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September 13, 2023

The Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount

by Evan Breaux | Personal Injury Lawyers | 0 comments
The Average Personal Injury
Settlement Amount

In this article, Breaux Law Firm tackles all things related to personal injury settlements, like the average personal injury settlement amount and how insurance companies determine how much money a personal injury claim will receive.

When a person has been injured in some type of accident due to the negligence of another, the law says that the negligent party is responsible to pay the injured party for damages in connection with the accident. Obviously, the negligent party cannot change the fact that the injured party is injured, so money damages are how our law compensates an injured victim.

The financial compensation does not usually come directly from the bank account of the negligent party, however, but in most cases is paid out by the negligent party’s insurance company.

If you were injured in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation that will cover the full dollar amount of what your personal injury cost you.

What is a Personal Injury Settlement

A personal injury settlement is a legal agreement reached between a person who has suffered injuries or damages (the plaintiff) and the individual, company, or entity that is considered responsible for causing those injuries or damages (the defendant). Personal injury cases typically arise from accidents, negligence, medical malpractice, product defects, or intentional harm.

In a personal injury settlement, the two parties agree to resolve the dispute without going to court by negotiating and agreeing upon a specific amount of compensation that the responsible party (or, more generally, their insurance company) will pay to the injured person.

This compensation is intended to cover various costs and losses incurred as a result of the injury, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, past and future pain and suffering, property damage, and legal fees.

Once both parties agree on the terms of the settlement, a formal agreement is drafted outlining the details of the compensation, the terms of the settlement, and any other relevant conditions. Once signed, the settlement is legally binding, and the plaintiff typically agrees not to pursue further legal action related to the incident.

Settlements are a common way to resolve personal injury cases as they often offer a faster resolution compared to a full trial, which can be time-consuming and costly. An insurance company usually does not want to go to trial. 

However, it’s very important for individuals involved in personal injury cases to work with a personal injury attorney. Why? Personal injury attorneys know how much compensation you deserve for the full extent of your injuries (in other words, what your injury case is worth).

They know how to file a claim, how to file a lawsuit, how to demand compensation for the full value of your case, and how to negotiate a settlement. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to assist you with your personal injury compensation will ensure they are receiving a fair and appropriate settlement based on the full extent of their injuries and losses.

Types of Damages You May be Owed and How They Are Determined

Personal injury damages encompass much more than just monetary amounts. Insurance companies calculate how much money a personal injury case is worth by evaluating all of the damages, determining the extent of fault (even, at times, denying their client’s fault), and trying to avoid paying the full value of a claim.

The amount you can recover, or fight for in your settlement negotiations, depends on many elements, including:

Past and Present Medical Expenses

Everyone’s accident is different and, more specifically, everyone’s precise damages are different. The first type of money damages that an injured party is owed are medical expenses for both past and future medical care resulting from the accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident and have sought medical treatment, you will have incurred medical bills.

Any accident-related medical expenses that you incur are recoverable via your personal injury claim. The law also allows for the recovery of future medical expenses which, more likely than not, will need to be expended for the injured person’s future medical care. The cost of medical expenses will vary greatly, depending on the severity of your injuries.

General Damages

The second type of monetary damages that an injured party is owed are called general damages. General damages may include loss of enjoyment of life, both past and future pain and suffering, and both past and future mental anguish.

General damage awards differ with each case; typically, the more severely injured a person is, the higher their pain and suffering damages will be. Loss of enjoyment damages differ with each case as well.

For example, an avid tennis player injured in an auto accident who is no longer able to play tennis will have a higher amount of loss of enjoyment of life damages than a person who, after being in an accident, is still able to do all the things he or she enjoyed doing. For pain and suffering damages, the longer an injured person sees a healthcare provider for treatment of his or her accident-related injuries, the larger the pain and suffering award will be.

Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity

The next type of money damages a person who is injured in an accident can recover is lost wages and loss of earning capacity. Lost wages are wages that the injured person would have earned but did not earn due to the injury sustained.

For example: if a person made $10 per hour and worked 40 hours per week before the subject accident, and, after the accident, said person was only able to work 20 hours per week, the person’s lost wage claim would amount to $200 per week that the injured person was unable to work full time due to the accident. Loss of earning capacity is a type of damage that quantifies the diminishing of a person’s ability to earn income in the future due to an injury.

For example, if a person loses their hand in an accident and that person was a carpenter, that person can no longer work as a carpenter, so the law allows him to recover loss of earning capacity damages to compensate him for the loss of his ability to earn a living in the future.

Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount

As we discussed in our article, “Personal Injury Settlement Amount Examples and FAQs,” the amount of money awarded in a personal injury settlement depends on many different factors. There is no “average” amount awarded. Settlements vary. At Breaux Law Firm, the average settlement amounts that we win for our clients can fall anywhere between $15,000 and $1 million. The final amount will be determined based on a car accident victim’s medical bills, property damage, loss of income, and past and future pain and suffering. 

It’s important to be aware that the settlement amount can change during the negotiation process, and the at-fault party’s insurance company will make a “final offer” before reaching an agreed-upon amount.

You also should be aware that the at-fault party’s insurance company is always hoping to pay the victim as little as possible. Insurance companies use every tactic possible during negotiations and the entire settlement process with the goal of making as small a payout as possible.

As the injured party, you will need to make sure you are not taken advantage of by the insurance company by accepting a settlement that is too low or does not cover the whole value of your claim. But you don’t need to do this on your own, and in fact, you should not.

Working with a personal injury attorney means you have someone who is fighting for you—and with you—through the whole process. In short, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation that is fair and full. 

Drawing from our success at Breaux Law Firm, here are some car accident settlement examples: 

How the Personal Injury Attorneys at Breaux Law Firm Can Help

Every case is different, and the damages owed to an injured client always depend on how the client was injured and what precise damages they incurred. Breaux Law Firm strives to get each and every dollar that our clients deserve as a result of our clients’ accidents.

We know how to determine the value of your accident, how to file a personal injury claim or file a personal injury lawsuit, and what tactics an insurance company may use to deny fault or get a victim to accept a low settlement offer.

We also know that insurance companies sometimes offer an amount that may seem impressive at the outset but will not cover the full extent of your injuries or damages. However, if a victim of a car accident accepts this seemingly impressive initial settlement that the insurance companies offer, they are also likely signing away their right to pursue further damages down the road.

We hate to see this happen to our clients and friends! Imagine accepting that initial settlement offer, only to realize you will forever be paying out of pocket for medical costs once you understand, years later, how much your personal injury is really costing you. You deserve the full amount for your personal injury.

To work with an attorney, like our team at Breaux Law Firm, ensures that you reach a settlement for a reasonable amount to cover your costs as a personal injury victim. Our expertise and experience means we know how to estimate the required compensation for your injuries, which is something the average injured person cannot do. We can help you get a higher settlement, hands down.

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence or unsafe driving, call Breaux Law Firm now for a FREE consultation to discuss your case. We don’t get paid until you do, which means we won’t take on a case unless we feel confident that you can receive a fair settlement. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (504) 882-0545 or you can email us at info@breauxlaw.com.