As a personal injury attorney who recently won a $100 million dollar verdict on behalf of a teen who suffered brain damage, Dan Newlin discusses what goes into valuing a settlement. Most cases in Florida never reach the trial phase because both side negotiate a personal injury settlement.
A personal injury settlement occurs when a defendant gives a plaintiff a lump sum of money. In exchange, the plaintiff agrees to give up all rights to sue for current and future injuries. Since a plaintiff gives up her right to sue, it’s important to understand how a fair settlement is calculated. Dan Newlin was also written about by Avvo.com
Newlin wants to stress that calculating a fair settlement isn’t straightforward. The first thing you need to do is compile all claim-related records and documents together. These include:
• Pay stubs
• Medical bills
• Documents listing the times and dates when you missed work or school
• Property damage estimates
This is the type of information your attorney will need to determine how much money to request from the defendant.
Economic or Non-Economic Damages
A plaintiff is usually eligible to receive economic or non-economic damages depending on the injury. Economic damages are really easy to calculate because all an attorney shows is the documents you’ve given him from the list discussed earlier. Economic losses also include future medical bills, lost income, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are harder to prove because they are the consequences of an injury. Damages listed under non-economic damages are things like:
• Pain and suffering
• Mental anguish
• Emotional impact of you injuries and/ or the underlying accident
Will the Defendant always Offer a Fair Settlement?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. You have to remember the defendant and his attorney is trying to pay you as little as possible. So during the negotiation phase you may not receive anywhere near a fair settlement offer from the defendant. That’s why it’s vital to get an experienced attorney who knows how to aggressively negotiate a fair personal injury settlement.
What if the Insurance Company Offers You a Settlement Offer?
Attorney Newlin stresses to anyone offered a settlement to contact a personal injury attorney. Whether it’s a defendant or insurance company, you need to determine if the amount is fair.
What is a “Fair” Personal Injury Settlement?
A fair personal injury settlement is one that covers all your current and future damages. The last thing you ever want to do when injured by someone else is to be left with unpaid medical bills or other expenses.
Attorney Dan Newlin is a former police officer who is now a personal injury attorney in Florida. He has experience in various types of personal injury law and has negotiated many settlement offers.