Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples
Severe injuries can leave you with costly medical bills and other expenses piling up while you miss time at work to heal from your injuries. However, if someone else was to blame, you could be entitled to compensation from them. Knowing how much compensation you could be owed for your injuries and other losses can bring you peace of mind during this difficult time.
At Kendall Law Firm, we have handled a wide range of personal injury cases in our many years of practice. We have secured impressive settlements for our clients. We understand that you likely have questions about the potential value of your case. However, the potential compensation you might receive depends on many factors. Working with our Charlottesville personal injury lawyers can help you demand the full amount to which you’re entitled. Our dedicated attorneys have over 30 years of experience helping injured people in Virginia pursue the justice and financial relief they need.
Founding attorney David Kendall has extensive experience in the legal field, including as an attorney for the U.S. Marine Corps. He brings compassion, dedication, and discipline to every case we handle. We can investigate the accident, determine who is responsible, and identify all possible sources of compensation. Keep reading to learn more about personal injury claim settlement amounts, and contact our Charlottesville office today to get started with a free consultation.
How Do Personal Injury Settlements Work?
A personal injury settlement is an agreement between a plaintiff (an injured party) and a defendant (the person at fault for the injury). The plaintiff agrees to drop their lawsuit in exchange for some amount of money from the defendant. Most personal injury settlement agreements stipulate that the plaintiff cannot pursue further legal action against the defendant if they accept the settlement. Often, it is the defendant’s insurance provider rather than the defendant who agrees to the settlement, as that company will pay the money owed to the plaintiff under the terms of its policy with the defendant.
Most personal injury cases end in settlements before reaching the trial stage. This is because trials can be risky for both plaintiffs and defendants. Often, plaintiffs who win at trial receive more money than they would have through settlement agreements. However, those who lose at trial come away with nothing. Similarly, while a defendant may avoid paying a plaintiff if they win at trial, if they lose, they usually pay more than if they had agreed to a settlement. Litigation is also expensive for both parties.
By negotiating a settlement instead of risking a trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant have some security. A settlement guarantees a plaintiff money, while a defendant can avoid a potentially more expensive verdict.
How Much Compensation Is Typical in Personal Injury Cases?
For many plaintiffs, one frustrating aspect of personal injury claims is that there is no “typical” personal injury lawsuit settlement amount. Every case is different. The compensation you could receive depends on multiple factors.
An attorney can calculate your potential compensation by first adding up your compensable losses. Compensation in a personal injury case often falls into the following categories:
- Economic damages – In a personal injury case, economic damages account for actual financial losses resulting from the injury. Sometimes, economic damages are referred to as special or monetary damages. Economic damages include compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses related to treating your injury
- Costs of transportation to your medical appointments
- Lost wages if you miss work while healing from your injuries
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries result in a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work or being gainfully employed
- Costs to repair or replace damaged personal property
- Non-economic damages – Non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as general damages, cover intangible losses that do not have a fixed value. For instance, you could be entitled to compensation for severe pain after an accident, but it is hard to assign a monetary value to pain. A good personal injury attorney has the experience to know how to place a value on these damages. Compensation for non-economic damages may include the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples
Every personal injury case is different, and settlement amounts vary depending on the specific details of a claim. However, here are a few examples of the positive results we have achieved for our clients to give you an idea of what may be possible through a personal injury settlement*:
- $2.375 million for a school bus accident – Our personal injury lawyers recovered almost $2.4 million for the family of a child injured in a school bus crash. The child suffered a closed head injury when the school bus they were riding in was hit by a truck. We brought in experts to testify about how the child’s injuries would decrease his future earnings and settled the case on the second day of trial.
- $1.5 million for a head-on collision – We were able to recover $1.5 million for a woman whose husband was killed in a head-on collision with a truck.
- $600,000 for a truck accident – Our firm represented an 83-year-old man struck head-on by a box truck. He suffered multiple broken bones and required screws in his ankle and elbow. We settled his case for $600,000.
- $250,000 for a head-on car accident – In this case, a woman suffered a fractured pelvis and other injuries after a driver making an illegal passing maneuver slammed head-on into her vehicle. We obtained a $250,000 settlement for her.
- $120,000 for a drunk driving accident – We secured a $120,000 settlement for a woman who was hit by a drunk driver. She required surgeries to repair a detached retina.
What Determines the Amount of a Personal Injury Settlement?
Some of the factors that determine the amount of a personal injury settlement include the following:
- The extent of your injuries – The severity of your injuries and whether they affect your daily life or ability to work will play a significant role in determining the amount of your settlement. Generally, the more severe the injuries, the more compensation you can pursue. Serious injuries may require surgery and extensive medical treatment, which can be expensive. The costs of doctor’s appointments, specialist visits, diagnostic testing, and prescription medications can add up quickly. An attorney can consider all your medical expenses in determining a fair personal injury settlement amount.
- How the accident or incident affects your mental health – Emotional trauma from an accident may persist even after physical wounds have healed. Car crashes and other accidents can leave victims with intense psychological trauma. This trauma may result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance abuse issues, insomnia, flashbacks, nightmares, and other mental health disorders. This may require therapy or counseling. You may be entitled to compensation if you experience emotional distress resulting from your injuries.
- Your damaged personal property – If your vehicle was damaged or destroyed in a crash, you might be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacing the vehicle. Other personal property that was damaged, such as your cell phone, is also compensable.
- How your injuries occurred – There may be limits on the amount of compensation you can pursue, depending on how your injuries occurred. For example, under Virginia law, compensation for injuries resulting from medical malpractice is capped at an amount determined by the year in which the act of malpractice occurred. The amount increases annually under the statute.
- Your fault in the accident or incident that caused your injuries – Virginia follows a pure contributory negligence standard when determining fault in personal injury cases, such as those involving car accidents. Under this rule, a person who contributes to the accident or incident that caused their injuries is barred from pursuing compensation in civil court. This applies even if you are only one percent responsible. While this rule is not binding on insurance settlements, if you are partly at fault, insurance companies may use the rule to justify offering a lowball settlement, knowing you may find it difficult to seek compensation in court. It’s crucial to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with state laws and can help you negotiate for maximum compensation.
- Your lawyer – The attorney you choose to represent you in a personal injury case can affect your likelihood of recovering a fair settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney can gather crucial evidence to build a solid case in your favor. If the insurance company thinks you have a strong claim and your lawyer might take your case to trial, they may offer more money to avoid going to court.
Contact a Charlottesville Personal Injury Lawyer Now
If you were injured and believe someone else is to blame for the accident, the experienced team at Kendall Law Firm can review your case and help you pursue the financial relief you deserve. We can investigate the accident, gather evidence to build a solid case, and identify all possible sources of compensation.
Our dedicated attorneys have more than 30 years of legal experience and a track record of winning impressive settlements for our clients. Let us put that to work for you. Contact our Charlottesville personal injury lawyers today at (866) 590-9773 to get started with a free, confidential case review.
*Past results are no guarantee of future results. We do not share our firm’s past results with any intent to imply that the same economic damages or a similar result can be reached in your case or settlement.