If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligent actions of others and decide to pursue a lawsuit, you will likely want to know how much you are likely to be offered to settle. This will depend on several factors such as the severity of your injuries and how long they prevented you from working and earning a living, but average personal injury settlement amounts could provide you with some idea of what to expect.
What is the Average Settlement in a Personal Injury Case?
The average personal injury settlement is between $3,000 and $80,000, but many cases settle for a great deal more. Every wrongful death, car accident or slip and fall case is based on a unique set of facts and is decided on its merits, which means that average personal injury settlement amounts should be viewed as a starting point rather than a definitive guide.
Factors That Can Influence Personal Injury Settlements
The personal injury settlement you are offered should adequately compensate you for your injury, loss or damage. Arriving at that figure involves examining the events in question to determine how they affected your financial situation and quality of life. The actions of the negligent party will also be taken into consideration. Subjects that you can expect to be discussed during settlement negotiations include:
- The severity of your injuries: The settlement you are offered will be higher if you suffered debilitating injuries. However, you could be offered a sizable personal injury settlement if you suffered less serious injuries that require ongoing and costly medical care.
- Your pain and suffering: Even minor injuries can be extremely painful, and the amount of discomfort you endured will influence the settlement offer you receive.
- Your lost income: The settlement you are offered will reflect the amount of income you lost because your injuries left you unable to work. You could also be offered more if the accident prevented you from looking for work or cost you a promotion.
- Property damage and other costs: You can expect your settlement to cover the costs of repairing or replacing property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident. You should also be compensated for costs such as your health care bills and transportation expenses.
- Loss of consortium: Your settlement will likely be higher if your injuries left you unable to enjoy the benefits of married life.
- Degree of negligence: Personal injury settlements may be higher in cases involving gross negligence. This is recklessness so severe that serious injury or death became an inevitable outcome. In these situations, the amount you are offered will be based on the actions of the negligent party and not the severity of your injuries.
- The amount of money available: You may decide to accept a lower settlement if the negligent party has few assets and limited insurance coverage.
Not all accidents are caused by negligence on the part of one party only. In cases where both parties acted negligently, a legal principle known as comparative negligence will determine how much you will be offered to settle. Connecticut follows a modified comparative negligence rule.
This means that you will be entitled to compensation as long as you were not more than 50 percent responsible for causing the accident that injured you. However, the amount you are offered will be adjusted based on your degree of fault. Failing to wear a seat belt is an exception to the comparative negligence rule in Connecticut as state law prevents this kind of evidence from being used in court in car accident lawsuits.
Advocating for Accident Victims
If you would like to know how high your personal injury settlement is likely to be, an experienced personal injury attorney could provide an estimate after studying the facts of your case. The negligent person who injured you or their insurer will likely want to settle your case for as little as possible, so you may be wise to seek legal representation before you enter negotiations.
The lawyers at the Moynahan Law Firm have been representing accident victims at the negotiating table and in the courtroom for many years, and you can arrange a no obligation case evaluation by sending us a message online or calling us on (203) 597-6364.