Is There an Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount?
Not really. For one thing, there are so many kinds of personal injury claims that how much a plaintiff is able to collect will vary a great deal. If you’ve seen any “average” figures for an injury claim, those are rarely able to give you an idea what your case will actually look like. If you have seen a “median” figure for personal injury settlements, this is showing the middle values for an injury settlement, which can be quite different from an average.
You can talk with a personal injury attorney in Raleigh today to learn how much your specific case could be worth. In the meantime, here is an overview of what goes into determining the value of an injury claim.
An Outline of the Personal Injury Settlement
When plaintiffs (the ones filing the claims) recover compensation, they usually do so through a settlement, which means that their case will never go to a trial. Each side figures out what they think the real value of the claim is, and the plaintiff tries to negotiate as close to that value as possible, while the defendant tries to negotiate for as low a settlement as possible. To get an idea of what the case could be worth, both sides will probably look at similar claims that have produced jury verdicts in the past.
The value of the claim could also change as each side realizes how strong or how weak the plaintiff’s case is. How a good of a shot would the plaintiff have of winning in a trial? If the plaintiff has a powerful case that could win them big in a trial, the defendant could be open to a higher settlement in order to save time, save on additional legal fees, and avoid giving out a higher payout.
If the plaintiff’s case is appearing weaker and weaker however, and the plaintiff realizes that he or she would not get a better result in a trial, they could accept a lower offer than they had initially anticipated taking. At whatever point an offer satisfies both the plaintiff and the defendant, they sign off on the settlement, and the case is over.
Here are some other critical considerations that go into figuring how much a settlement is worth:
- A defendant’s ability to pay. For example, if a defendant’s insurance has a policy limit, then you probably have no chance of getting any additional compensation from them.
- Damages you sustained. How much have you lost due to medical bills, missed pay, and other damages from your injury? Then you can factor in your pain and suffering. If the defendant was grossly negligent, then you could be entitled to more compensation in punitive damages.
- Liability: Who is at fault? Sometimes a plaintiff can argue that an accident was just that, and that they are not to blame. The success of their argument could reduce your compensation. If they can argue successfully that you share fault for your injuries, then you would lose out on all compensation, thanks to North Carolina’s contributory negligence law.
Any personal injury lawsuit is going to be a complex matter, but in North Carolina, when there is such a steep burden of proof, it can be all the more necessary to work with an experienced lawyer who can work to ensure you get the full financial compensation you deserve.
Find out what a personal injury lawyer in Raleigh can do for you when you contact the Whitley Law Firm or fill out a free case review today. Our legal team has been serving residents throughout North Carolina for more than 38 years, and it will cost you nothing to learn how we can help you. Call today!