After a car accident, you might be asking yourself, “How much should I ask for my bodily injury claim settlement amounts?” or “How much is my injury claim worth?” Rightfully, you want to know your claim’s value and how to get the most out of it. However, the answer may not be straightforward; most times, the answer you’ll get from people will be “it depends.”
Frustrating, but no need to worry! Bodily injury claim settlement amounts depend on several factors, and we’ve broken them down in this article. Understanding these factors will help you get the most out of your claim. Read on!
Want to learn how to get the most possible bodily injury claim settlement amounts?
PRO TIP: Most insurance professionals will usually refer to a bodily injury claim with acronym – BI. So, if you hear some say something like ‘your BI claim’, they are basically referring to your Bodily Injury claim.
These are the highlights of this article: What determines the value of your bodily injury claim settlement amounts? The factors that determine how much you get paid and how you can negotiate your claim payouts. Let’s go!
Average Bodily Injury Claim Settlement Amounts & Range
Bodily injury settlement amount varies from case to case. The value depends on individual circumstances, such as your medical bills, lost income, property damage etc. An average personal injury settlement amount ranges from $3,000 to $75,000. Most cases fall within the high end and low end of the average settlement amount range.
However, some people have gotten considerably more – have you heard about people getting settlements of millions of dollars? Yes! Some cases settle for that high, but these cases usually involve exceptional circumstances with severe or tremendous damage. You can hire a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to help you ascertain where your case falls on the spectrum.
Will My Personal Injury Case Result in a Settlement?
You will get a brief course on personal injuries if you choose to present your case. After bringing their issues forward, the next thing on most people’s minds is whether it will end in a settlement or go to a trial. 95% of personal injury cases end in a settlement. Only a few (around 5%) of them go to trial.
The only time your case will see the courtroom is if you and the opposing party can not agree on a figure as compensation. However, judging from the numbers up there, this hardly happens. Most times, both parties reach an agreement before going to court, and the case settles.
It would be best if you didn’t presume that you know the value of your claim. To your delight, you might be stunned by the different categories of damages you may be able to claim. The most reliable way you can get a correct value for your injury claim is to talk to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer about it. The lawyer will analyze which of the types of damages to let in your claim.
What Determines the Average Value of Your Bodily Injury Settlement?
Each personal injury case has components that are peculiar to it. These are the components that will determine the average value for your personal injury case. The total settlement value comprises several parts like punitive damages, pain and suffering, and economic damages. The more massive your financial losses, the higher your monetary damages will be. Severe economic damage is enough to raise the value of your settlement claim substantially.
Pain and suffering damages usually go along with your economic damages. In situations where your physical and emotional pain greatly surpasses your financial losses, the amount of pain and suffering damages can highly increase your settlement amount. You can use a calculator like the allstate pain and suffering calculator to determine your pain and suffering payout. However, it would be best if you did not rely on it for your case value because so many factors affect your bodily injury claim settlement amounts.
The maximum amount of general damages you can receive in Canada is currently approximately $370,000. In Alberta, the highest amount for soft tissue injuries compensation for pain and suffering claims is $5,098.
Punitive damages depend on the actions of the other party. A claim for punitive damages due to the wrong actions of a defendant can also alter the value of the claim significantly. It all depends on the specific damages in the personal injury case.
What Factors Affect Your Bodily Injury Claim Settlement Amounts?
There are two factors involved when calculating personal injury settlements. The first is the amount the insurance company is ready to pay, and the other aspect is the degree of your injuries.
If your injuries were not severe, you might not get a high payout. Also, if your insurance policy isn’t extensive, you won’t get much money either. You can file a claim for the psychological stress involved with the accident, but the payout will still depend on a wide range of factors, including your insurance policy.
How Fast Can You Reach a Settlement?
Television, movies depict settlements as quick deals. Just state your amount, the other party bargains, and boom! It’s over in a short while. This depiction has led many people to think personal injury settlements are faster than trial and can be finalized in days or weeks. This is not true at all.
