The average settlement for personal injury can vary wildly. For example, a person who broke an arm in a car accident would get a smaller settlement than a person who sustained a traumatic brain injury, and that person may get less than someone who ended up with quadriplegia. How much you’ll get depends on the facts of your accident and your state’s laws.
Personal injury claims arise when an accident victim begins legal action against the responsible party. Typically, the average compensation for a personal injury claim is $52,900, but it’s difficult to describe anything in a personal injury case as “typical.” The only way you can truly know what the value of your case may be is to have a lawyer examine your evidence.
Most personal injury claim lawsuits are resolved at pre-trial. It is estimated that up to 95% of these cases are settled out of court through a monetary settlement. A monetary settlement is an agreement where both affected parties agree on an amount of compensation instead of risking the court’s costly yet unpredictable process. The amount of settlement in question is estimated while considering how much a court would allow in the same circumstances.
The amount arrived at by both parties is a culmination of factors such as your economic and non-economic damages. In cases where the at-fault’s party was especially egregious, such as a drunk driver or a driver who hit you while they were street racing, you may also be awarded punitive damages as well.
Economic damages include medical bills, loss of earning capacity, missed work, and other out of pocket costs that are associated with your accident. Economic damages are meant to compensate in terms of monetary losses as a result of car accidents.
Non-economic damages include factors that don’t have monetary value that can be measured by a bill, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or even the loss of a parent’s guidance. You may also receive compensation for emotional anguish.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party or the defendant for wrongdoing, and it’s meant to be a punishment for a particularly grave offense. When awarded, punitive damages will increase the overall amount of your settlement.
The at-fault party’s insurance claims adjuster will most likely contact you quickly to try to get you to agree to a settlement. When this happens, you can be confident that the amount they’re offering you is a lowball figure that is meant to get you to sign away your rights if your damages should increase. When you talk to insurance, limit your conversation to the following:
- The date of the accident
- The other driver’s information
- The location of the accident
Do not have any discussions regarding your injuries or liability with a claims adjuster or any other involved party unless you have communicated with your attorney first.
Whether your case settles for the average amount, higher, or lower will depend a great deal upon your lawyer’s level of skill. This may be your first time filing a claim, but your attorney has done this many time before. They understand how the system works and what needs to be done to get the maximum settlement.
The type of attorney you have will be very instrumental in the amount you receive. You should look for an attorney who has an experience handling cases similar to yours. If you got injured at work, while working at a factory, for instance, you can consult workmans comp attorneys on what are your rights and how you can obtain compensation. Your attorney should be able to advocate for you to get the highest possible settlement. This is why you should always choose an experienced attorney to represent you in a personal injury case.
Each case of personal injury is unique, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can be used to determine the length of time that it may take. If your case is to be settled in court, then this could take some time. Legal proceedings tend to take a long time. They also result in the claimant incurring many costs because of legal fees, expert witnesses, and even medical testimony.
In cases that are resolved pre-trial, the claimant could receive their personal injury settlement within a couple of weeks. The delay could be due to the processing of checks or the resolution of matters involving health insurance. The best way to ensure that you receive your settlement is to continually communicate with your attorney as they go through the process.