Personal injury claims usually arise after an accident where someone is injured by the carelessness of another person. These are usually caused by road accidents involving cars, trucks, and motorbikes, but may also include slip and falls, dog bites, etc.
Even though settlements can vary greatly for injured claimants, certain circumstances regarding an injury will impact the amount the claimant can expect to receive.
Average Personal Injury Compensation
Typically, personal injury compensation claims and settlements vary according to the type of injury, the medical bills accrued, and other damages. They are also impacted by the quality of the legal representation the claimant has. In most cases, personal injury claims are settled out of court.
Even though the settlement amount may vary, most people seeking compensation for personal injury like to have an idea of what they are likely to receive. The average compensation for settlements and amounts awarded by the courts is $52,900.
What is the Range of Compensation for Personal Injury Cases?
In the same survey, which was conducted on their readers, Lawyers.com found that the typical range of payouts was between $3,000 to $75,000, with a few readers receiving more substantial amounts.
The number of readers who received nothing for their personal injury claim was less than 30%. It is important to note that the results of the survey are only based on readers to the website looking for information about personal injury claims or those looking for a lawyer, so average settlement amounts are probably higher.
Types of Damages on Which Personal Injury Claims are Based
The first consideration your PI attorney will make after an accident will be the economic damages you have incurred. These will include your medical bills and the time you needed to take off work. Then your physical and mental suffering will also be worked into the claim.
Your attorney will also consider recovering punitive damages from the defendant for the negligent act that caused the accident. If an egregious act is found, your accident lawyer will increase the amount of the compensation claim.
Usually, if punitive damages are awarded by a jury, the injured party is assured of increased overall compensation.
What Can Affect the Payout Amounts?
Most lawyers prefer to settle the majority personal injury cases out of court. The reasons for this are that court cases can be very expensive, and jury verdicts can be unpredictable. Various variables can affect the payout amount.
The severity of the injuries is the first thing that will impact your claim. More severe injuries incur substantial medical expenses and have longer recovery times. Therefore, they lead to higher settlement amounts.
Another thing that may affect the payout amount is the limits on the insurance policy of the plaintiff. Insurance companies never offer to settle on an amount that is over the policy limit.
Payout amounts are also affected by whether you have a lawyer or not, and whether you try to negotiate a settlement. Sometimes when steps are taken to involve the court, they may increase.
Should I Get Legal Representation?
Legal representation significantly affects the outcome of personal injury claims. Those surveyed by Lawyer.com who had hired an attorney received higher settlements and awards. As a matter of fact, on average, their settlements were $60,000 more than those who negotiated on their own. Representation by a lawyer ensured compensation that was on average three times higher than that of unrepresented readers, even after deducting the legal fees.
The chances of getting any compensation at all are significantly increased when claimants have legal representation. Only 51% of the readers who pursued their claims on their own received compensation. However, 91% of those with a personal injury lawyer received a payout.
Truck Accident Compensation Calculation
The size, weight, and height of big rigs and other commercial vehicles can have devastating consequences in an accident. Often smaller vehicles, even at slow speeds have excessive damages, and their driver and passenger can have distressing injuries.
As a result, truck accident settlements are higher than those of accidents with regular vehicles.
Commercial vehicles like trucks and buses are required by law to keep logs about their vehicles and drivers. These logs are important because various things required by the law are recorded in them. Some of these include the weight they can carry, when their last service or tire change was carried out, and how many hours a driver has been behind the wheel.
Whose fault was it?
When your truck accident attorney works out the settlement offer, the first thing they look for is liability. No two accidents are ever the same, but in general, if the truck driver is at fault, you can be sure the insurer will settle at a higher amount.
Often truck drivers deny being the one to blame, but a truck accident attorney faced with a personal injury claim after an accident with a heavy vehicle will usually have the accident investigated by a truck expert. Their job is to look for evidence that can help the case. Your attorney will want as clear a picture as possible because often where there is no clarity, settlement amounts are much lower if they agree to pay anything at all.
Was there property damage?
If your vehicle needs to be written off because the cost of repairs is higher than the market value, then your attorney will ask for the book value of the car in the settlement process. On the other hand, if your vehicle is damaged, your car will be repaired by your insurance who will claim the money from the truck insurer.
Claim for your medical expenses
It is very important that if you are hurt in an accident to get an immediate full medical assessment. You should also follow all the treatments prescribed by your doctors. Your truck accident attorney will claim an amount for the incurred medical expenses, and any other expenses you may still incur in the future because of the accident.
A common tactic used by adjusters is to claim that your medical bills are excessive or not related to the accident. You should keep all proof of your medical records from the accident.
