When you’re facing a personal injury lawsuit, you might wonder how much the damages are going to be. Whether you’re on the paying end or the receiving end, this is good information to know. While one couldn’t say an exact amount before the case is in progress, there are some things to consider about personal injury settlement amounts.
How Settlements Are Reached
When a plaintiff sues a defendant, the case typically ends when a settlement is reached. To get to this point, each party will begin with an estimation of how much they each think the case is worth. If they both agree right away, that settles the case almost immediately, but that rarely happens.
Usually, both sides will send demand letters, settlement offers and negotiations back and forth multiple times. One party might explain and give evidence as to why they think the settlement should be higher, while the other party might send information that shows why the settlement should be lower. As soon as both parties feel the settlement amount is fair, they will sign a release and settle the case.
Average Settlement Amounts
No two personal injury cases are exactly alike, so no two settlement amounts will be alike either. One case might end at an amount of $3,000, while another might end at an amount of $75,000. Speaking with your lawyer about the specifics of your case, you can get a better idea of how much you might be entitled to, but that still doesn’t predict how negotiations will go and what you’ll end up with.
When considering the amount of a settlement for personal injury, there are a lot of factors that come into play. Your lawyer and insurance company might look at:
- Duty of Care – Did the defendant have a duty to provide a certain level of care to the plaintiff? For example, a doctor taking care of a patient or a driver getting behind the wheel on the road. Both of those individuals have a duty of care for those around them.
- Breach of Duty – Did the defendant breach the duty of care? For example, a doctor making a decision he or she knew was dangerous or someone who drove drunk.
- Injuries Sustained – Did the plaintiff sustain injuries as a direct result of the breach of duty?
- Source of Compensation – Does the defendant have a source from which to pull compensation? If not, you might negotiate the settlement lower so you can actually receive what you settle on.
Getting Your Lawyer To Help
Being up against a personal injury case, you might wonder how much you can expect to be reimbursed. Getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer is a great way to learn more.