What Are the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts?
Every personal injury case is unique, so it is difficult to determine the average settlement amount. However, certain factors help insurance companies and attorneys come up with a figure. They include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The type of accident you sustained
- Your employment status
- Who was at fault for the accident
- Whether or not you will suffer permanent injuries and/or scarring
In general, the more medical treatment you need and the more serious your injuries, the higher the settlement you can obtain.
Factors That Influence Personal Injury Settlement Amounts
A settlement compensates you for the financial and non-financial losses you sustained in an accident. Because no two cases are the same, there is no average settlement. Still, certain factors affect how much compensation a personal injury victim can recover.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Two people can be in the same accident and suffer different injuries. For example, in a traffic accident, a driver may have suffered whiplash and just needs to take over-the-counter medications and rest until they’re back to their pre-accident state. On the other hand, one of the passengers could have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). As a result, they need physical therapy and regular checkups for the foreseeable future.
Between the doctor’s appointments, time off work, and reduced quality of life, the passenger may be entitled to recover a higher settlement than the driver.
The Type of Accident You Endured
How your injuries occurred will also play a role in your settlement. As such, insurance policies differ in each area of personal injury, and multiple parties may be involved. You could pursue an insurance settlement if you or a loved one was hurt in one of these accidents:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Product liability
- Construction injuries
- Medical malpractice
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries in any of the accidents listed here, you may have grounds to pursue a wrongful death settlement.
Your Post-Accident Financial Status
Depending on the two aforementioned factors, you may have incurred various costs from the accident. Examples are:
- An ambulance ride
- Diagnostic screenings
- Emergency room care
- Hospital stays
- Medical equipment
- Follow-up doctor’s appointments
- Lost income and benefits
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial arrangements
These expenses can add up fast, and you could end up spending thousands of dollars. Luckily, when you file an insurance claim, you can request to be compensated for these costs.
Note that you may not just be limited to recovering financial damages. If you suffered a serious injury or your loved one died from their injuries, you may be entitled to obtain compensation for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring and disfigurement, and/or lost quality of life.
Parties Who Were At Fault for the Personal Injury Incident
Florida operates under a comparative fault system. According to Florida Statutes § 768.81, Any portion of fault that you bear for the accident will reduce your recovery by the percentage. In other words, you could hold partial blame for the accident and still collect compensation.
However, the insurance company will reduce the amount of compensation you recover in proportion to your percentage of fault. For example, suppose you were shopping at a grocery store, and someone spilled water. The store may have put up a warning sign, but you didn’t see it and slipped and fell.
Since your inaction to take notice of the warning may have contributed to the accident, the insurer may assign you 40 percent of the blame. Therefore, you would recoup 60 percent of your final damages.
Evidence You Can Use to Back Up Your Settlement Claims
You must prove the other party in your case acted negligently as you seek to secure a financial recovery. The theory of negligence comprises:
- Duty of care: The other party was to exercise a legal duty of care to keep you safe.
- Breach of duty: They failed to exercise this duty of care by acting negligently.
- Causation: This failure to exercise do care led to and injury or economic loss.
- Damages: You accumulated medical bills, lost wages, endured pain and suffering, and sustained other damages.
Your account of what happened is important, but it’s not enough to convince the insurer to award you a fair settlement. You must collect various forms of evidence to prove your injuries and the other party’s fault. This documentation may include:
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos or video of the accident scene
- An official police or incident report
- Video surveillance
- Your medical records
- Witness statements
- Traffic citations
The smallest piece of evidence can make a difference in the effectiveness of your case, so don’t hesitate to include as much information as you can in your file.
How You Can Protect Your Right to a Fair Personal Injury Settlement Amount
After an accident, you may think you cannot do anything to bolster your claim’s value. That is rarely the case. A few small steps can protect your right to recover compensation, such as:
- Avoiding accepting the first settlement the insurer offers, as it may not cover the full extent of your losses
- Seeking medical care immediately following the accident and following through with your treatment plan
- Referring the insurance adjuster to your lawyer-insurers are known for employing questionable tactics that twist your words and make it seem like you admitted fault for the accident
Reach Out to Phillips | Tadros, P.A. After You Were Hurt in an Accident
At Phillips | Tadros, P.A., we are not concerned with the average personal injury settlement amount. We want to get you the compensation you need to restore your quality of life.