Only 4 to 5% of personal injury cases go to trial in the US. The majority of personal injury cases (95- 96%) are settled before they even make it to trial. Many claimants are therefore concerned about how much they can recover in a personal injury settlement.
What You Can Expect
The settlement process isn’t as simple as mentioning a figure and expecting the insurance company to pay it. Each case requires a detailed assessment of the causes of your injuries and the losses that you’ve suffered as a result. Both economic and non-economic losses are assigned monetary value. All of those factors are considered by your attorney and the insurance adjuster in negotiating a settlement.
There is no average amount of compensation for personal injury cases. In fact, two cases with similar circumstances may see completely different amounts awarded as compensation. It is therefore important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess the particulars of your case and provide you with a more accurate estimate of the compensation you should expect receive.
The actual amount you will receive as compensation will depend on various factors including the following:
- The type of injury you’ve suffered
Injuries such as brain trauma often attract larger amounts in compensation compared to injuries to muscles and tendons such as whiplash.
- If you’ve suffered permanent injuries
The testimony of a medical expert will be required in order to establish that your injuries are permanent. Permanent injuries often result in larger settlements.
- If you’ve suffered permanent disfigurement and scarring
You may be compensated for pain and suffering if you have suffered permanent scarring or disfigurement as a result of your injuries from the accident.
- Your medical expenses
The cost of your medical bills and other related expenses have a major impact on the amount you are awarded as compensation. The medical bills related to your injuries along with expenses for future medical treatments will be considered in determining your final settlement.
- Lost wages
If your injuries have resulted in you not being able to earn a living for a while or for the foreseeable future, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and lost future earning capacity. An estimate of your lost wages based on your current income or the income you were receiving at the time of the accident will be considered.
- The source of payment
Even if the defendant has admitted fault, you may be limited in what you can recover if he or she lacks the means to pay the compensation. This is particularly true if the defendant has insufficient or no insurance). In those situations, you may not be able to recover damages or you may be limited in the amount you can recover. In those situations, an experienced attorney may be able to find other sources of compensation from third parties who also bear some degree of fault for your injuries.