How Much to Ask For in a Personal Injury Settlement in Philadelphia, PA?
When someone is injured in an accident, a personal injury attorney can file a claim for damages on behalf of the victim or the victim’s family. In around 95% of cases, a personal injury lawsuit never goes to court but instead is settled for an agreed-upon amount even before a lawsuit is filed. This is known as a settlement. If you want to know how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement, a personal injury lawyer is invaluable.
Why Do Some Personal Injury Defendants Settle in Philadelphia?
If a case is particularly strong and the defendant’s liability is irrefutable, neither side gains anything from going to court. It makes more sense for everyone involved to hammer out a fair settlement agreement and move on,
In personal injury cases like those involving car accidents, medical malpractice, or product liability – where the injuries may be severe, and the liability of the defendant is clear – the amount of money victims obtain can vary and depends on a number of factors. Some of these factors can include the victim’s:
- Type of injuries
If you are considering filing a claim, it is important to understand how the attorneys for the plaintiff, the defendant, and the insurance companies determine the amount of money you may receive. If you want to know how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement in this situation, ask a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
Is There a Magic Formula to Determine a Philadelphia Personal Injury Settlement Amount?
How much to ask for in a personal injury settlement isn't a number that you determine. When your attorney opens your personal injury case, the insurance adjuster uses a formula to determine how much your case is worth. In general, they add up the medical expenses and multiply that number by anywhere from 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of the injuries. Then they add lost wages to that number, and this determines the starting point for negotiations.
What Other Factors Determine the Award Amount?
If a personal injury case goes to trial, a judge or jury decides how much money to award the victim. When attorneys negotiate a settlement out of court, the amount of money to be awarded may go up or down from the original formula depending on the unique circumstances of the case. Some factors that determine the settlement amount include:
- How the lawyers think the case will do in a trial – this can include several factors, including the existence and reliability of witnesses to the accident. If settlement negotiations fail, the case might still go to trial, so it is important to know in advance if there is a chance of winning.
- The extent of the injuries/damage – in cases of permanent disability, severe emotional suffering, or wrongful death, awards are likely to be much higher than in other cases.
- The liability of the defendant – beyond determining whether or not the defendant is guilty of causing harm, there is also the question as to material proof that the defendant directly caused the injury, either through malicious intent or neglect.
- The material wealth of the defendant -- even if punitive damages are awarded, you might never be able to collect the money. The amount of the award is always limited by the resources of the defendant or the insurance company.
For context, you might want to research the median settlement for a case that is comparable to your own. The median is not the same as the average; it is simply the middle of the pile of all comparable cases. There is usually a wide range of settlement sizes, and the median number may not tell you anything about the amount of compensation you will receive for your specific case.
Punitive Damages: How Much to Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement?
When a case goes to trial, a court is at liberty to award emotional damages based on what they think would be appropriate in the specific case. In some cases, a jury will award punitive damages to a plaintiff. This is an amount of money on top of what the injured party is already entitled to receive, and it is meant to punish the defendant for acting in a way that caused injury to another.
For example, if a driver runs a red light and causes an accident, a person injured in that accident could get “extra” compensation in order to punish the driver for being reckless. If the negligence of the defendant resulted in a death, the amount of punitive damages awarded is likely to be higher. Likewise, if the defendant is a large corporation, amounts could be even higher. Punitive damages can also be awarded in a settlement; ask your attorney about this possibility.
Call Us Today For a Free Consultation With a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
People who suffer injuries in an accident they did not cause are entitled to monetary compensation. If you have been injured in an accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you collect damages for lost income, medical expenses, other concrete costs such as car repairs, and possibly pain and suffering. How much to ask for in a personal injury settlement depends on a lot of factors.
At Mattiacci Law, LLC., we are always available to help you with your claim. We strive to provide excellent service to our clients in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Our services are entirely free until you receive money for your accident. Contact our offices now so we can get started on your case.