- What’s the process for a personal injury settlement?
- How is a personal injury settlement amount reached?
- What must be proven to show liability for a personal injury?
- Once I settle, can my claim be reopened?
- Real life case results
Simply speaking, you’re entitled to seek compensation for personal injury if you’ve been accidentally hurt or injured by someone else’s negligence or failure to practice reasonable care. While the term “reasonable care” can vary on a case-by-case basis, the overriding rule is that the injury must be proven to be the result of the defendant’s action or inaction.
- Automobile accidents.
- Medical malpractice.
- Slip-and-fall accidents.
- Workplace injuries.
What’s the process for a personal injury settlement?
Each case is different, but the majority of personal injury settlement negotiations work like this:
- You and your lawyer file a claim with the at-fault person’s insurance provider;
- The insurance provider responds with a “reservation of rights” notification, which merely states they are investigating the matter;
- As you continue to heal from your injuries, you and your lawyer will send notification to the insurance provider outlining the specifics of the entire episode, including medical bills you’ve incurred, out-of-pocket expenses you’ve been forced to make, lost wages and claims for pain and suffering;
- A claims adjustor for the insurance provider will respond with – typically – a lowball offer in an attempt to convince you to settle for as little as possible;
- You and your lawyer continue to negotiate for what is a truly fair settlement; and
- When the insurance provider responds with a final offer, you either accept it or consider pursuing the matter in court.
How is a personal injury settlement amount reached?
There are essentially four (4) factors considered when reaching a fair compensation for a personal injury.
- Severity of the impact, which includes damage to personal property.
- Special damages covers personal injuries you’ve suffered, lost income, medical bills you’ve already accrued and anticipated future medical treatments.
- General damages covers the pain and suffering you’ve already experienced from the injury, and the level of pain and suffering you’re expected to endure in the future.
- Limitations on life’s activities includes how you’ll be affected from here on because of your injury. This can include reduced income earning potential.
What must be proven to show liability for a personal injury?
In order for someone to be found negligent, it must be proven that they:
- Were responsible for providing a level of care to you;
- That level of care was broken;
- The failure to provide the level of care was responsible (directly or indirectly) for causing injuries or damage.
- The victim suffered injuries or damages as a direct result of the situation.
Once I settle, can my claim be reopened?
No. If you receive some form of compensation, your case is considered to be closed, even if new injury-related symptoms arise later on.
In a typical settlement, a release form will be signed. Most release forms will include language along the lines of you “…releasing the defendant of any future claims” as they relate to your case.
Is my personal injury settlement tax-free?
Section 104 of the U.S. tax code states that only awards or settlements for physical injuries or physical sickness qualify for the tax-free status. In other words, as long as you’re being compensated for medical bills, pain & suffering, lost wages, loss of consortium, emotional distress, lawyer fees, etc., your settlement will not be taxable.
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, call the Haymond Law Firm, New England’s most trusted personal injury lawyers.
With offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York, the Haymond Law Firm has the resources to energetically and aggressively fight for your interests.
For a free consultation, call us at 1-800-HAYMOND (1-800-429-6663).
Real life case results
Case 1: Haymond Law Recognizes Head Injury and Forces Recovery
Thomas Jenkins took his usual route to the bus stop after work in Waterbury, CT. He knew the area well and took care to stay in the nearby crosswalk. Unfortunately, not all drivers take the same care. As he crossed the street he was struck down by an inattentive driver.
The driver was apologetic, but Thomas was in pain. In fact, at that time, no one could know the full extent of his injuries.
He suffered spinal fractures and needed a hip replacement. Yet, Thomas was not returning to his normal self.
Friends and family noticed changes in his mood, behaviour and the sense of loss he felt. Fortunately, the team at the Haymond Law Firm recognized these symptoms and knew that Thomas was likely suffering from PTSD as a result of the physical trauma he was enduring.
Our team developed the evidence to show that Thomas’s head injury was impacting his life just as much if not more than the permanent limp and pain he had suffered as a result of his fractures. As a result, the insurer knew that the presentation of this evidence at trial would decimate any defence it could try to muster and forced them to pay a settlement. Had the evidence and importance of Thomas’s head injury been left underdeveloped, the insurer would not have been willing to offer even half of what it ultimately paid. Thomas and his family credit the Haymond Law Firm for taking care of their needs.
Case 2: HLF recovers money for construction site injury
A roofer lost 40% vision in one eye when he was hit in the eye by a nail at the construction site. The insurer denied liability and we filed suit. The defence argued that the injury was the man’s own fault and that a 40% loss of vision was not significant.
We established that the construction site manager failed to supervise the site and failed to warn the roofer of the danger. We also demonstrated that the roofer’s loss of vision was a major loss to him – he could no longer enjoy playing basketball, seeing his daughter perform or watch a movie the same way. On the eve of trial, we achieved a large settlement.