It is difficult to determine the average settlement for a personal injury because there are many contributing factors to consider, including:
- State negligence laws
- Insurance coverage and policy
- Value of your damages for physical and emotional injuries
- Extent and severity of your injuries
- If the injury affects more than one member of your family
- Circumstances of the personal injury
Personal injuries are often resolved through an insurance settlement, eliminating the expense and stress of going to court. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand the liability and negligence laws in your state and how they could impact your settlement.
States Have Different Liability Laws
It is helpful for clients if they have a nationwide personal injury law firm to assist them. This is because liability and negligence laws vary from state to state, which can affect your settlement.
For example, Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to auto accidents, and the state requires everyone to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. An insured Florida resident’s policy pays the first $10,000 for bodily injury, regardless of who caused the accident.
Illinois, on the other hand, is a contributory negligence state. This means that even if you play a part in causing the injury or accident, you might still be entitled to compensation, but your damages may be diminished.
If you got hurt in New York because of someone else’s negligence, you need to talk to a New York personal injury lawyer about NY’s “pure” comparative fault law, allowing each party in a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation even if one of the parties is 99% at fault for what happened.
Severity or Extent of Injuries
An insurance settlement may also be affected by the type and severity of your injuries. The greater the injury, the higher the cost of medical care. Insurance companies also consider pain and suffering as it relates to physical injuries. For example, damages for a sprained ankle might be valued differently from a broken ankle.
Insurance companies will also consider:
- If your injuries resulted in permanent disability or disfigurement
- If you will need long-term medical care or treatment
- If you will need constant lifecare (for example, if you are paralyzed from the neck down)
- If your injuries will keep you from working or force you to take a lower-paying job
There are no predetermined amounts for a settlement. However, you can hire an attorney to represent you to accurately valuate your damages if you are unsure how to do so.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Some insurance companies try to pressure you into settling as quickly and cheaply as possible. They count on the fact that you may not be getting paid for the time you missed at work, that you have medical bills piling up, and that you just do not feel well.
Most people undervalue or underestimate the cost of their physical and emotional injuries, and this is understandable. You are hurt, you have endured a distressing and painful event, and you want to just get back to normal.
A Lawyer Can Accurately Valuate Your Damages
A personal injury lawyer can objectively assess your injuries and damages not just for today but for your future, and in some cases, for your family’s future.
A personal injury lawyer will valuate damages for both physical and emotional injuries, including:
- Medical treatment, both current and future, including surgery, rehabilitation, and other care
- Lifecare costs such as domestic help
- Adaptive devices and related costs, such as wheelchairs and renovation to your home to make doorways wider
- Diminished earning ability
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium and/or the ability to have children
- Pain and suffering
These damages are difficult for you to truly valuate on your own. It is even more challenging when another person’s negligence has forced you into this situation.
Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer might not affect the average settlement for a personal injury, but it may give you peace of mind to know that your rights are being protected. Other benefits to consider are:
- Most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation to give you a frank assessment of your case and what kind of settlement you may be offered.
- Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis–you pay nothing upfront and your lawyer receives a portion of what he or she recovers on your behalf.
- Having a lawyer represent you allows you to focus on your health and well-being.
An attorney can also help ensure that you file your lawsuit within the time limit in your state. This deadline is essential; if you miss it, you likely will be ineligible for any settlement you might be pursuing.
We invite you to contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation. Call (800) 794-0444 to speak with a member of our firm today.