What is the Average Personal Injury Payout?

No two accidents are alike, and injuries can run the gamut from minor bumps and bruises to permanent neurological damage. Having a strong case against a negligent party doesn’t guarantee you’ll be walking away with a big payout. What factors affect the success of your claim, and what is the average for a car accident?

The truth is there is no “average” payout or settlement in personal injury claims. Any attorney who tells you otherwise isn’t worth your time. Numerous variables impact the outcome of personal injury actions, and here at Douglas & London, we explain this to all prospective clients during the first consultation.

While getting legal representation is entirely a personal decision, the data does show that those who had a personal injury lawyer recovered payouts nearly three times more than those who handled their own claim.

Other than legal advocacy, what other issues will factor into your personal injury compensation?

Personal injury payouts

Firstly, it’s important to bear in mind that most personal injury complaints resolve with an out-of-court settlement. Trials can be expensive and time-consuming– most insurers prefer to negotiate a dollar amount rather than risk a costly jury verdict.

Even if you sustained horrific, life-threatening injuries that would demand a large personal injury payout, a great deal would hinge on whether the defendant can afford to compensate you accordingly.

For example, you were left with permanent nerve damage and limited mobility after being hit by a distracted driver. How much liability coverage does the defendant’s insurance company have? Is it sufficient to cover your medical bills and projected losses? Insurance companies have policy limits that dictate their final settlement offers. 

Plaintiffs and their lawyers need to examine the limits of applicable insurance policies, as well as the defendant’s assets when pursuing a claim.

Primary factors that affect your compensation

The type and severity of your injuries are one of the biggest factors in your claim. You will need clear, convincing medical documentation to support this.

Insurance companies may be much more critical with soft tissue injuries like whiplash or a torn tendon, as they are harder to prove with traditional diagnostics. Adjustors may also question the validity of a personal injury demand where the disability or pain and suffering is disproportionate to the actual injury. 

Other variables that come into play include:

  • You can demonstrate the defendant’s actions caused your injuries
  • Your own credibility as a plaintiff
  • If the injuries left you with scars or disfigurement
  • If you have been rendered permanently disabled
  • Past and projected medical care costs
  • Whether you will need surgery or ongoing physical therapy
  • Your age at the time of the accident
  • If your injuries prevent you from returning to work
  • Out-of-pocket costs for necessary home modification
  • Loss of wages or future loss of earnings
  • Impact on your quality of life
  • Emotional anguish and suffering from the accident (this can be anything from depression and anxiety to PTSD or chronic insomnia due to pain)

Personal injury payouts can vary tremendously, depending on all of the above factors. However, it is up to you, the plaintiff, and your attorney to communicate and support all damages and anticipated losses with clarity. A good personal injury law firm will engage expert witnesses, accident reconstructionists, and life care planners to present a persuasive picture that speaks to the totality of your injuries and losses.

Increase your chances of securing a fair payout

Seeking the guidance of a New York City personal injury lawyer with a proven track record of high dollar verdicts and settlements can make all the difference in the value of your claim. Your choice of legal representative is a crucial one, so it makes sense to look for an established attorney who knows how to play hardball with insurance companies.

At Douglas & London, our legal team routinely represents people injured in car and truck accidents as well as complex personal injury cases and knows how to build a strong claim for damages. The case review is free, and there are no legal fees unless we secure a monetary recovery on your behalf.