Bodily injury claim settlement amounts proceedings can go on for months in real life, even years. The main reason for this is both parties must look into the claims of the event. Usually, the two parties will engage the investigator’s services to help them calculate the amount owed.
Overall, even after finalizing your settlement, don’t expect to get your settlement amount in your bank account instantly.
Negotiating Offers for Your Bodily Injury Claim Settlement Amounts
You will most times get a higher settlement amount when you negotiate rather than merely going with the other party’s first offer. This is not always the case, though, but it’s still one of the best tactics for getting a better deal.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can considerably affect the result of your claim. Personal injury lawyers charge 32% on an average, and even after removing this fee, many people still walk away with up to three times the compensation they would have gotten without a lawyer. However, there is a downside! Opting for legal representation most times increases the time it takes for a settlement to be reached. So, you will want to keep this in mind if you are having financial difficulty or cash trapped, as you will be continually incurring out-of-pocket expenses until a settlement is reached.
Some of the Benefits Included in Bodily Injury Claim Settlements
The benefits of a personal injury settlement in Canada include more than just medical bills, so the typical car accident settlement amounts can be huge. You can file for the income you lost due to injury and the emotional stress the accident caused you. This is where your personal injury lawyers come in. Your lawyer can help you learn how to categorize and calculate the emotional damages you’ve suffered.
A good example is if the agony of the accident has caused negative impacts on your marriage. In this instance, you can sue for a loss of support.
- Pain and Suffering:
As explained earlier, it’s also known as general damages, and they are meant to reimburse you for all the pain and sufferings you’ve gotten from the injuries. Currently, the maximum amount you can get for general damage s in Canada is approximately $370,000.
It is hard to calculate pain and suffering because it is not measurable like other claim types. Your lawyer will try to calculate the amount of money you should get each day for your pain and suffering and multiply it by how long it’ll take you to recover.
For instance, if your doctors gauge it will take you five months to recover completely, your lawyer can ask for $200 per day. If altogether, the five months is 153 days, this means you can ask for $30,600 for your pain and suffering.
You can negotiate this value with your insurer and the other party’s attorney. You can prove your pain and suffering through pictures or videos of your daily life after the injury and witness statements. Your doctors can also testify to the amount of pain a person would be in your condition.
- Non-earner Benefits:
These are payments made to the people injured in car accidents but had no income when it happened. To receive these benefits, you have to meet some conditions, and an experienced lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible for this compensation.
- Special Damages:
They are offered as compensation for monetary losses that can be measured. Special damages are added and accounted for during the trial. Anything that might be counted as special damages after the trial will happen in the future and are grouped under a different head of damages. Examples are prescription bills, physiotherapy, and massage therapy costs, crutches, etc.
- Income Replacement Benefits:
These are given to people who were forced to quit their jobs because of personal injuries sustained during the accident. Usually, the benefits are a percentage of the injured party’s original income. You will be required to present evidence of your earnings, usually with the cooperation of your employer. If you’re self-employed, you may need to engage an accountant’s help to help you figure out your losses.
- Caregiver Benefits:
If the accident resulted in an injury or a disability that requires a caregiver’s help, your bodily injury claim settlement amounts could include what you need to pay for the service.
- Future Cost of Care:
Most times, the effects of serious car accidents last into the future. The victim may need continuous care in the form of prescriptions, drugs, and further surgeries. This benefit was put in place to compensate the plaintiff for all of their future needs.
Although you can’t see into the future to know exactly how much money you will need for your future care, you can consult experts in this field to give you an idea of the amount you can claim.
What Are the Factors Involved when Calculating the Value of a Lawsuit?
The first factor is how serious your injuries are. Plaintiffs who suffer more serious injuries and loss will get higher bodily injury claim settlement amounts than those with less severe injuries. For instance, you will get more money if you suffered a broken back than someone who suffered a broken toe.
You should know that your damages are not limited to physical injuries. Psychological and mental injuries like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and sleep disturbance are all losses that may be considered in court when determining bodily injury claim settlement amounts.
