Bus Accidents: How to Calculate Settlement Value
A decision to settle your bus accident lawsuit carries with it both positive and negative implications. Settlements allow you to resolve a case quicker than you would be able to if you insisted on a trial, and payment of the judgment set out in the settlement by the defendant is more likely since the defendant agreed to the amount. On the other hand, a settlement typically requires you to agree to an amount that may be less than the full amount of compensation you are seeking through a lawsuit. Not only this, but settlements usually require that you forego any future claims for accident compensation against the defendant. This means that if you agree to settle your case for $100,000 but later discover that your expenses are actually $300,000, you cannot reopen the case and ask the defendant to pay the $200,000 difference.
What Amount Should I Settle My Case For?
Knowing your case’s “settlement value” is vital to evaluating whether a particular settlement agreement should be accepted or rejected. In general, you should not accept a settlement that offers you compensation that is below your settlement value. The settlement value for your case, then, is the “bottom-line” settlement figure you will accept for your case.
Knowing how much your medical bills are is only the first step in determining your case’s settlement value. In consultation with a knowledgeable bus accident attorney, discuss the following topics to arrive at a settlement figure:
- What are your losses – all of them? You should first have a firm handle on the total amount of losses you experienced, including economic and noneconomic losses. Your attorney can help you factor in projected or future losses if, for example, you cannot return to your former job and former rate of pay or if you will need ongoing medical treatment for quite some time. Your attorney can also help you factor in the costs of his or her services.
- How long can you hold out before you need compensation? If you are not needing immediate compensation, you can hold out for better deals or take your case to trial if necessary. The settlement value of your case will likely be unaffected by this consideration. However, if you need the compensation quickly, you may need to be willing to accept a lower settlement amount. The settlement value of your case in this instance would be lower.
- How likely are you to succeed at trial? Your attorney cannot predict whether you will win or lose with 100% accuracy. He or she should, however, be able to advise you of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and how these affect your chances at winning. If your case is a clear-cut case of bus driver negligence, the settlement value of your case will be higher. If the case is more muddled and the bus driver may or may not have been at fault, the settlement value of your case will be less.
Where Can I Get Help Determining My Case’s Settlement Value?
If you have been injured in a bus accident, we can evaluate your case and help you determine your case’s settlement value by considering all relevant factors. While we can provide you with our informed opinions based on our years of experience in handling bus accident cases, it is important to know that you – the client – alone have the authority to accept or reject a settlement offer. We will review all settlement offers made with you and will help you craft and deliver settlement counteroffers to the defendant, if you wish. Learn more about your case and settlements by calling us at (800) 863-5312 and setting up a free consultation today.