All accidents are unique, but one thing all claimants have in common is the desire to recover the most compensation in the shortest amount of time. We receive a lot of settlement-related questions, but perhaps the most common has to do with the average value of a personal injury claim–is there such a thing? Why or why not?
This question is very simple in principle but very complicated in practice, as there are numerous aspects to each case that will determine the overall value. Let’s go over what claimants need to know about settlement values and what they can expect for their claim.
The Average Value of a Personal Injury Claim
We’d hate to disappoint you, but with regards to average settlement values, there really isn’t an exact figure. This is because the value of a given claim depends on several factors, including the severity of the injuries and property damage, the financial standing of the defendant, the total number of claimants involved, the type of claim, and your own potential level of fault. Some cases get dismissed and some garner multi-million dollar settlements–the range really is quite broad.
If you absolutely had to assign an average range of value to personal injury cases, it would probably run from about $3,000 to $100,000. As you can imagine, most cases fall somewhere in between, while a few may settle for much more or nothing at all. As legal professionals, we would strongly advise against online “settlement calculators” or any program that claims to know the value of your case without actually speaking with an attorney. Most of these apps are just glorified ads that try to lure you in with the promise of big money.
An experienced attorney, on the other hand, would never make such promises, as there are never any guarantees in law. Furthermore, most of the added forms of compensation—such as non-economic losses and punitive damages–are discovered later on in the claim process, so the estimated value may actually be much less than the real figure.
Does My Claim Warrant the Average Settlement Amount?
As mentioned above, you’ll need to consult with a trusted professional in order to truly assess the value of your claim. Chances are you’ll actually be surprised about the additional forms of compensation you may be eligible to receive. However, successful claims don’t just depend on the attorney, and plaintiffs can also help their claim’s value by swiftly and consistently receiving medical treatment, keeping any possible forms of evidence, and not doing anything irrational while their claim is still being adjudicated.
How Do Attorneys Determine the Value of a Personal Injury Case?
There are several factors to be considered when determining the value of a claim. First and foremost, how severe are the injuries and damages in question? The higher the damages, the higher the compensation, and conversely, minor injuries and damages won’t warrant additional forms of compensation like pain and suffering or punitive damages. Second, how many claimants are involved? If there are multiple claimants and only one defendant, the compensation will be divided among the claimants, which is almost always less than the value of each individual case. Finally, your own level of fault may be a factor as well–many states enforce laws that limit the amount of damages you can receive based on the level of liability that is assigned to you.
One final note that all attorneys will tell you is that it’s never a good idea to make comparisons. Oftentimes, claimants will see a headline for a case that reached a multi-million dollar settlement and think that they are entitled to the same amount. The reason why those cases make the news is precisely because they are extraordinary examples; you will never see headlines for the thousands of cases that don’t settle at all. Even identical case types will have varying outcomes, because each set of injuries and damages is unique.
Questions About Settlements? Connect With Van Law Firm Today
If you have questions about the value of a potential claim, time is of the essence–don’t hesitate to call the experienced and versatile team of personal injury attorneys from Van Law Firm right away. We’ve been defending the rights of accident victims for nearly ten years now, and we’re just getting started. Simply call our office nearest you today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case review.