5 Factors That Can Negatively Affect Your Settlement In A Personal Injury Case
If you've been injured, and someone else caused the accident, you might expect a large settlement to help pay for all your medical expenses. However, you may not get as much as you deserve. Many factors can negatively affect your settlement. Check out these five common reasons your settlement may be reduced or denied.
You Were Partially Responsible for Your Injuries
Most states follow either the pure comparative negligence rule or modified comparative negligence rule. With pure comparative negligence, as long as someone else is partially responsible for your injuries, you'll get a settlement. Even if they are only 10 percent responsible, you'll get some money. In modified comparative negligence cases you can only be 49 or 50 percent (exact number depends on the state) responsible or less to receive money. However, with comparative negligence, if you are partially responsible, you get a reduced settlement. So, if you are 49 percent responsible, and your settlement is for $10,000, you only get $5,100.
Your State Follows the Pure Contributory Negligence Rule
Few states follow the pure contributory negligence rule, but if your state does, you could get nothing. In a pure contributory negligence case, you don't get any money if you are found to be partially responsible. Even if you are only 5 percent responsible, if the defendant can prove it, you don't get a settlement. However, if you can prove that the defendant purposely caused the injury, you may be able to counteract the pure contributory negligence ruling and get your whole settlement.
You Are Given a Low Multiplier
Insurance carriers determine your settlement amount with a multiplier, so you want a high multiplier to get more money. One of the leading factors in determining this number is the type of injury. Hard injuries, such as broken bones, spinal damage or head injuries are more likely to get a higher multiplier because they are considered more serious. Soft tissue injuries, such as a sprain, result in lower multipliers. Other factors that may lower your multiplier include a lot of medical expenses to diagnose rather than treat, services provided by non-MD providers, no prescribed medication and a short recovery time.
You Don't Seem to Be Taking Your Injury Seriously
If you aren't taking your injury seriously, why would you expect the insurance carrier to? You need to seek medical attention for your injury immediately and continue seeking treatment. If you stop seeing your doctor after one visit or refuse treatments that can help hasten recovery time, the insurance carrier is going to assume your injury is exaggerated. If the injury doesn't affect you enough to make you want to seek treatment, it must not be a serious injury at all. You may end up getting less than you deserve because your multiplier may be reduced, or your case may be thrown out completely.
Your Social Media Accounts Are Public
Social media can cause drama in your personal injury case. Obviously, if someone is faking an injury and then posts about it on social media, they are being foolish, but social media can destroy honest personal injury cases too. Perhaps your spinal injury makes it hard to get up and be active, which makes you depressed, so you also want money for pain and suffering because your enjoyment of life has been reduced. Imagine you post a picture of yourself at a gathering with your friends, sitting and smiling. You may not be active in the picture, but it can be used to prove you are still enjoying life.
If you've been injured and someone else is at fault, you deserve a settlement to pay for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc. However, there are many factors that can cause your settlement to be reduced or denied. If you would like more information on personal injury settlements, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area today, or click here for info on personal injury.