Once you have calculated your damages after an accident, it's time to adjust the amount to reflect a fair claim. The adjustment may increase or decrease your initial amount depending on these four issues:
The Defendant Is Solely Liable For Your Injuries
Did your actions contribute to the accident or was it solely the result of the defendant's actions? If the defendant is solely responsible for the accident, and there is overwhelming evidence for it, then you need to adjust your damages upwards. A classic example of such a case is a defendant who drives on the wrong lane while drunk and crashes into your car during a traffic stop. If you were hurt in a similar accident then you need to adjust your calculations upwards because the defendant is clearly liable for your injuries.
Your Jurisdiction Has a History of Large Awards
The jurisdiction where your case is being tried also influences how much you should ask. Some jurisdictions are known for awarding large settlements while others are known for dishing out meager payouts. Therefore, research how the courts have handled similar claims in the past and adjust your demand accordingly. The adjuster will also have this information and will be prepared for your actions.
You Mitigated Your Damages
All injury victims are expected to mitigate their damages immediately after an accident. For example, you need to seek prompt medical care, follow your doctor's advice, and take your car to a shelter to prevent further damage. If you did all these and more, then you can adjust your demands without fear. However, if there is proof that you did nothing of the sort, then you will have to lower your demands.
You Have a Good Standing in the Community
If your case proceeds to trial, then expect the court to consider not only your injuries and property damage but also your standing in the community. This involves an assessment of your character, likeability, age, and occupation, among other factors. For example, you can adjust your claim upwards if you have a good job, are likable (and have character witnesses who can testify to that), and have a healthy medical history. Be candid with your assessment so as to avoid a mistake here.
Think carefully before instigating an injury claim or lawsuit without an injury attorney's help. For example, you may end up making an exaggerated claim (that won't get you anywhere with the adjuster) or asking for a pittance that the adjuster may rush to pay, meaning you will lose money. Choose a reputable law firm, like the Law Offices of Sara J Frankel Pc, to make sure you get the results you want.