What Factors Go Into Determining a Personal Injury Settlement Amount?
When you’re involved in a car crash and you are seriously injured, seeking personal injury compensation is one way that you can regain financial stability. These types of personal injury claims are considered compensatory claims because they provide compensation for the pain and suffering (both mental and physical) that the victim has suffered because of the accident.
Here are a few things that personal injury lawyers and courts will look at when deciding how much money is a reasonable compensation for your ordeal:
- Medical treatment: This is the most basic part of a personal injury case and it’s meant to provide financial compensation for the cost of treating your injuries. This provides reimbursements for payments that you’ve already made, and it also considers how much money you’ll likely have to keep paying to treat your injuries.
- Loss of wages: If your injuries are serious enough to require time off work, you may be able to receive compensation for the wages that you aren’t earning. If your injury is serious enough that it might even prevent you from returning to your normal job, or even from returning to work at all, then this will be considered in the process as well.
- Property damage: If you just purchased a new car, for example, and it was completely destroyed in the accident, then this will fall under personal property damage. This can even include smaller items such as any electronics that were damaged in the car, any other valuable items, and even clothing that was damaged.
- Emotional suffering: If you are suffering from the long-term psychological effects of being in a car accident, this will be considered too. Not only can the court consider including money to pay for therapy or counselling, but the mere loss of your overall happiness and wellbeing can result in financial compensation in your personal injury lawsuit.
And finally, your involvement in the accident: If you were partially responsible for what happened, this will likely weigh negatively on your settlement amount.
For example, perhaps you had the right of way when a vehicle turned in front of you, but you happened to be using your cellphone at the time, so you didn’t see the other car. This form of distracted driving is very common. It happens around 600,000 times at any given daylight moment across the United States; it results in over 424,000 injuries within one year. It’s even harder for police to monitor than drunk driving is, as only 4,000 of an estimated 300,000 drunk drivers are arrested each day. Your negligence in this case, while not the primary cause of the accident, is still substantial enough to affect your possible settlement.
If you’ve been the victim of a serious car accident and you’re suffering from injuries because of it, the personal injury claims process is intended to provide you with financial relief. Actually filing a personal injury claim can be an arduous process, but as many personal injury attorneys will attest, the ending settlement is worth it.