What Is a Reasonable Settlement Offer?


The first thing you want to do after an injury or accident is to quickly and fairly resolve your case. However, there is one problem preventing you from doing this.
You wonder what a reasonable settlement offer is.
The most important thing to know is that it’s not always you can claim for a million-dollar settlement because someone else got it. It’s mainly the law and the circumstances of your injury or accident that determine your case value.
And insurance companies tend to take advantage of clients without legal help. That’s why having a Burbank personal injury lawyer by your side helps.

How to Decide on a Settlement Amount


The best way to decide how much to settle for depends on:

  • Your chances of winning the case
  • What a jury in your jurisdiction would award if you win at court

1. What Your Chances of Winning the Trial Are:

You can get an idea of your chances of winning the trial by:

  • Understanding the evidence for and against you
  • Taking into accent the witnesses’ and your credibility
  • Having a good idea of what the juries in your jurisdiction have done the past few years

There’s no need to worry about the juries’ actions in cases where you are likely to win. For example, rear-end collisions that offer a practically 100% chance of winning the case.
However, other cases like medical malpractice, liability, or even car wrecks with evidence against you are challenging to beat. In this case, you need to learn more about your juries.

2. What a Jury May Award as Damages


Personal injury cases comprise of two types of damages:

  • Special damages can be precisely calculated. It includes lost earnings and earning capacity and all your medical bills and financial losses.
  • General damages, which are difficult to calculate exactly and include emotional distress, pain, suffering, and related claims.

In addition to knowing your offer, you also need to know what types of awards your juries have made. No matter how bad the injury may be, you can’t expect much with conservative juries who don’t make extensive award damages.
However, if your country juries award handsomely for even minor injuries, then you definitely should raise your settlement figures!
Of course, it’s not easy to find out how much the jury may award. But having a ballpark figure helps you with making negotiations.

Getting Your Ballpark Figure

Everything boils down to maths.
if you feel you have a 40% chance of winning; and that the jury may award something like $100,000. Then you could try settling the case for about $40,000.
Of course, this is a rough estimation, and figures change with the case.

Making Negotiations


It’s with the ballpark figure in hand that you can start with your settlement negotiations. You can make the first move because insurance companies expect the plaintiff to make the first offer.
Remember, they look to offer the lowest amount possible. So if you miscalculate and offer a low settlement offer, they will readily accept your offer.
That’s why you need to know how to make the initial demand. It should be sufficient to give you room for negotiations. So as mentioned above, if you expect to settle the case at $40,000, then demanding $50,000 gives you little room for negotiations.
The general rule of the thumb is to quote an initial demand that’s at least twice what you are looking to settle the case for.
You next need to figure out is how much you should be ready to reduce your offer based on the insurer’s offer. It’s tricky and depends on:

  • The case issues
  • How far away the case is from trial
  • Relationship between your lawyer and the defense attorney

In short, there are no hard and fast rules for getting an excellent personal injury settlement offer. It’s a delicate process, and if you reduce too quickly, you may end up losing money.
However, if you don’t reduce quickly enough, there’s also the risk of the adjuster losing interest and not increasing their offer.
It’s better to contact a qualified personal injury attorney in Burbank to help you if all this looks overwhelming. They will be able to negotiate and give you a much better settlement offer.

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