You've been in an accident, sought medical treatment for your injuries and now hired an attorney to represent you. After careful consideration of your case, your attorney advises you that a personal injury lawsuit is in your best interests so that you can obtain the compensation you need to cover the damages you sustained. These damages will include the costs of your medical bills, any future treatment(s) you may need, damages to your property and, most likely, you will seek compensation for your pain and suffering. But how much money will you actually recover? Should you settle or go to trial? What will you receive if you choose one or the other?
The truth is that these questions cannot be answered until your case is settled or fully litigated. Not even the best personal injury attorneys can make promises or guarantees as to the amount of damages you will be awarded. In fact, it would be highly unethical for an attorney to do so. Not every lawsuit is a million-dollar case, and there are many variables that can change the outcome of your suit and amount of damages you are awarded. For example, if the other side can show that you were at least partly responsible for your injuries (comparative negligence), your damages will be reduced accordingly. And the amount of this reduction will depend on how much a jury determines you were at fault.
So, it is important that you have reasonable expectations regarding the outcome of your personal injury suit. Here are a few things to consider when marshalling these expectations.
First, it is important to realize that nearly all personal injury lawsuits settle prior to going to trial. For this reason, your attorney should help you gain an understanding of what your case is likely to settle for. Factors to consider include the history of a particular insurance company in handling cases similar to yours, and whether the insurer has a history of bad faith insurance practices.
A second consideration is how well-equipped your attorney is to handle your case. Does your lawyer have experience handling these types of cases? Does your attorney have the resources to paint a full picture for the insurance company of what occurred during your accident and the damages you incurred? When you call your attorney's office, do you speak with an attorney or does a paralegal handle your questions and concerns? Does your attorney have time for you?
Finally, assuming you feel comfortable that you have hired a qualified attorney, are you being honest? You must be forthcoming with your lawyer about all of the facts surrounding your accident and the damages you sustained. You should tell your attorney what sort of expectations you do have, and keep an open mind. While your lawyer cannot promise or guarantee a specific outcome, he or she can advise you of what expectations are reasonable for you to have based on the circumstances of your case. However, your lawyer will only be able to do so if you are honest about what actually occurred.
Once you are informed about the possible ways in which your suit may be resolved, are comfortable with and confident in the abilities of your attorney and remain open and honest with them, you will be able to gain a solid understanding of your case and develop reasonable expectations as to how your claims will be resolved.
If you or a loved one was injured as the result of someone else's conduct and you incur damages as a result, you should speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney right away. The personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal have decades of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury cases and are here to help you. To us, you are much more than a number and we will handle your case competently and with the attention to detail that it deserves. We will be honest with you and fight diligently for the compensation that you need to recover.
Call us today for a free consultation at (303) 825 – 2223, or visit us online.