A personal injury settlement can help you recover from a severe injury’s financial, mental, and physical toll. Knowing how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement can be challenging. Whether you’re afraid you’re asking for too much or not enough, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your options and protect your rights. While every case is different and based on a unique situation, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some idea of the process of filing a claim or how to calculate a personal injury settlement estimate.
Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples
Personal injury settlements can vary greatly. Whether a settlement amount is the result of a decision in a court case or negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant, it will be based on various factors explicitly drawn from the case. Most personal injury lawsuits deal with relatively minor injuries and will total $50,000 or less. In cases with more severe injuries, the damages can increase exponentially, pushing the total into the millions of dollars range.
Types Of Damages In A Personal Injury Settlement
When deciding how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement, it’s always best to start with your monetary damages. These generally come with actual dollar amounts attached that provide an objective look at the costs you’ve incurred as a result of your injury:
Bills for treatment from emergency rooms, hospitals, doctors, testing facilities, and labs can all add up, and medical debt is a factor in two-thirds of all bankruptcy filings.
In addition to the expenses generated by a personal injury, many people face a loss of income either directly caused by an inability to perform their job due to an injury or missed time as they work with medical professionals and on their own to recover.
Physical and adaptive therapy helps you to continue recovering or find ways to cope with a sustained injury. These can be ongoing bills that will need to be considered when you decide how to calculate a personal injury settlement that will be fair to you.
Associated Recovery Expenses
From transportation to and from medical appointments to the need for adaptive devices at home, like ramps for injured parties that find themselves wheelchair-bound, there can be a host of expenses that carry an exact monetary value directly caused by the personal injury.
Next, you will want to factor in non-monetary damage, such as the pain and suffering that frequently accompanies a personal injury. These are highly subjective and difficult to quantify. Rather than a dollar amount, these are often represented by a multiplier of the property damage based on the severity of the injury and the expected long-term impact on the injured party’s life.
Usually, this modifier ranges from 1X for relatively minor injuries that affect a patient for a shorter time frame, such as a twisted knee from a slip and fall that doesn’t require surgery. More severe or longer-lasting injuries, like a brain injury leading to life-long seizure risks, might be given a modifier of 5X on the already more substantial monetary damages. Learn more about the costs and attorney at Marks and Harrison.
Costs That Reduce Your Injury Settlement Amount
While settlements may look like a lot of money when they’re touted on flashy commercials or when an extraordinary case makes the news, the truth is that much of the money is already accounted for when the settlement is reached.
In many cases, patients do not have the money to pay their providers for their care. In addition, an insurance company that has paid for medical care will want to be reimbursed for their cost from the proceeds of a personal injury settlement. To help enforce these amounts, they may file medical liens against the proceeds of the claim to ensure that the medical bills get paid.
As the personal injury settlement process stretched into weeks and months, care is ongoing, and so are the bills for that care. Since these did not yet exist when deciding how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement, these would be paid out of any non-monetary damage calculation.
These compensate your lawyer and their team for the work done on your behalf. When you work with a lawyer, a percentage in the contract you sign specifies how much of a settlement they will collect as fees. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to ask that the defendant in a suit be held liable for attorney’s fees as well.
In the filing of a personal injury case, other fees often accrue. Postage, filing fees with the courts, and document fees for certified copies are just a few everyday expenses involved in filing a personal injury claim.
How To Calculate Personal Injury Settlement Demands?
When putting together your claim for a personal injury, getting a lawyer involved early in the process is essential. They can not only help protect your rights by reviewing any communications with the defendant or their representative but also help ensure you are asking for the total compensation you’re due. To start with, you’ll want to include all monetary damages in your claim. This is money you’ve either already paid or still owe, which should be used to set the base amount you derive non-monetary damages from. If care is ongoing, a reasonable estimate can be included to help ensure you don’t short-change yourself while meeting the two-year statute of limitation window.
Questions Or Concerns About Personal Injury Settlements? Talk To The Lawyers Today
Working with a lawyer is easy to do. Start with a free consultation where you will have the opportunity to discuss the specifics of your situation. They’ll talk to you about the potential for a personal injury settlement and your options moving forward. If you decide to pursue a claim, your case will become their cause as they help form a strong case, negotiate on your behalf with the defendant or their insurance, and represent you in court.