Many cases are settled out of court without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. When negotiating a settlement, the goal is to get the best deal possible. What makes a good settlement for brain injuries largely depends on circumstances unique to your case.
Settlement in brain injury cases can be quite high, especially when the brain injury is permanent and debilitating. As with any settlement, the more severe your injuries are, the higher the settlement should be. Your attorney can help you go over numerous factors that might influence the outcome of your case, including compensatory damages, the duration of your injury, complications, and the defendant’s behavior. Negotiating a good settlement requires understanding what kind of evidence and leverage you have in negotiations. The defendant will likely try to keep the final amount as low as possible, and your attorney must help you fight to keep it high.
If you or someone close to you recently suffered a brain injury, call our Illinois personal injury attorneys of the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to schedule an evaluation of your case at no cost to you.
Good Settlements for Brain Injuries in Illinois
A good settlement is very subjective. What makes a settlement good is entirely up to you and depends on what you want to get out of your case. While everyone might have their own definition of “good” when reaching a settlement, there are some important things to consider with your attorney working one out.
First, a good settlement should adequately cover all your damages. The point of compensatory damages is to make a plaintiff whole again, at least in a financial sense. A good settlement should provide you with enough money to cover all the expenses you incurred because of your accident and injuries.
Second, a good settlement should reflect the magnitude of your injuries. For example, if your injuries are so severe that you can never return to work, your settlement should reflect this huge change in your life. Not only should the settlement account for emotional and mental distress, but it should also account for the many years of income you will lose out on from being unable to work.
Third, a good settlement may be based on your odds of success in a trial. If you have strong evidence and a court victory is more likely, the defendant might be more inclined to settle to avoid a potentially staggering jury verdict against them. In such a case, you have more leverage for a better settlement, and a good settlement should be higher.
Important Factors That Might Influence Your Brain Injury Settlement in Illinois
Every settlement is different, and every plaintiff might have different wants and needs. To determine whether you are getting a good settlement, consider the following factors that might be implicated in your settlement negotiations. Review these factors with your attorney to get an idea of what your settlement should be worth.
One of the main driving forces behind your potential settlement is your compensatory damages. These damages reflect the economic and non-economic injuries you would claim in a lawsuit. Knowing these damages’ worth might give you a jumping-off point for settlement negotiations.
If you know your accident and injuries left you with very high economic costs and deep emotional distress, your attorney can help you argue for a higher settlement. A lower settlement in this situation would not be good and should be rejected. Brain injuries tend to be severe and require costly, long-term medical care. They also tend to leave victims very deeply distressed. As such, a good settlement will likely be on the higher side.
Before meeting with the defendant and their counsel to talk about a settlement, you and your lawyer should thoroughly review your compensatory damages. If you can reach a settlement that adequately covers these damages, it may be considered a good settlement.
Duration of Your Brain Injury
You should also consider the duration of your brain injuries. Some brain injuries, like concussions, might be painful, but they tend to resolve with time and proper treatment. Other injuries, like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), might come with lifelong disabilities, both physical and cognitive.
A major factor in settlement negotiations is how long your brain injury and related complications persist. Essentially, the longer your brain injury affects you, the higher your settlement should be.
Brain Injury Complications
Did your brain injury come with any complications? Perhaps you have limited mobility because of your injury or your cognitive abilities have been hindered. Many brain injury complications have catastrophic effects on the injured victim’s life. If you experience any complications, you should talk to your lawyer. Settlements in cases involving serious brain injury complications often see higher settlements.
The Defendant’s Behavior
What was the defendant’s behavior like when you were injured? In cases where the defendant’s negligent actions are extremely outrageous or malicious, punitive damages might be on the table. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for bad behavior, and they can be very significant, especially in severe cases involving brain injuries.
Even if your case is not eligible for punitive damages, the defendant’s hostile behavior or lackadaisical approach to the case might not sit well with a jury, and their odds of success at a trial might be low. In these cases, you have more leverage to argue for a higher settlement.
How to Negotiate a Good Settlement in an Illinois Brain Injury Case
The question of how to negotiate a settlement might get a different answer from different plaintiffs and even different lawyers. Your needs and wants may determine how you and your lawyer approach settlement negotiations. You should also consider your evidence and bargaining position. Those in better positions to argue for higher settlements might be more direct in settlement talks. You might need to compromise more with the defendant if you have less evidence and less leverage.
A good rule of thumb in settlement negotiations, especially those involving brain injuries, is never to accept the first offer. The defendant is unlikely to offer you what you need with the first offer. You may need to go through several rounds of negotiations before arriving at a good settlement. Sometimes, a good settlement cannot be reached, and your attorney can help you prepare a lawsuit.
Call Our Illinois Brain Injury Lawyers for Help Negotiating a Good Settlement
Call our Chicago personal injury lawyers of the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 to make an appointment to evaluate your case at no cost to you.