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.
Common Personal Injury Claims in Philadelphia
Personal injury claims come in all shapes and sizes, but some of the most common include:
- Traffic accidents, such as car, truck, and bus accidents
- Premises liability claims that include slip and fall accidents, drowning accidents, and dog bites
- Product liability claims that involve dangerously defective consumer products
Other kinds of claims that are similar to personal injury claims (and proceed in a similar manner) include:
- Wrongful death claims (in which the victim who would have filed a personal injury claim succumbs to his or her injuries)
- Accidents on construction sites, which are workers’ compensation claims
- Medical malpractice claims
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, consulting with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney early in the process is in your best interest.
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 in Philadelphia?
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.
Your Legal Damages in Your Philadelphia Personal Injury Claim
If you are injured by someone else’s negligence in the State of Pennsylvania, you can seek compensation for your losses – what the law calls damages – in a personal injury claim. While every personal injury claim is unique to the situation and the specific circumstances involved, the primary categories of legal damages remain the same.
Your Medical Costs
Depending upon the seriousness of the injuries you’ve sustained, your medical expenses can be extensive. If you also suffer secondary health concerns related to your primary injuries, you can expect the medical expenses you incur to be ongoing. Some of the most common medical charges include:
- Care from emergency medical professionals at the scene of the accident and emergency transportation from the scene
- Surgery and follow-up care
- Hospital stays
- Medical care from doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
- Medical treatments, procedures, and tests
- Prescription medication
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Adaptive physical devices
- Home health care
- Pain management
It is important to have a full accounting of your medical expenses and a prognosis that addresses any future medical costs before accepting a settlement offer.
Your Lost Income
You have been injured, and as a result, you are very likely to miss work and to experience a dip in earnings as a result. If your injuries interfere with your ability to do your job, it can affect your career path and your earning potential. If you’re unable to return to work at all, the matter is that much more serious. Another important point to make about losses that relate to your career is that – because our careers and our sense of self are often intertwined – they can include a strong emotional component that should not be overlooked.
Your Pain and Suffering
While your financial losses – as they relate to lost earnings and medical bills – are far easier to tally, the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure as a result of someone else’s negligence should not be discounted. The emotional toll a violent car accident, for example, can take on you can be immense, including psychological symptoms like the following:
- Severe mood swings
- Accident flashbacks that can interfere with daily living
- Increased anxiety that can include anxiety attacks
- Increased irritability
- A tendency to self-isolate and/or to push others away
- Sleep disturbances that can include insomnia, nightmares, and/or night terrors
- Difficulty concentrating
One of the most difficult challenges of these emotional consequences is that they can leave victims with less emotional support from loved ones and family members just when that support would be most beneficial.
One of the most important elements of your personal injury settlement is ensuring that your complete physical, financial, and emotional damages are well represented. The surest path toward regaining your health and well-being to the extent possible is with the compensation to which you are entitled supporting your recovery efforts.
Your Philadelphia Personal Injury Claim Is Very Likely to Settle
You have been injured by someone else’s negligence and have filed a personal injury claim as a result. The fact is that the vast majority of personal injury claims settle out of court, and this means that the insurance company handling your claim will ultimately offer a settlement that covers your losses in their entirety and that you – with your dedicated Philadelphia personal injury attorney’s guidance – will accept this offer. This is not to say, however, that getting to this point will be easy – or even straightforward – and this is where your personal injury attorney comes in.
Work Closely with an Experienced Philadelphia Accident Lawyer
In order to protect your legal rights while pursuing your rightful compensation, working closely with a seasoned Philadelphia personal injury lawyer is well advised for all the following reasons:
- In his or her effort to build your strongest claim, your attorney will compile all the available evidence involved.
- Your attorney will skillfully negotiate with the insurance company for just compensation.
- Your attorney will be well prepared to file a lawsuit and proceed to court if the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate in good faith.
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.