What is the average personal injury settlement? If you are to ask any personal injury lawyer in Dallas about the average settlement they can obtain for you, you would get the same answer: each case is unique and all accident settlements have their specific challenges. The only accurate information you need is that hiring an experienced law firm is the best chance you have to successfully file a personal injury claim and get compensation for your loss, pain, and suffering. At Glenn Law Firm, our main goal is to negotiate aggressively with insurance companies or present your case in court before judge and jury and win your case.
What Is The Average Personal Injury Settlement? Online Calculators Do Not Give the True Value of Your Pain and Injuries
You may have found several online resources offering "settlement calculators". They apply simple mathematic formulas (the multiplier method or the Diem method), which are nowhere near the process used by insurance adjusters or your accident attorney to come up with a fair amount of money to compensate you. In reality, there is no exact formula to calculate accident claim damages. In our experience as motor vehicle accidents attorneys, no two situations are similar.
Each individual claimant suffered different types of personal injuries and required different kinds of medical care. Some of our clients suffered permanent disabilities and loss of companionship, while others were able to return to a semblance of normal life. Some car accident victims lost their lives, and we negotiated wrongful death damages on behalf of their bereaved families. Others were unable to perform the job they trained for and did with skill and dedication for years until the crash.
Also, injury settlement calculators do not take into account the punitive damages you are entitled to if the at-fault party was:
- Driving under influence of alcohol or drugs
- distracted driver using their mobile phone or talking to a passenger in their car
- disregarding traffic lanes on the road.
What Exactly Represents a Settlement?
In order to clarify the complexity of the matter, let us start with the basic explanations. A settlement is reached between an injured party and the at-fault party through negotiations that solve a legal issue before taking the matter before court. This procedure takes less time and incurs less costs than filing a personal injury lawsuit.
At the end of negotiations, the at-fault party will pay a dollar amount to the victim of its negligent actions, and the latter releases the other party from all future liability. In personal injury cases, the injured party usually negotiates with the at-fault party's insurance company. Just like any company, insurers have one key objective: profit. Thus, their object is to determine you to settle for the minimum amount they are willing to pay.
What Type of Damages Can You Recover in a Settlement?
When you contact a personal injury lawyer in Dallas for an initial case evaluation, you will be told that you are entitled to the following types of compensation:
Economic damages cover all the expenses you incurred and revenues you lost as a result of the other party's negligence which gave rise to your personal injury claim. Such damages are:
- Medical costs to treat everything from surgeries, treatments for physical injuries, to symptoms of shock and mental anguish
- other pocket costs incurred in connection with managing your accident injury (transportation costs)
- long-term treatment if you are left with permanent injuries and disabilities
- loss of income and other financial benefits
- vocational rehabilitation costs as a consequence of the loss of capacity to perform your current job
- property damages: cost of repairs for the items damaged in the accident.
Non-economic damages cover aspects that are difficult to quantify, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- depression or anxiety
- loss of consortium
- poor quality of life
- loss of enjoyment of life
- emotional distress caused by disfigurement.
A skilled personal injury attorney will collect statements from your co-workers, family and friends and even from yourself, demonstrating that the severity of injury your suffered goes beyond bruises and fractured bones. Your emotional anguish is just as painful as an open wound, and you deserve compensation for it. Likewise, losing the ability to work, enjoy your hobbies and perform daily chores also represent emotional damage from the personal injury accident.
Key Elements that Influence the Outcome of a Personal Injury Settlement
There are many aspects that influence the final amount of compensatory damages. In some of these aspects, hiring legal services plays a key role in proving your case.
The Circumstances of the Accident
The state of Texas applies the proportionate responsibility rule in determining the eligibility for receiving compensation for actual damages. Thus, if the accident injury victims are more than 50% responsible for they occurrence, they may not file a claim for financial compensation. For instance, you were the victim of a car crash, but made the mistake of not wearing a seatbelt. And this is exactly hat health insurance companies will try to prove.
A skilled accident injury attorney in Dallas will follow specific procedures to create an accurate description of the accident, using:
- police reports
- witnesses' statements
- photos, videos from the scene of the accident.
The Nature and Extent of Your Injuries
Your personal injury lawyer will get in touch with your doctors and ascertain:
- the types of accident injuries you suffered: whiplash, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury.
- the expected recovery time
- medical services you will require after release from hospital.
Thus, the attorney will present to the responsible party's insurer an accurate estimate of the severity of injury, the costs for treating them and the conditions that may affect you for a lifetime.
Insurance Policy Limits
This is probably one of the biggest limitations to the fair compensation you can receive, either in a settlement or as jury award. In the worst case scenario, if the responsible party does not have insurance coverage, you will only benefit from uninsured motorist coverage from your own insurance company. It is nowhere near the costs associated with the average car accident.
Also, many motorists carry the minimum types of insurance stipulated by the law: $30,000 per person and $60,000 total per accident. Skilled personal injury attorneys will advise you on the likelihood to recover more damages by filing an accident lawsuit against the fault driver. However, such an action may be purposeless if defendant is insolvent (does not own assets you may pursue). In other circumstances, accident lawyers can identify other co-defendants, such as the driver's employer (in case of truck accidents, crashes involving other commercial vehicles, for instance) or other motorists involved in the automobile accident.
Any personal injury claim is based on the other party's negligence. However, certain element of their conduct at the time of the accident represent gross negligence and disregard of the duty of care they had towards you and other traffic participants. There are specific elements of negligence that fall into this category, including reckless driving and DUI. In such cases, an accident injury settlement will exceed the injury damages the insurer would usually settle for. Otherwise, at the conclusion of a trial, jury verdicts would also include severe punitive damages.
Experienced Attorneys Will Win Your Case
At Glenn Law Firm, we are passionate about fighting for your rights. Whether you suffered a head-on collision or were injured due to product liability, we believe that you deserve compensation for your physical pain, emotional pain and financial losses.
We will do our best to seek ways to exceed the liable party's insurance limit and win a compensation award that covers your hospital bills, sick time and loss of financial resources. Even if you suffered a common injury, such as sprains and fractures, you deserve justice and we will fight for it.
We know that no amount of money is fair compensation for pain or loss of life of a loved one, but we want to make sure that your future is assured, free from the burden of debt from large hospital bills and lifetime nursing care. We will evaluate your case for free, so call us: 817-424-5999!