When you're injured, often it's not just the injury itself that you have to handle. The financial implications of accidents and injuries can sometimes be even worse than the pain of injury. From the beginning, the recovery process is filled with expense after expense. Depending on the type of accident, you may have damage to your car leaving you with a repair or replacement bill. Any injuries you've sustained must be treated, so you have emergency room bills, continuing medical expenses, and potentially costs like physical therapy or home health services. On top of all of this, you may not be able to work because of your injury, which means you potentially have no means to pay for all of the expenses that keep coming in. The stress and overwhelm may lead to severe emotional and psychological troubles that cause anxiety, depression, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and so much more. There is a lot to consider after an injury.
As a result, accident victims typically have the option to seek legal recourse to help them become “whole” again after an accident wreaks havoc on their lives. If you've been injured due to another person's negligence or intentional conduct, you may be entitled to financial compensation to help you get your life back on track. In this article, we'll discuss personal injury settlements and how you might calculate your potential accident settlement amount.
We highly advise that you use this article for general information purposes only. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice. For legal advice on your unique circumstances, consult our injury lawyer. You can reach us to set up an initial, confidential consultation at 801-535-4645 or by filling out our secure online form here.
Potential Damages Available in Personal Injury Cases
The amount of your injury settlement will depend on the losses you sustained due to the accident (among other things, which we will discuss below). Some of the damages or losses will be economic damages, which means that monetary terms can be attached to each loss. Some of the losses may be non-economic, which is where losses, such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma come into the injury settlement calculation.
Depending on the costs you experienced as a result of the accident, your settlement may include:
- Past, current, and future medical bills, such as emergency room costs, MRIs, X-rays, continued treatment, physical therapy, and more.
- Past, current, and future lost income, such as lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
- Property damage, such as your vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Emotional or psychological damages, such as pain and suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder, loss of companionship, and more.
Often plaintiffs miss important items when calculating their damages. It's important to discuss your case with an experienced and trusted injury lawyer so that you don't neglect important expenses that should be included in your accident settlement amount.
These Factors Could Impact Your Injury Settlement
While the calculation of your losses is extremely important, it's not the only factor in determining your final settlement. Other factors may increase or reduce your settlement depending on your specific case.
- How much liability you had in the accident - Fault can be shared, and even responsible parties may be compensated for their injuries. However, Utah's Comparative Fault will mean that the settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are determined to have had in the accident. If you are found to be 50 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to collect any damages at all.
- How serious your injuries are - The court may place a higher value on particularly severe injuries, as may be the case with a permanent disability, disfigurement, paralysis, etc.
- How much evidence is available - Obtaining the right evidence plays an important role in establishing a sequence of events and specific facts in a case, and justifying the requested settlement amount. If evidence doesn't exist or isn't available, it can prove difficult to be compensated appropriately and fairly for your injuries.
- How the courts decide - Sometimes the location in which your lawsuit is filed contributes to the ultimate settlement amount. A court in one county or city may place a higher value on a certain type of loss than other counties or cities do.
- How much precedence can impact your case - How similar past cases were settled may impact the amount of compensation you are ultimately awarded.
- How you speak with the insurance company - The insurance adjuster may seem like a pal, but their job is not to have your best interest at heart. It's easy to say something that may be twisted down the road. This is why it's important to let your attorney lead the communication and negotiation efforts when it comes to the insurance company.
- How much you're expected to ultimately spend on medical expenses - In an injury case, you must reach maximum medical recovery (MMR). MMR means that your injury has reached the point that it will not improve any further. Settlements should not be accepted until you have reached MMR because only at this point can your future expenses be estimated. Settling too quickly can cost you a lot of money in the long run.
- How limited the insurance policy is - Insurance policy limitations may contribute to the ultimate amount claimants can receive. Depending on the case, if the policy doesn't cover the whole of the losses, further legal action may be available. If so, your injury lawyer may advise you in this direction, but it greatly depends on the circumstances in each case.
Find out How Much Your Case Is Worth
To find out the value of your potential personal injury case, be sure to schedule a consultation with our injury lawyer. Every case is different, so there is no “typical” injury settlement amount. It will all depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. To get an evaluation of your case, call us at 801-535-4645 or fill out our convenient and secure online form to have one of our dedicated legal team members reach out to you.
This blog is for general information purposes, and it is NOT intended to provide legal advice. For legal advice, schedule a consultation with our lawyer.
Randy Andrus is a personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City. His office is located at
299 S Main St
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Andrus Law Firm serves Salt Lake City, Layton, Ogden, Orem, Provo, Sandy, St George, West Valley City, West Jordan, and the entire state of Utah.