What is the Average Los Angeles Personal Injury Settlement?
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
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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.