What is the Average Los Angeles Personal Injury Settlement?
Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Resources
Calculating Your Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount
You've been hurt in an accident and deserve compensation but do you know how much your injuries are really worth? Settlement and financial award amounts vary greatly—from a few hundred dollars to several thousand (even millions of dollars). Why such a wide range? Average personal injury settlement amounts aren't just pulled off a chart somewhere. Indeed, every accident is different. Each and every expense in every individual case must be calculated specifically for those involved. And there are a wide variety of factors which help determine the average Los Angeles personal injury settlement amount.
Past Jury Verdicts Give an Unreasonable View of what Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts in Los Angeles Look Like.
Jury Verdict Research provides you with the outcomes of hundreds of court cases in California. You could go to this site and use the verdicts to form an average Los Angeles personal injury settlement amount (or average for California overall). This jury verdict information is valuable, but should be taken with a grain of salt.
You should always have reasonable expectations when dealing with a personal injury settlement. This is one of the first things a top-notch Los Angeles personal injury lawyer should tell you during your first conversation. When looking at jury verdicts, you are looking at just that - cases that have gone on for years and been through the long, drawn-out litigation process and a hard-fought jury trial. Only about 2-3% of all personal injury cases in California make it to a jury trial, as most people opt to accept a reasonable settlement instead of risking putting their case in front of a jury.
At Sally Morin Law...
We get solid, quick results without litigation in about 94% of our cases (and only go to trial about 1% of the time.) But, when getting a fair settlement for our client requires litigation, we take on the challenge. We have 20 years of experience litigating personal injury cases in California and don't shy away from it when it's in the best interest of our client.
Jury Verdicts Do NOT Accurately Reflect the Whole Picture of Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts in Los Angeles.
"Average" Personal Injury Cases Do NOT End up in Trial.
If you think about it... most cases that go through litigation and a jury trial are not "cut and dry." They are usually fairly complex cases with a variety of issues that cannot be agreed upon by the parties. Take two scenarios:
Scenario One: If you have been in a motorcycle accident where someone ran a red light and hit you causing a broken leg. Well, that's a cut and dry case, because the motorist is at fault for running the red light and you suffered an injury that was obviously caused by the accident.
Scenario Two: On the other hand, let's say you were driving your car on the freeway at 75 MPH. You were weaving in and out of cars in a hurry and clipped a car that changed lanes without looking. As a result, you suffered an injury to your neck that exacerbated a pre-existing neck problem you've had all your life. Well, this case is now complicated - liability is questionable and the causation and extent of your injury is also an issue that can be dissected by the insurance company and other motorist's attorney.
This second scenario is much more likely to end up going to trial, because it's not "cut and dry." This example is simply meant to show you that the "average" case doesn't really end up going to trial in California. It is typically the more complicated personal injury cases that end up going all the way to a jury trial. Therefore, when calculating the average Los Angeles personal injury settlement, using jury verdict amounts may not be the best indicator of what you can expect for a reasonable settlement of your case.
Defense Verdicts Must Be Included in Any Calculation of the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount in Los Angeles
We've established that jury verdicts may not be the best indicator of average settlement value for you LA accident case. However, if you ARE going to look at jury verdicts to get the average LA personal injury case settlement amount, you need to include defense verdicts in your calculation. Defense verdicts are those verdicts where the defendant prevails and the personal injury plaintiff gets nothing (ZERO dollars) for their personal injury case. Sadly, there is a significant portion of jury verdicts that end up as defense verdicts in California, because (as explained above) most personal injury cases that end up in trial usually have complex, tricky issues of liability or causation that determine the outcome of the case in either party's favor.
Understanding what dollar figures go into your potential financial settlement and the factors which can maximize or minimize that total amount is crucial when you're trying to decide whether you are equipped to handle your personal injury case alone, or if you need a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles. So let's take a look at all the components that help determine average personal injury settlement amounts.
The Hard Dollar Figure is Significant to Any Personal Injury Settlement Amount
Of course, the primary component of average personal injury settlement amounts in Los Angeles is the actual dollar figure associated with the damages you've suffered. This total dollar amount (often referred to in the industry as "special damages" or "specials") includes:
- The cost of repairing/replacing any personal property (including automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and even items like phones, computers, clothing, etc.) damaged in a crash
- Every medical expense associated with injuries sustained in the accident (including documented long-term or future medical expenses)
- Out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the crash (such as tow trucks, cab fare, Uber rides, prescription costs and any other expenses you incur as a direct result of your personal injury)
- Lost earnings or wages (both those you suffered because of time away from work and those associated with a diminished ability to perform your job during your physical recovery and/or in the future)
- The cost of hiring someone to take care of any household or family responsibilities while you were recovering from your injuries
There may be other case-specific factors which increase this concrete dollar amount and value of your case. It's a good idea to have an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles go over your specifics in order to ensure no expense is overlooked.
