An accident or injury can lead to serious financial, physical, and emotional consequences for you and your family. A personal injury settlement can help you address these challenges by providing compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Several types of damages exist in a lawsuit, and several factors might influence the ultimate amount of your settlement from an insurance company. Consider these factors and how they may affect your right to compensation.
How Severe Are Your Injuries?
The extent of your injuries is one of the most important things that will affect your ultimate personal injury settlement. For example, an injury involving a traumatic brain injury or multiple surgeries will have a higher payout than for a broken bone or a soft tissue injury. Severe injuries generally carry higher economic damages, and the cost of future care will be more extensive as well. Victims of these types of accidents will likely receive higher compensation for non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Liability also plays an important role in determining how much money you may receive in a personal injury settlement. For example, shared liability may play a role in a claim if a jury finds you partially at fault for an accident. In this case, your settlement or court judgment will face a reduction based on your percentage of fault. If you were 20% at fault for an accident and sought $100,000 in damages, for example, your ultimate award could be $80,000.
Insurance Policy Limits
Unfortunately, some personal injury payouts depend on the limits of an at-fault driver’s policy. If you sustain injuries in a car accident
, for example, you may only be able to collect damages to the extent of the at-fault driver’s policy. Since policy minimums in Texas often do not adequately cover the costs of serious injuries, pain, and suffering, it’s a good idea to carry underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage to pick up the slack.
Did the At-Fault Party Commit Gross Negligence?
In some cases, such as those involving reckless or wanton conduct, you may be able to collect punitive damages. This is a kind of non-economic damages that punish the defendant for wrongdoing and discourage similar negligence in the future. Settlements involving gross negligence often involve high payout amounts for the plaintiff.
Are Your Medical Costs Both Reasonable and Necessary?
Insurance companies look at the extent of your medical damages, and a claims adjuster will try to determine if your medical care is both “reasonable and necessary.” Unfortunately, not all claims adjusters will see some medical care or procedures as medically necessary and may try to reduce your claim amount. This highlights the need for a personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf and hold the responsible party accountable for the full degree of your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Are There Multiple Parties Involved?
In the case of multi-vehicle accidents, your claim amount may depend on the insurance policies of the drivers involved. Multi-vehicle accidents can lead to a lot of back and forth between insurance companies that argue over the degree of their insured driver’s fault. This may ultimately affect your claim amount and the timeline in which you receive a settlement.
Your personal injury settlement may depend on several factors – for example, the degree of your injuries, the policy limits of all the parties responsible, and whether a responsible party acted with reckless intent. A personal injury attorney will work closely with the insurance companies to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf, which ultimately leads to a higher payout amount.