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A variety of factors are used to calculate personal injury sums. Just because two cases seem similar does not mean the settlements will be the same. Those who bring a case forward get a crash course in personal injury law.
They learn the intricacies of the legal system. Many people wonder if the case will go to trial or result in a settlement. Personal injury cases typically end in a settlement rather than duke it out in court. Approximately five percent go to trial. The only time a case goes to court is if the opposing parties cannot reach an agreement on the amount of compensation.
How Long Does Reaching a Settlement Take?
Many are under the false assumption that settlements are quicker than going to court. They may think they can settle within days or weeks. Unlike portrayed on TV, settlements are not quick events. A television scenario is a person asking for an amount, the opposing party talking it down, and a settlement being reached in a few minutes.
In the real world, settlement proceedings can last months or years. Both parties participate in ‘discovery.’ They investigate claims of what occurred in the event. Often, both parties hire investigators to aid in calculating the amount owed.
Average Personal Injury Settlements
Determining an average settlement is complicated because most personal injury cases are confidential. When an agreement is reached, it may not be on the books. Income reporting data shows personal injury cases range from $3000 to $75,000. The average settlement is $52,900.
There is a 70 percent likelihood of being awarded a personal injury claim. The process is complex. Claimants may get a lot more, or much less than anticipated, based on the circumstances of the personal injury.
Factors That Have an Impact on the Money Received
Two major factors play a role in the calculation of a personal injury settlement. They are what an insurance company is willing to pay and the extent of the injuries. Psychological stress associated with an accident can sometimes be claimed. The payout depends on various factors, one of them being the company’s insurance policy.
When Is a Settlement Received?
Settlement agreements usually do not begin until the injured party completes treatment for an injury or psychological illness due to the accident. This time-frame allows the injured party to claim back measurable monetary amounts.
Courts, lawyers, and insurance companies know there will likely be medical bills for more than the initial treatment. If treatment is going to last for the rest of a person’s life, it may impact the amount received. In most cases, settlements cover treatment that is completed.
Settlements take into consideration
- Loss of wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
Pay stubs that prove how much a person loses from being unable to work help calculate a monetary amount. They do not guarantee the claimant will receive that amount, but they serve as a starting point. Medical bills for services rendered are included in the settlement.
Pain and suffering take into account pain, anxiety, and other factors an individual endured due to the accident. Since there is no bill, a lawyer often calculates an amount to be received per day and multiples that amount by the number of days it takes to recover. A request for $200 per day for six months (180 days) comes to an amount of $38,600.
Loss of enjoyment is even vaguer than pain and suffering. Hiring a law firm such as Aronberg, Aronberg & Green helps calculate difficult to measure settlement amounts and the variety of other factors that have to be taken into account.