If you intent to file a personal injury claim, you probably want to know the amount of money you should expect to receive as compensation for medical bills among other damages. According to Martindale-Nolo research, the average settlements and court awards in personal injury cases is $52, 900 – ranges between $3,000 and $75,000.
Martindale-Nolo Research (which is a joint venture composed of two highly reputable global legal brands, Martindale-Hubbell and Nolo) verifies and supplements survey data by interviewing lawyers from relevant areas of practice in its directory composed of over 1 million lawyers.
Why most cases are settled
According to data from lawyers.com, only 4% of personal injury cases go to trial. It is common knowledge that most injury claim payouts are out-of-court settlements. The reason behind this is simple – trials are risky, and neither parties want to risk losing a case. From a personal perspective, you have most likely incurred bills already, missed work and simply can’t tolerate the thought of losing the case. Other parties such as insurance companies prefer settling since trials are unpredictable and could very well result in huge settlements. What’s more, there is no fixed formula for determining the worth of injury cases making settlement more attractive.
What determines a personal injury payout amount?
Although most cases are settled, you need a lawyer to get the best payout. Here are the main variables that determine injury claim payouts.
1. Nature and severity of the injury
Serious injuries that attract huge medical bills, loss of income among other damages attract the highest settlements or awards.
2. Insurance limits
Insurance policies have limits that dictate the maximum amount that can be paid as settlement. Insurance companies don’t offer to settle above policy limits even if a case is worth more.
3. The personal injury lawyer you choose
Although the insurance limits, as well as nature and severity of an injury, dictate payout amounts, the lawyer you choose is the most critical factor. Having a lawyer increases your chances of being compensated as well as getting a higher payout.
According to data from lawyers.com, 90% of personal injury cases handled by lawyers result in a settlement or award compared to only 50% of cases handled without an attorney. In regards to the payout amounts, individuals who hire personal injury lawyers get settlements/awards amounting to $60,000 higher than individuals who proceed without legal representation.
It’s rather evident that you will get a better settlement when you hire a lawyer because; they are highly skilled in negotiating injury settlement offers. Ideally, you shouldn’t accept the first offer you get from an insurance company. There is data showing that using lawyers who usually hold out for better deals results in an injury settlement that is approximately $30,700 higher. Lawyers also use other tactics that may not be known or available to someone negotiating directly – such as threatening a lawsuit.
Research shows there is no substitute for justice and fighting to get the best result. Furthermore, cost shouldn’t be a factor since the best personal injury attorneys (like Stambaugh Law if you live in York, PA) work on a contingent (or no-win, no-pay) basis. Stambaugh Law also specializes in injury law – has been serving clients from York, PA and nearby environs for 29 years now. Don’t attempt to tackle your injury case on your own and risk settling for less or getting nothing at all. Visit Stambaugh Law for a free case consultation.