Factoring in Pain and Suffering
There are other more esoteric costs associated with average personal injury accident settlement amounts in Los Angeles as well. Sometimes these factors can actually amount to more than the "hard dollar figure" of an accident because of their devastating effects and the complexity and duration of your recovery. These factors are often lumped into a category simply called "pain and suffering." Pain and suffering damages fall under the larger category of damages called "general damages."
Calculating just compensation for pain and suffering after in a personal injury case in California is difficult. There are no set guidelines that lay out what specific factors must be considered or how much each component is worth. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will be able to go over your case in great detail and point out factors you may not even have thought to ask compensation for.
These intangible factors include:
- 1Physical pain (from right after the accident, now and that which you may experience in the future)
- 2Mental Anguish (including the grief and the onset of Panic and Anxiety Disorders)
- 3Emotional distress (including depression brought on by the accident or debilitating nature your injuries)
- 4Martial stress (caused by the accident, recovery process and having to rely on your spouse to pick up the slack or even take care of you)
- 5The inconvenience the accident has caused on all facets of your life
To put a dollar amount on any of these terrible side effects of a personal injury accident is extremely difficult. It is often necessary to call in expert witnesses (like your treating doctors) and specialists (such as mental health professionals or economists) to testify that your quality of life has been seriously diminished and that such effects are likely to continue.
WARNING: If you speak with a personal injury law firm that tells you how much your case is worth during your first or even second conversation with them, be very cautious! This is often just a tactic to get your business.
Determining the value of a personal injury case takes time and attention to every detail of the case. No one can give you an accurate estimate right off the bat.
Make sure that whichever injury lawyer you choose is a straight-shooter who won't BS you about your case value just to get you as a client!
The Degree of Negligence
California is a comparative negligence state. That means that when determining average Los Angeles personal injury settlement amounts it's necessary to assign fault (a percentage thereof) to each party involved for whatever part of the accident they caused. So, even if your actions contributed to the cause of the accident in question, you can still receive a financial award, though likely a smaller one than you would have if you had zero fault for causing the accident. For example:
If you're injured in a pedestrian accident while in a crosswalk but also while crossing without a walk signal, you could still receive a settlement from the driver who hit you (or their insurance company). They would likely pay because they failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk. However, by crossing against the light, you assume some of the fault yourself.
Indeed, your settlement would be much lower than had you been hit by a car in a marked crosswalk with a lit walk signal.
Negligence in such cases is measured as a percentage in California. Each party is assigned a figure (between 1% and 100%) and that figure determines the amount of fault—or liability—is theirs. That fault then factors in to the settlement amount. For example, if your case is determined to be worth $100,000 if you had zero fault for the accident, but you were found to be 40% liable for causing the accident, you would only receive 60% of the value of the case or $60,000.
Be Aware of Factors Which Decrease Your Personal Injury Settlement
In addition to the components that increase the average personal injury settlement amounts in Los Angeles, there are a number of factors which could negatively affect the amount you actually receive. These include:
- Pre-existing injuries/conditions (that are to the same body parts or conditions claimed as injuries in your accident claim)
- DUI/DWI charges or other traffic citations issued to you for the accident
- Whether you may be partially at fault for the accident - described in detail above
- Statements about the facts of the accident or your injuries that you make to investigators, police officers, witnesses emergency medical personnel, insurance adjusters, other involved parties and even those you post on social media
- Insurance policy limits - if the other party's insurance limits are low you can look to your underinsured motorist coverage, otherwise, your settlement amount may be much lower than you deserve
Motorcycle Accident Client
"Honestly better than I could've ever hoped for. After being hit on my motorcycle they got me an amazing settlement. I literally had to do zero work."
Learn More to Protect the Value of Your Los Angeles Personal Injury Settlement Amount
If you've had a traffic accident in Los Angeles and want to learn more about your particular accident type, check out our resources below. At Sally Morin Law, we exclusively focus all of our time, energy and resources on just five narrow types of major injury personal injury cases in Los Angeles:
The Personal Injury Attorneys at Sally Morin Law Dedicate Themselves to Getting Every Client the Best Settlement Every Time
Sally Morin and her team of expert personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles have been protecting accident victims for over 20 years in California. We start with a free case evaluation and go from there. We have the experience and the resources available to ensure every client gets a fair and adequate financial award. We've recently secured several larger than average personal injury settlement amounts for individuals in and around Los Angeles.
Recent Los Angeles Area Personal Injury Settlement Results
Still not ready to hire the best LA personal injury attorney? Read more to find out if Sally Morin Law might be a good fit for you and your case.