Personal injury settlements can help injured accident victims recover from the financial, physical, and mental toll of their situation. However, determining the settlement amount to demand can be difficult. If you are not sure how much to ask from the at-fault party, experienced Philadelphia, PA personal injury attorneys can explain your options and ensure your rights to compensation are protected. Although each personal injury case is unique, your attorney can help you understand how the claim process works and how to calculate a settlement estimate.
Average Settlements for Personal Injury Cases
Settlements for personal injury cases can vary. The final settlement amount can be decided during negotiations between the parties involved or in a court case. Regardless, the amount is based on many factors. A lot of personal injury lawsuits that involve minor injuries can be settled for $50, 000 or less. For more serious injuries, the damage amount can increase significantly, possibly reaching millions of dollars.
Kinds of Damages
As you decide the amount to ask in your injury settlement, you must begin with monetary damages. In general, these damages have actual dollar amounts attached including medical bills, lost wages, therapy costs, and related recovery damages. Then, you should take into account non-monetary damages like pain and suffering that a personal injury usually comes with. Due to the subjectivity of these damages, they are not easy to quantify. Non-monetary damages are usually represented by a multiplier of your monetary damages and the expected effect of your injury on your life in the long term.
What Could Reduce your Settlement Amount?
Although settlements may seem like a lot of money, much of the amount is accounted for once both parties reach a settlement. The following are factors that can reduce the amount of money you can get as a settlement for your personal injury case:
- Medical liens. These are filed against your claim’s proceeds to make sure the medical bills you accumulated due to your injury get paid for.
- Additional bills. While the settlement process gets extended into weeks or months, you continue to require care, which means additional bills for this care. These bills were not known when you decide the amount to ask for in the settlement. Thus, the calculation for non-monetary damage should include them.
- Attorney’s fees. These fees pay your lawyer for the services they provided you. Your contract with them may stipulates the specific amount or percentage they will collect after successfully recovering compensation for you.
- Additional expenses. These include postage, court filing fees, and document fees.