8 Factors Affecting the Value of Your Personal Injury Settlement
If the negligence or actions of another party has caused injuries to you or your loved ones, you may seek compensation. Insurance carriers often settle injury claims without any delay. But sometimes, you may have to go to court to force the other party to pay. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, the following factors can come into play.
1. Severity of the Injuries
Severe injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and dislocated bones, often attract higher settlements. If you lost a limb or suffered severe brain damage, you can also expect a high settlement. In contrast, minor injuries, like strains and sprains, don’t receive as much settlement.
2. Medical Expenses
Personal injury compensation not only pays for medical expenses but can also cater to any associated travel expenses. Remember to store any receipt that shows your medical expenses.
3. Lost Opportunities
Employers often provide promotional opportunities and bonuses to employees. But most of these rewards are for productive and present employees. If you are involved in an accident, you might be away from work for an extended time or fail to meet your full potential. If you miss any bonuses and promotional opportunities, the insurance company or court may have to factor this into the settlement.
4. Property Damage Expenses
The incident that caused your injuries may have also damaged your property. A common example is a road accident that may damage your car. The accident might also lead to damage to an expensive smartphone, computer, or prescription glasses.
5. Shared Fault
Personal injury relies on the fact that another party’s carelessness, negligence, or deliberate actions caused your injuries. But sometimes, your actions or negligence may have also contributed to the accident. As a result, some states have laws that compare negligence and determine the level of fault in every situation. You may have contributed to the accident, but you will still receive compensation.
The law usually calculates the shared fault as a percentage. In some states, you might not receive compensation if your percentage of responsibility is above a specific number.
6. Insurance Policy Limits
As mentioned earlier, insurance carriers are often responsible for compensating personal injury claims. But you can’t receive compensation that is higher than the insurance policy limit of the at fault-party. In this case, you may have to seek compensation from the at-fault party’s assets. You may also get compensation from your own insurance company in some cases.
7. Venue and Jurisdiction
Each court has the authority to adjudicate legal matters within a specific geographical location. Your injury case will come before a court that has jurisdiction over the venue of the accident. Since the amount of settlement varies from one court to another, the venue of the accident might determine how much you get from your personal injury case.
That is why some insurance carriers might settle quickly if the accident happened in a jurisdiction that awards huge settlements for personal injury cases.
Ultimately, the court’s decision will be based on the evidence before it, regardless of what happened. You usually need the following evidence to prove your claim:
- Videos and photographs of the accident and injuries
- Income statements
- Witness statements
- Police statements
- Your records and notes about your injuries
The best strategy is to start collecting evidence as soon as the injury occurs. For you to have solid evidence to prove your case, work with a reputable personal injury lawyer.
If you or your loved one is an accident victim due to the actions of another party, seek the guidance of a professional personal injury lawyer. William J. Cooley, Personal Injury Attorney, will work with you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us to get started.