If you have been injured in an accident resulting from another person’s negligence, you are eligible to pursue compensation.
While getting a settlement for your claim cannot undo the damages and pain caused by the injuries, it does offer some reprieve from the financial, psychological, and physical toll an injury may have had on you.
Most often, insurance companies will attempt to have victims settle for the lowest possible amounts.
It is, therefore, essential to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer when navigating your claim to ensure you get fair compensation for your damages.
Why do you need to hire a lawyer?
If your injuries are minor and require no further medical attention, the payout will be low, probably in hundreds or at most a few thousand, and may not warrant hiring a lawyer.
However, if you have thousands of medical bills piling up and the at-fault party is challenging your claim, handling such a case can be pretty complicated and will require working with a skilled lawyer.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency plan, meaning you do not pay until they win the case and a settlement is reached.
In most cases, a personal injury lawyer usually earns 40% of the settlement, sometimes even less depending on the agreement.
While it may seem as much, statistics show that you can recover an average of 3.5 more when having a lawyer than you would without one.
The average settlement for a personal injury
There is no one-fits-all value for personal injury settlements.
That means the average compensation for a personal injury can vary greatly depending on various circumstances.
On the lower end, for instance, minor accidents can settle for as low as hundreds of dollars or a few thousand and are typically reached without the help of a lawyer.
However, most personal injury settlements range somewhere between $3,000 to $80,000.
Under rare circumstances, such as cases involving catastrophic injuries, gross negligence, death, medical malpractice, or disability, the average settlement can range anything between hundreds of dollars to over a million dollars.
Factors affecting the value of your settlement
The value of your settlement is often dependent on several factors, which include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The type of treatment required and the duration of recovery
- Certainty of liability or comparative fault
- The skill of your legal representation
- Reliability of your witnesses
Types of damages in a personal injury claim
Usually, a fair settlement for a personal injuries claim must sufficiently cover three main types of damages that include:
Economic damages refer to damages that have a quantifiable monetary value attached to them and includes:
- Lost wages, including future lost wages until the victim attains maximum medical improvement
- Medical bills, including future treatment costs based on doctor’s prognosis and cost of prescription drugs
- Property damage
- Cost of making home adjustments to accommodate the victim’s lifestyle change resulting from the accident
These are damages that do not have a specific monetary value attached to them and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of consortium or companionship
In some cases, the court may award the plaintiff punitive damages as a punishment to the defendant for gross negligence or outrageous conduct that resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
These acts may include drunk driving, resulting in catastrophic injuries, aggravated battery, or sexual assault.
Occasionally they are also offered in high-profile cases, such as cases involving defective products from pharmaceutical companies.
Any accident, however minor, can have a serious impact on your life.
While a settlement amount can undo the damages resulting from your personal injury, getting a fair settlement can help you recover.