Most personal injury cases — claims by victims of car accidents, truck accidents, defective products, slip and fall accidents — are settled out of court. Plaintiffs can save time and money when they can settle their cases without having to go to trial.
When you’re represented by a Hardison & Cochran personal injury attorney, the decision to settle your case or proceed to court is always your decision. We bring every settlement offer to our clients and offer our advice and perspective on whether it is a reasonable offer. Every case is different, and each client’s needs and desires are unique to them.
Below, we discuss some of the questions a client should consider before accepting a settlement offer. These are important considerations because once you accept a settlement, the case is over. When you sign a settlement agreement, you waive your right to pursue further legal action regarding the injury. If you have questions about an injury someone else has caused you and a potential claim in North Carolina, contact Hardison & Cochran personal injury lawyers in Raleigh for a free consultation.
Are You Working With A Lawyer?
A personal injury claim starts out as an insurance claim and may become a lawsuit against the person or company, organization, or local government responsible for your injury. If you sue the party that harmed you, their insurer would compensate you – if you prevail.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Insurance adjusters have a responsibility to their employer to pay out as little as possible to resolve a claim. Adjusters use data from previous claims to determine the amount they can offer an injury victim. They do this every day, offering lowball settlements to injured people and families who are trying to come to grips with once-in-a-lifetime injuries.
Personal injury lawyers like the attorneys of Hardison & Cochran know how to counter the tactics used by insurance adjusters. We won’t let an insurer pressure our client to accept an inadequate settlement offer. We know how to evaluate the losses caused by serious accidents and determine the appropriate compensation for individual accidents and injuries.
Have You Reached Your Maximum Medical Recovery?
You should consider your medical status before agreeing to a settlement. The majority of the compensation recovered in most personal injury claims is to pay for the accident victim’s medical bills. Insurance companies will say they’ve paid claims for injuries similar to yours, so they know what you should receive. But every medical case is unique, especially serious injuries.
When we consider settling personal injury claims, we speak of the client’s maximum medical recovery. This is the point at which the client has concluded all medical treatment or at the point at which the doctor says they don’t expect further improvement. At this point, we can calculate the full medical costs of a client.
For other clients, we can calculate their medical costs up to maximum medical recovery and project future costs for any additional treatment their doctors say they will need. For permanently disabled clients, we work with professionals to develop a life care plan, which accounts for a variety of future expenses ranging from ongoing medical care to medications, consumable medical equipment, personal assistance or nursing care, and more.
The full medical costs you should recover as part of a personal injury settlement can only be known after you have reached maximum medical recovery.
Have You Considered All Damages Allowed in Personal Injury Claims?
In addition to recovering the cost of medical care made necessary by your injury, under North Carolina personal injury law, you have a right to demand compensation for:
- Lost income
- Future losses from diminished earning capacity
- Property damage, such as the cost to repair or replace a vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium, the lost ability to express love and affection, provide companionship and comfort, or participate in household responsibilities and child-rearing.
Our experienced attorneys can help you evaluate all your losses resulting from an accident. Lost income and property damage costs are known as economic damages. They can be calculated and quantified. The others are “non-economic damages,” which must be negotiated.
Our personal injury attorneys press for higher non-economic damages for more severe injuries, such as severe traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or severe burns, which are highly painful as well as disfiguring. A disabled client who had previously led a very active life would deserve additional compensation for loss of enjoyment, for example.
A personal injury settlement should make you financially whole, with no monetary losses due to the accident or injury. It should compensate you for the injury’s damage to your daily life.
Have You Considered the Cost of a Personal Injury Claim?
There are filing fees and other costs if you file a lawsuit on your own. If the attorneys at Hardison & Cochran handle your case, you will not pay anything costs upfront. Our attorneys handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
If we are successful in obtaining a settlement or court award for you, we then receive an agreed-upon percentage of whatever we obtain for you to cover our legal fee and case expenses. The common case expenses in a personal injury case are:
- Investigation costs
- Administrative expenses
- Deposition costs
- Court costs
- Expert witness fees
Because of how we get paid, we must consider the cost of pursuing a claim and the likelihood of success before agreeing to take a case.
If we do not recover compensation for you in a settlement or jury award, we do not get paid for our services. When you call to speak with an attorney about your case, we will be more than happy to explain the fee percentage that is associated with your type of case.
Contact Our Raleigh, NC, Personal Injury Lawyers
The attorneys and staff at Hardison & Cochran believe in going the extra mile to make sure that all of our clients understand what a personal injury claim involves. Every personal injury case has its own set of factors that influence how much of a settlement or jury verdict we can recover. But Hardison & Cochran has a track record of success in handling personal injury matters.
If you have a potential personal injury claim in North Carolina, contact Hardison & Cochran today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.