Although a definite formula for determining personal injury settlements doesn’t exist, there is a need to understand the factors that affect personal injury settlements. This enables attorneys to manage their client’s expectations and work on their cases more effectively and efficiently. The following are some factors that can affect personal injury payments.
The severity of the Injury
Generally, accidents that cause severe injuries generate larger settlements due to the suffering and pain involved. Hard injuries like broken bones and spinal cord injuries increase the settlement value instead of soft-tissue injuries such as bruising and sprains. Similarly, if the injuries are long-lasting, victims may be awarded larger settlements. Permanent injuries include disfigurement, diminished mobility, brain trauma, or permanent loss of a body part.
If a fatal injury caused by an accident drastically disrupts a person’s normal life, the person will likely get more personal injury compensation. For instance, some injuries cause hardships in performing daily activities like standing or walking. Other disruptions are when a person cannot travel, work in specific fields, or play sports. If a person’s life doesn’t change drastically after an injury, they are likely to receive a lower settlement.
Treatment and Recovery
Generally, personal injury victims get larger settlements when their post-injury medical treatments involve hospitals and doctors rather than chiropractors or physicians. High payments are also awarded to victims who undergo reconstructive surgery.
Additionally, the recovery duration also matters. Long-term recoveries usually require several follow-up appointments and medical treatment. Therefore, cases that involve longer recovery periods tend to have high settlement values.
Certainty of Liability
Besides factors related to the effects of alleged injuries, the defendant’s liability for the damages also matters to the settlement value. If the defendant is clearly at fault for a person’s injuries, the settlement is higher. If you want to increase your likelihood of winning a personal injury case, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to argue and present your case. The lawyer takes time to identify and question witnesses. This enables the attorney to compile appropriate evidence to make a strong case that proves the party’s liability.
Emotional and Mental Trauma
Besides physical injuries, accidents also cause emotional and mental trauma. Emotional trauma is usually in the form of depression or anxiety. This can be equally devastating in an accident’s aftermath. However, it can be challenging to prove that you are suffering emotionally after an accident. A person needs input from a reputable mental health expert to testify to the accident’s psychological effects. This can impact the personal injury settlement.
Bad publicity can negatively affect the reputation of a person, business, or brand. Negative headlines due to a personal injury case can be costly to a business due to the public perception that it may create. If a personal injury lawsuit has the potential to entice bad publicity, particularly for high-profile defendants like national chain companies, the personal injury settlement can be high. A bad press release is usually too risky for a defendant.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit entails various costs such as clerical work, hiring professionals to deal with technical issues, and deposing witnesses. These costs may pile up for the defendant, particularly in cases where there are several contested scientific queries and many witnesses. In such instances, the defendant may be willing to pay high settlements to avoid these defense costs.
Similarly, if the personal injury victim doesn’t have the resources to file complicated cases effectively, resourceful dependents can force them to reduce the settlement value. Several factors affect a personal injury settlement, as seen above. Therefore, you should consider seeking help from a personal injury attorney to handle your case.