The personal injury settlement process can feel like a game of guess the magic number. Your legal opponent may have a reasonable amount of rights to protect them from a massive debt to you, but you have real costs to be aware of before signing any offer. Consider a few of the less-than-obvious injury costs to understand where your next settlement demand should come from.
A Weakened Workforce Is Expensive
Even if you're not totally disabled, an injury may cause a long-term effect on your productivity. From pain and irritation during basic tasks, to being unable to move certain limbs or concentrate on the task at hand, you may be at a significant disadvantage.
The injury disadvantages can reduce your promotion potential or affect your ability to maintain your employment status or find a new job. If you're an independent contractor or paid by case, your daily earning potential could be at jeopardy.
As you proceed with the settlement, get these affected numbers in writing. Argue the amount of inconvenience caused at the job site, the amount of medication needed to maintain your new normal and the accommodations that your employer needs to make. These costs don't need to come from you, your clients or your employer; your legal opponent needs to be held responsible.
Even if you don't plan on staying in your current job field or if you plan on using a service such as the Social Security Disability system, having the recorded information can help you in the future if situations change.
Include The Cost Of A New Way Of Life
After an injury, your only option may be to find a new way of living. Starting over in a new, injury-friendly field can be difficult and the pay may not match your old way of living. You don't have to accept a lower standard of living because of an injury that wasn't your fault, so make sure your legal opponent is put to task.
Suggest that your legal opponent acquires a job training program or college tuition plan for you. By providing a path to a new career, your legal opponent may be able to avoid some of the more expensive compensation costs by providing services instead.
Job training programs and college tuition does not necessarily need to be paid in full by your legal opponent. If they're able to get help from scholarship experts with deep knowledge of grants and education opportunities, the cost may be as low as that expert's fee.
Even better, if you opponent can handle all of the college arrangements on their own, their only responsibility for that negotiation point will be to make sure that you're comfortable with the training program.
For assistance with evaluating your settlement's worth and pushing for negotiations, contact a personal injury lawyer from an experienced firm, like Gomez May LLP.