The other factor is your Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The MMI is the term doctors use to describe when you have reached your personal injuries‘ highest recovery level. Before you reach MMI, it may be difficult to examine what damages you can claim for and the amount you can claim because your medical situation may still improve. However, once MMI is reached, your doctors will be better able to assess your future condition.
How Do You Receive Compensation for Your Injuries?
The purpose of the bodily injury claim settlement amounts in Canadian law is to compensate a plaintiff or the injured person. It is not supposed to enrich you but to put you back into the position you were before the injury. This can be difficult because no money can genuinely settle you for losing your health or a permanent disability. Also, other financial or rehabilitation needs may arise in the future due to your injury. Still, the court tries as much as possible to award sufficient bodily injury claim settlement amounts to provide restitution.
To receive your settlement amount, you have to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injury. For instance, if you parked legally, and the defendant hit your vehicle. If you sustained injuries, the defendant would be 100% legally responsible for your injuries. The defendant will then have to pay one hundred percent of your settlement claim.
Ïf the court finds that your actions or lack of it contributed to the accident or your injuries, it may find you partly liable for your damages. This is called contributory negligence. For example:
- You were not wearing your seatbelt when the accident happened.
- You abruptly changed lanes without making a signal.
- You got hit by a vehicle while jaywalking.
In these situations, a court might find you partly liable for the accident. Even if a court finds you are contributorily negligent, it doesn’t mean you won’t get any damages. The court will probably divide the liability between you and the defendant. Let’s say the court awards you $100,000 in damages but finds you were 50% at fault for your injuries. The court will reduce the damage award the defendant has to pay to you by 50%, making $50,000.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bodily Injury Claim Settlement Amounts
How is bodily injury settlement calculated?
The simple method used to calculate bodily injury claim settlement amounts is to add your hard costs. For your pain and suffering, add one to five times the amount for your hard costs, including the total value of your special damages and proving your general damages can be complicated.
How much can you get for bodily injury?
Your insurance can pay up to $100,000 per person injured, and up to a maximum sum of $300,000 as the bodily injury claim settlement amounts for all the injuries in the accident. Most times, you will see the coverage limits written this way: 100/300/50. The first two numbers are the thousand dollars coverage you have for bodily injury per person and accident.
How much do personal injury cases settle for?
Bodily injury claim settlement amounts for personal injury cases are usually within the $3,000 to $75,000 range. Seven out of ten people generally get a settlement or award for their personal injury claims.
How much do you get for pain and suffering?
The more severe the injury, the more your numbers increases. For instance, if a person has $5,000 in medical bills due to a torn ligament, they could multiply that amount by two. This would make their pain and suffering value to be $10,000.
What is fair compensation for pain and suffering?
The typical payout for pain and suffering settlement examples in most personal injury claims is under $15,000. The reason is that most claims involve small injuries. The seriousness of the injury plays a huge part in determining the value of pain and suffering damages.
How much should I ask for settlement?
A general method for getting the best bodily injury claim settlement amounts is to ask for 75% to 100% higher than what you would be satisfied with. For instance, if you believe your claim is worth between $2,000 and $2,500, demand for $4,000 or $5,000 at first. If you think your claim is worth $5,000 to $6,000, make your first demand for $10,000 or $12,000.
Will surgery increase my settlement?
Sometimes, yes. Having surgery can raise bodily injury claim settlement amounts. Even though surgery can lead to a higher settlement amount, it should not be your principal reason for going through any medical operation. You should have the procedure only if it is necessary.
What does a Bodily Injury Claims Adjuster do?
A bodily injury adjuster manages, examines, and resolves the injury section of an insurance claim.
There you go! All you need to know on how to get the best bodily injury claim settlement amounts. When it comes to getting the most you can out of your injury claim, nothing beats negotiating for your preferred amount.
For many people, that meant handing their case to the hands of an experienced personal injury lawyer rather than leaving thousands of dollars on the table. Suppose you have been injured, and you are considering making a bodily injury claim. In that case, your best first step will be to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer and discuss what the potential value of your claim might be.
What if, apart from your personal injuries, your car also got totaled from the accident? Check how you can get more money from insurance for totaled car.