When someone has been involved in an accident that results in a personal injury lawsuit, wondering what the lawsuit will pay is very natural. While we wish we could give you a number that is set in stone, there are simply just too many contributing factors that dictate the outcome of any judgment or settlement. Now, while we cannot offer one ballpark figure, we can offer averages based on the types of personal injury cases we have seen in the past.
Average Personal Injury Settlements
As stated above, the scale here is going to be vast. When you look at the “average” of all types of personal injury settlements, though, you can probably expect the case to be between $3,000 and $75,000. That range is so vast due to factors such as the severity of the injury, time missed from work, etc. Additionally, there will be outlier cases that will fall below and far above that number. Even though the actual range is rather significant, though, your personal injury attorney will be able to give you a rough estimate after gathering all your information as well as some investigative work about the cause of the injury.
Will I Get an Average Settlement for My Particular Personal Injury Case?
Again, this is tough to say without knowing all the factors. While your personal injury attorney will be able to provide an estimate, as the case unfolds, the actual number could go up or down based on the specific factors of this case. For instance, if the average settlement for a car accident with a broken leg is $15,000, your case may settle higher if, for instance, there is permanent damage or your ability to do your existing job is hindered.
I Was in a Car Accident. How Much Can I Expect?
Every car accident personal injury lawsuit is going to be different, so we will look at the factors in the case. For instance, was the car totaled? Did the guilty party have insurance? What was the extent of your injuries? How much time was lost from work? These are just a few of the contributing factors that will help decide the outcome of the case.
How to Determine the Value of a Personal Injury Settlement
We basically look at three possible categories to decide the value of a case:
- Economic Damages
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages
Within these categories, there will be subcategories, as mentioned in the point above.
Should We Hope for a Settlement or a Trial?
Most personal injury cases are going to reach a settlement rather than go to trial. This benefits both parties. The defendant gets a judgment he or she can live with and the injured party knows exactly what he or she is getting. If the case goes to trial, you may get a much higher award, but you could also walk away with nothing. Trials are also going to cost significantly more, so that must be considered when decided which road to go down.
In deciding to go to trial or work toward a settlement, your attorney’s expertise will come into play. An experienced attorney will be able to work up a reasonable settlement after gathering all information and present an offer to the guilty party that will be considered seriously.
What If the Defendant Can’t Pay?
Remember when we said the contributing factors? Well, this is one of them. Exactly how much the defendant will be able to pay is a very large contributor. For instance, let’s assume the accident was severe, resulting in significant medical bills. What happens when the insurance company of the defendant caps out at $100,000 and the defendant only has assets equaling about $20,000? Even if you have a case that would normally elicit an “average” settlement of $150,000, you would have very little chance of recovering the full amount (in this example). In addition to the value of the case, how much the defendant (including insurance coverage) can pay, is very much a deciding factor in any settlement.
How Is Pain and Suffering Figured?
While there are always exceptions, pain and suffering is generally calculated by multiplying all medical bills and lost earnings by a multiplier. The multiplier generally ranges from one to five. The multiplier is dictated by the severity of the injury, current and future limitations, as well as your ability to go back to work and have a normal quality of life. For instance, an accident with no major injuries might result in a multiplier of 1.5 whereas an injury with a broken leg and significant time missed from work would be more on the three- or four-times multiplier.
Have you recently been involved in an accident? Do you need a personal injury lawyer to help you recover pain and suffering as well as the cost of your medical bills? To have one of our attorneys evaluate your case, give us a call at 855-633-0888, or you can fill out our contact form (click here). Remember, the initial consultation is free, and you are under no obligation to use our legal services. Call us today at 855-633-0888.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and Injury law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any injuries from vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice.