What Is the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount?

Average Personal Injury Settlement amount

Being injured can be a scary experience, as well as one that disrupts numerous elements of your life.

To be sure, you may not be able to return to work immediately following your injuries (or perhaps ever if your injuries are especially severe), you may have to spend days or weeks in a hospital, you may suffer large medical expenses, and your overall quality of life may diminish.

And this is just scratching the surface.

What’s more, you may be faced with the option of pursuing a California personal injury claim. If so, this process may feel confusing or even overwhelming, and you may be wondering whether or not filing a claim is worth it. Indeed, one of the most common questions our clients ask is about the value of the average personal injury settlement amount.

Settlement amounts vary on a case-by-case basis, and it is impossible to predict exactly how much your settlement may be. Consider the following about seeking a personal injury settlement in California and factors that influence a settlement’s value--

Your Right to Seek Compensation

The first important thing to know is that when you are injured due to the negligence of another, you have the right to seek compensation. In order to be successful in your pursuit, you must prove that the other party owed you a duty of care, breached the duty of care owed to you, and that the breach was the direct cause of your injuries. You must also prove that you suffered actual losses as a result.

Damages Available in a Personal Injury Settlement

Not only do you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries, but you have the right to seek compensation for the full value of the losses you have suffered. This means that you can seek compensation for all:

  • Economic damages. Economic damages are damages for actual monetary losses that result from an accident. Examples of economic damages include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage losses.
  • Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are intangible damages that are hard to calculate, such as the value of a person’s pain, suffering, emotional anguish, or psychological harm. Read more about how these damages are calculated below.
  • Punitive damages. Finally, a person may be able to recoup punitive damages in the event that there is evidence that the defendant acted out of fraud, malice, or oppression. For example, if there is strong evidence that suggests that the defendant intended to cause you harm, you may be able to seek punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant for their actions.

Remember, while you have the right to seek all of the above types of compensation, a settlement offer may not reflect what you demand.

Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney in LA

Hurt with a personal injury and want to know what your settlement is worth?

Factors that Affect a Settlement Amount

There are numerous different factors that affect a settlement amount. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a lawyer about each of these factors and how they relate to your case. Factors that can affect a settlement amount include:

  • The value of your damages. Obviously, one of the most influential factors that will influence a settlement amount is the extent of damages you have suffered. Because economic damages are reflective of your actual losses, the more money you have lost or expect to lose over the course of your life as a direct result of your accident and injuries, the larger the compensatory portion of your settlement will be.

Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate, and courts use a couple different methods to do so. A common method is called the multiplier, where a number between one and five is assigned to your claim - the more significant your damages and the longer your noneconomic harm is expected to last, the greater the number.

For example, a person who is completely paralyzed in an accident would no doubt receive a multiplier number of ‘five.’ Once a number is selected that is reflective of the extent of harm you have suffered, the number will be multiplied by your economic damages.

For example, if you suffered $300,000 in economic losses and were assigned a multiplier of three then you would be entitled to $900,000 in noneconomic losses in addition to the $300,000.

For example, a person who is completely paralyzed in an accident would no doubt receive a multiplier number of ‘five.’ Once a number is selected that is reflective of the extent of harm you have suffered, the number will be multiplied by your economic damages.

For example, if you suffered $300,000 in economic losses and were assigned a multiplier of three then you would be entitled to $900,000 in noneconomic losses in addition to the $300,000.

  • Fault. Another element that will have a bearing on your settlement is your degree of fault vs. the degree of fault of the defendant. Because California adheres to the comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. Using the example above, suppose you deserve $1,200,000 in damages, but you are found to be 10 percent at fault for the accident. This would reduce your settlement by 10 percent, or $120,000.
  • The defendant’s insurance/assets. Finally, even if you have suffered tens of thousands of dollars in losses, weren’t even one percent to blame, and have solid evidence that proves that the defendant should be held liable, how much you recover will be dependent upon the defendant’s insurance or/and personal assets. If the defendant doesn’t carry insurance or enough insurance to cover your losses, and does not have enough to pay your personal injury claim out of pocket, then you may not get what you deserve.

Don’t Be Fooled by Lawyers that Promise Large Settlements

The average settlement for a personal injury case varies - don’t be fooled by lawyers that promise large settlements and guarantee a win.

Call our office at 310-556-9627.

Instead, work with a lawyer who is experienced, has a strong reputation, and is honest with you from the get-go about how much you may be able to recover. At the office of Starpoint LC, our California personal injury attorneys understand how important your personal injury claim.

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