.
Could any permanent damage force the plaintiff to deal with a reduction in the number of opportunities for earning an income? For instance, has the treatment involved the installation of a medical device? That could breakdown at some point, forcing the affected worker to request paid time off, for medical reasons.
That time off could lead to a hole in the worker’s resume. The presence of such a hole, could make it hard to obtain a job. The people in the human resources department do not like to see spaces in a resume. Hence, the Personal Injury Lawyer in Mississauga knows that treated injury would cause a reduction in the number of earning opportunities for the formerly injured worker.
• Was the defendant liable for the injury?
• Had the plaintiff acted to mitigate the consequences from the injury?
• Had the plaintiff performed some action that helped to cause the accident?
• Had the plaintiff failed to take some action that could have reduced the severity of the injury?
What was the victim’s medical history? Did that history suggest an alternate cause for the damage suffered by the victim? Was there a link between that history and the medical problems that developed after the accident?
Is there evidence that a 3rd party could be held responsible for the accident? Was there some defect on the roadway where the accident took place? Did an involved vehicle contain a broken or malfunctioning part?
When did the accident take place? If during the night, was the roadway properly lighted? Does the defendant have funds, for paying a high settlement?