What Is A Typical Personal Injury Settlement?
Knowing what other people typically receive for a personal injury settlement can help you figure out if you’ve been offered a fair amount. Unfortunately, this is less straightforward than you may expect since a range of factors influence payouts. Victims can receive anywhere from a couple thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of their injuries and the circumstances of their accident.
What Are Typical Payouts?
The average payout across all personal injury cases is $52,900. To gain a clearer picture, though, we need to break this down.
At the low end, around 16 percent of victims receive a payout of less than $3,000. At the high end, 16 percent of plaintiffs receive more than $75,000. More than half of all plaintiffs receive between $3,000 and $25,000, and the remaining 10 percent receive a payout of between $25,001 and $75,000.
Even though these figures are just averages, personal injury settlements can vary greatly, and having an experienced personal injury attorney advocating for your best interest has excellent benefits.
What Factors Affect Your Payout?
Damages in a personal injury case can include physical injuries, mental anguish, and economic hardship. More severe injuries tend to come with higher medical costs, greater pain and suffering, and more financial strain — and therefore tend to lead to higher settlements.
For instance, you may be able to receive compensation not only for your medical bills but also for future medical care, lost earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, and costs to cover canceled or altered plans.
Another factor is coverage of the defendant’s insurance policy. You’ll only receive a settlement up to the maximum policy limit. However, your case may also include punitive damages. In Louisiana, these include injuries due to things like domestic violence, assault, gross negligence, or a defective product that has caused many accidents.
If your case includes punitive damages, this could increase the compensation you’ll receive. Since these types of damages are intended to punish the defendant and act as a deterrent, insurance policies often exclude them. This means the amount you’ll receive is not related to the policy limit but to the dependent’s assets.
Finally, a payout is likely to be higher if you negotiate for a better settlement rather than accepting the first offer. In particular, filing a lawsuit or informing the defendant that you’re willing to go to trial often results in a higher settlement.
How Are Damages Calculated?
A personal injury settlement is possible only when the two parties come to an agreement about what damages the victim deserves. The insurance party of the defendant will usually base the amount on what they paid plaintiffs in similar cases in the past. You can expect the insurance company to send you an offer, which you can reply to with a demand.
It’s much easier to negotiate through a personal injury attorney, as an attorney will know what a reasonable settlement for your particular case is. Lawyers tend to consider what juries were previously awarded to arrive at an amount for damages. In addition, your legal counsel can provide proof that the insurance company should be offering you more. Such evidence is crucial in many cases because the insurance company can refuse to pay anything if it’s not obvious that a defendant’s negligence caused the accident.
How Common Are Settlements?
The majority of personal injury claims are resolved with a settlement. Only around 4 percent of cases go to trial, mainly because of the high risk to both parties and the long time a trial takes to resolve. With a settlement, no jury is involved: it’s just about the two parties coming to an agreement. As soon as you have signed the agreement, your case is over, and you are unable to pursue further compensation in the future.
What Is A Typical Time Frame For A Settlement?
The resolution time for claims varies widely between cases — from a couple of months to more than a year. Around half of all cases resolve between two and 12 months, with an average resolution time of just over 11 months. This can be frustrating when you need to pay medical bills, but the silver lining is that claims that take longer to resolve are more likely to lead to a higher payout.
Gaining The Highest Possible Personal Injury Settlement
A typical settlement varies greatly depending on if you file a claim on your own or seek legal representation. In fact, it often means the difference between receiving compensation or nothing at all. To build a strong case and receive the highest possible settlement, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Chip Forstall to receive the support of a personal injury attorney who specializes in your type of personal injury.