Other considerations calculated into the claim
Any wages you have lost, or any future impaired earning capacity will be considered. Your attorney will also determine how much physical and emotional pain you have been through and will add this into the sum of your claim. Your attorney will use the multiplier method or per diem to work out an estimate, and the severity of the injuries will determine the amount he will suggest you claim.
Therefore, the amount for the average truck settlement is difficult to work out because it varies from one truck accident to the other.
Car Accident Compensation Calculation
Calculating the value of your own claim after a car accident can be tricky. Before a car accident attorney starts working out an amount, you will need to know exactly how much damage your property sustained, and how much your medical bills will cost you. If your treatment and rehabilitation will take some time, then this will increase the amount. Working these amounts out needs expertise and a lot of research.
What information is included when working out compensation?
You are entitled to compensation for your car repairs and your injuries. Starting with the car repairs, your injury attorney looks at several details. These include the value of your car at the time of the accident, what condition it was in, and its mileage. Thereafter, the cost of the parts and repairs are factored in.
The next step is to calculate your medical bills for your injuries. Your attorney will include any future medical bills for persistent injuries caused by the accident. Moreover, the extent of your injuries may affect you financially because of a temporary or permanent loss of earnings.
A young person's inability to work after an accident will affect them more than it would affect a retired person. So, if there is a permanent physical disability or type of disfigurement, emotional damages can also be claimed.
This is the type of information your lawyer collects so that your claim value can be worked out. Personal injury attorneys use two methods for working out these amounts.
How do the calculations of lawyers and adjustors differ?
The most common methods for working out compensation claims by attorneys are the multiplier or per diem (daily rate) methods. Insurance companies also use a multiplier method but are these are based on computer algorithms. The algorithms often give smaller compensation amounts. They use a similar algorithm to calculate pain and suffering, but they call it a damage formula.
Lawyers will generally take the severance of the accident into account when using the multiplier method. In an accident where the medical bills for injures were $8,000 and loss of wages was $2,000, the actual damages were $10,000. Most lawyers use a multiplier of one to five, with the most common being three. In this case, your personal injury attorney will claim a total compensation amount of $30,000.
Depending on the severity of the injuries, the aggravating circumstances, and your negligence in the accident, the multiplier can be as low as one. If the other driver caused the accident because of extreme negligence like drunk driving, then you can expect it to be higher than five.
Even though many complain the multiplier method is inconsistent, lawyers believe that it's fair when tallying in the psychological stress that some accidents cause. Car accident calculators cannot factor in psychological damage and are not always accurate.
Finding the middle line for a settlement can often be difficult because inevitably the insurer will offer you a smaller sum. A personal injury lawyer has the experience to claim and negotiate a higher settlement for your pain and suffering.
Motorcycle Accident Calculation
Just like with truck and car accidents, a motorcycle accident can cause you physical pain and emotional trauma. A motorcycle accident injury attorney will factor your medical bills, damages, and suffering into the compensation claim.
Your lawyer will probably use either the multiplier or per diem method to work out a figure. Expect the insurance company to try and negotiate downward of the figure requested by your lawyer because of their computer-based calculation method.
With the multiplier method, your lawyer will take the cost of the accident (including injuries and damages) and will multiply that figure by 1.5 to five (depending on your injuries). This gives the amount of your claim.
With the per diem method your attorney assigns a certain amount for each day from the accident until you have made a complete recovery.
Slip-and-Fall Accident Calculation
Several factors will be taken into consideration when your personal injury attorney works out a settlement for your slip and fall. The average compensation is between $15,000 and $45,000; but depending on the severity of your injuries and recovery time, you may get far less than the average or far above it.
Your compensation should cover your monetary losses, but your lawyer will also add your pain and suffering to it.
Negotiations vary. Some cases are negotiated and settled between parties before a claim is even filed. However, most cases start by formally filing a claim. These often get to the pre-trial preparation stage before settlement negotiations begin. Lawyers use this time to build your case and will scrutinize evidence.
If informal negotiations are unfruitful, mediation may be ordered by the courts or undertaken voluntarily. Mediation needs special preparation.
Your personal injury attorney is experienced enough to build a strong case and has the negotiating skills needed. Their advice on the amount you can expect to receive, and if you must accept a settlement or take it to trial, will be based on their experience from similar cases. When a settlement is reached, they draft the paperwork and ensure you get your compensation.
Contact Moet Law Personal Injury Attorneys
As fully-fledged personal injury and accident attorneys, at Moet Law Group we are experienced at working out settlement amounts that will cover your injuries and trauma. We are expert negotiators and are experienced litigators if you decide to go to trial.
At Moet Law Group we are determined and persistent to help you settle your personal injury claim, no matter what type of accident you were involved in. Your claim is a personal matter for us, and we work closely with you from the first moment you bring the case to us until it is fully finalized.
Call us today to discuss your settlement.