If you suffered from a personal injury and were not at fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. The laws protect you as an injured party. At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we can help you pursue your rights to get the compensation you deserve.
One of the most common questions we field from potential clients is, What is the average personal injury settlement? Well, there is no average personal injury settlement for the simple reason that every injury and the facts and circumstances surrounding it are unique.
Even if we go through ten different personal injury settlement amount examples, the average will likely not accurately reflect your claim.
But it still helps to have an example. We put together a sample case to explain what goes into a personal injury settlement.
The Case in Question: A Fall at a Sporting Event
Imagine the following scenario: You go to a Monday Night Football game at Levi’s Stadium to see two NFL teams duke it out. Before kickoff, you are walking to your seats along a railing. Past the railing is a 20-foot drop to the next stadium level.
As you approach your seats, you lose your balance and grab the railing, but the railing fails. You fall, require emergency medical treatment, and end up with nerve damage that paralyzes your right arm. After the accident, you decide to file a personal injury claim against the stadium’s owner.
While other parties may bear some degree of liability, to keep things simple, we will say that the stadium’s owner is the liable party. In this scenario, they are likely 100% liable for the damages. In some cases, contributory negligence can impact a personal injury claim, meaning that you bear some of the responsibility for the accident.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you sort out each party’s level of fault.
The Damages: How Much Is the Claim Worth?
To figure out how much the claim is worth, we need to look at the damages. We can split damages into two main categories. On one hand are economic damages; these are tangible losses with an identifiable dollar amount.
Think medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intangible by nature. As a result, they lack an identifiable dollar value. Think pain and suffering, or the loss of the use of a limb.
Adding-Up the Damage Totals
Now, let’s say that your total medical bills, lost wages, and lost employment benefits come to a total value of $50,000. Your claim, before adding non-economic damages, is worth $50,000.
We also have clear non-economic damages in pain, suffering, and emotional trauma, but there is more. The loss of the use of your right arm is a clear-cut example of non-economic damages. But how much is it worth? How can we place a dollar value on the loss of one’s bodily functions?
The loss of the use of your arm will impact you for the rest of your life. One way that courts and attorneys often place a value on non-economic damages is as a factor of the total economic damages.
Thus, the non-economic damages in our claim might come out to $250,000 if we apply a factor of five to the initial economic damages. Conversely, a factor of 10 may be more appropriate.
Your personal injury attorney will have the necessary experience to give you an educated estimate on the value of your non-economic damages.
Looking at all of the damages we have noted, the total value of this sample claim comes out to $300,000 or more. This is, however, a case of extreme injury. On top of the costs of emergency medical care, the loss of the use of a limb is not something that happens in every injury claim.
How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?
There are two ways that personal injury settlements are paid out. The most common option is a lump sum. When you settle your claim with a lump sum, you receive the entirety of your personal injury settlement all at once.
This has many advantages. Chief among them is flexibility. You never know when you might need the money.
Conversely, you can elect to receive a structured settlement. With a structured settlement agreement, you and the defendant agree that you will receive a specific amount of money each year, month, or whatever period you agree to.
This can help in planning for your future. The drawback, however, is a lack of flexibility. Once you agree to the structured settlement agreement, you are locked in.
Are You Ready to Recover Compensation for Your Injury?
If you were injured by someone else’s actions, get the personal injury claim process started today. The longer you wait, the less time you have to negotiate a settlement or file a lawsuit. If you don’t file a lawsuit within a set amount of time and can’t come to a settlement agreement, you are left with nothing.
At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we can help you avoid such a situation. With offices in Fairfield, Napa, Richmond, Vacaville, Vallejo, and Woodland, our California personal injury lawyers offer professional, personalized, and effective legal representation. To date, we have recovered more than $500 million for our clients.
Call us today to get started and find out how we can help you.