Understanding Settlements

People who have personal injury claims would like to know what kind of settlement amounts they can expect to receive. We have been handling these cases for over 25 years and have settled or argued thousands of personal injury cases. There is no set amount one can win for a certain type of case. Unfortunately, no simple formula exists to find out how much your claim is worth.

The value of the case is largely determined when the insurance company’s adjuster and your attorney try to predict what a jury will award you. They do this after all the evidence is reviewed and each side has determined the strength of your testimony and that of your witnesses.  We then try to come to an agreement, with your permission, as to what the settlement amount will be. Without an attorney, the insurance company will try to convince you that your claim isn’t worth much. A personal injury attorney knows, from a broad range of experience, what amount of money is a “good settlement” for you.  We also have negotiating skills and the threat of a lawsuit. It is in our interest to get the highest amount possible because our fee is a percentage of the amount of your settlement.

For example, how much you could receive for a back injury can depend upon many factors such as:

  • Severity of the injury,
  • How bad the impact of the car crash was,
  • Length of treatment for the injury,
  • Amount of permanent tissue or nerve damage that resulted,
  • How much work was missed and how much pay was lost,
  • How the injury affected the your lifestyle,
  • What kind of career the you had, and if it was permanently lost due to the injuries.

Other factors impact the settlement amount such as who was at fault in the accident, the amount of the insurance policy, and whether there was any permanent scarring or disfigurement.

Unlike personal injury settlements, Workers Compensation lump sum settlements are not based on pain and suffering at all and do not take into account how the injured person’s lifestyle has been changed. Workers Compensation is a “No Fault” law. Lump Sum settlements are usually based on an estimate of how long the worker is likely to be partially or totally incapacitated from employment in the future. They also take into consideration any permanent injury to the individual that affects his or her functioning.