You might think you know how much a personal injury claim is worth, but its actual value can surprise you.
Personal injury claim settlement amounts aren’t always a windfall. They vary widely depending on the nature of the injury, recovery time, shared fault, lost wages, and more.
If you are thinking about filing a personal injury claim, you should consult a lawyer. If you go at it alone, you may end up asking for a too-small settlement and walking away with less than you deserve.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim Settlement?
When you sue someone over a personal injury claim, you are asking them to pay damages. The amount of the settlement you are trying to receive is calculated based on the damages caused by your injury.
Sometimes people think of personal injury settlements as a windfall, but that is not true. When you sue for damages, you are asking the other party to make you whole.
This means you are asking to be paid an amount that makes you come out on the other side of the accident breaking even. It’s not supposed to be an income boost. It’s supposed to give you enough money that you can adjust as if the accident had never happened.
Of course, that’s not how real life works all the time. But that is the legal precedent for damages and personal injury claims.
Calculating a Personal Injury Claim Settlement
Damages are based on several different factors. Some are concrete – for example, medical bills to pay for physical injuries. This could be hospital bills, rehabilitation, medications, and other related expenses.
Or, if you missed work due to the injury, you may ask for wages equivalent to the time period you missed. The idea is that if you had not been injured, you would have been working and earning that money as normal.
Some are a little more theoretical. Pain and suffering is a popular concept when we think about lawsuits generally, but in practice can be difficult to prove. It can require concrete evidence such as testimony from a mental health expert or bills for therapy.
In Pennsylvania, there is also a legal precedent of “comparative negligence” that is accounted for in all personal injury lawsuits. If the judge or jury decides that you are partially at fault for the accident – for example, they could find you 20% at fault – your settlement will be accordingly reduced.
As you can see, there is a lot at stake when filing a personal injury claim. You’ll need to calculate all of your concrete costs, potential future costs, theoretical suffering costs, and factor in your own comparative negligence in order to ask for a fair settlement.
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania, you should reach out to a trusted personal injury claim firm such as Bloomsburglaw.com.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Don’t make the mistake of not speaking to a personal injury claim lawyer before filing your suit. This decision can have repercussions for the rest of your life.
If you over-shoot the settlement amount, you may look greedy. But if you under-shoot it, you may lose out on much-needed money for bills and medical treatments.
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