It is typically not easy to determine an average personal injury settlement. That is because there are a variety of different factors that can determine a claimant’s settlement award, such as the type of accident they suffered, their injuries, and all of the overall damages they incurred.
As you look to estimate the value of your personal injury claim, consider gathering all of the documentation that proves you suffered damages due to the defendant’s negligence. The documentation will likely help you determine your costs associated with an accident or injury.
Some damages that can be used to help you determine the value of your personal injury claim include, but are not limited to:
- Current medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Future lost income
- Future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
What You Should Know About Personal Injury Settlements
To avoid the expenses of litigation, both the plaintiff and the defendant may work to avoid a jury verdict. Reaching an agreement in a case can present itself as a settlement, which is the method of compensating the plaintiff for their personal injury claim out of court. Settlements can help parties avoid litigation, as both sides of the personal injury claim estimate and determine the value of the case.
When plaintiffs file a lawsuit in court, the American Bar Association states that compensation can be handed down when “a judge or jury awards [the plaintiff] money, known as damages, for [the plaintiff’s] injuries.”
Before both sides reach a mutually-agreed-upon settlement offer, the plaintiff may send a demand letter to the defendant. The Legal Information Institute (LII) states that this letter lists the plaintiff’s requests and losses. Such a document can start the negotiation process. It also lays some of the ground rules for the negotiation.
Settlement offers will then be distributed among both parties until an agreement is made. Once the agreement is final, the plaintiff will sign a release that forfeits their legal rights to pursue additional legal actions against the defendant once the out-of-court settlement is finalized.
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Various Types of Personal Injury Cases
Another factor in determining a personal injury settlement is which type of case the plaintiff may have in front of them. There are a variety of personal injury cases, such as:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Truck accidents
- Dog bites
- Premises liability
- Defective products
The plaintiff’s damages may vary depending on the type of personal injury case they pursue. For example, even a small car accident could include extensive property damage and extensive injuries. Further, a truck accident or other wreck involving a commercial vehicle may allow a plaintiff to pursue multiple parties for damages (the trucking company or truck parts manufacturer, for instance).
Another factor that can vary from case to case is the defendant’s assets. When pursuing either a settlement or a lawsuit, the plaintiff must consider whether or not they can even afford to fund a legal case. Fortunately, many law firms offer contingency-fee based representation, which means that the plaintiff would not have to pay their lawyer until they win a settlement or receive a judgment.
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Injuries That Can Impact Payouts
Some injuries are more serious than others, and these injuries may lead to higher settlement demands. For instance, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury may result in greater medical costs for the plaintiff than medical costs for lacerations—or perhaps a back injury.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that falls and motor vehicle accidents caused the most TBI hospitalizations. Additionally, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) found that the average indirect costs associated with spinal cord injuries in 2019 was $77,701. These realities can be overwhelming, but a lawyer can help you evaluate your damages now and into the future (after all, you may have a condition that might affect you for the rest of your life).
Build a Personal Injury Lawsuit with Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC
If you have been injured through no fault of your own and suspect that negligence led to your accident and injuries, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit or pursue a settlement. At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we may be able to help you determine how much you may be able to receive. We will help you fight for fair compensation.