Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts in Los Angeles
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. Every expense in every case must be calculated specifically for those involved. And there are a wide variety of factors which help determine the average personal injury settlement amounts in Los Angeles.
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 average personal injury settlement amounts in Los Angeles (and all of California). This jury verdict information is valuable, but should be taken with a grain of salt.
You should always have reasonable expectations when negotiating your personal injury settlement. When looking at jury verdicts, you are looking at just that - cases that have gone on for years and been through the ___ litigation process and a hard-fought jury trial. Only about 2-3% of all personal injury cases 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.
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." Take two scenarios:
Scenario One: If you have been in a motorcycle accident let's say, 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 lane-splitting and weaving in and out of cars and clipped a car that was about to change lanes and 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.
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. It is typically the more complicated personal injury cases that end up going all the way to a jury trial.
Defense Verdicts Must Be Included in Any Calculation of the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amount in Los Angeles
Further, if you are averaging jury verdicts to get the average settlement amounts in Los Angeles, you would need to include defense verdicts in your calculation. Defense verdicts are those verdict where the defendant prevails and the personal injury plaintiff gets ZERO money for their personal injury case. Sadly, there is a significant portion of jury verdicts that end up as defense verdicts, 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 award and the factors which can maximize or minimize that total award is crucial when you're trying to decide whether you are equipped to handled 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 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)
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 in California law which state what 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:
- Physical pain (from right after the accident, now and that which you may experience in the future)
- Mental Anguish (including the grief and the onset of Panic and Anxiety Disorders)
- Emotional distress (including depression brought on by the accident or debilitating nature your injuries)
- Martial 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)
- The 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.
The Degree of Negligence
California is a comparative negligence state. That means that when determining average personal injury settlement amounts in Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles in a marked crosswalk with a lit walk signal.
Negligence in such cases is measured as a percentage. 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. So, if your case is worth $100,000 if you had zero fault for the accident, but you were determined to have been 50% liable in contributing to the cause, you would only receive $50,000.
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, and other involved parties
- 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
The Personal Injury Attorneys at Sally Morin Law Strive to Get Every Client the Best Settlement Every Time
Sally Morin and her team of expert personal injury attorneys in California have been protecting accident victims for over 20 years. 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 including:
- A $137 thousand settlement in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident
- A $540 thousand settlement for a war veteran injured in a motorcycle accident
If you've been injured in a crash, you deserve every penny you're entitled to. Let the legal experts at Sally Morin Law help you. Contact us to get your FREE legal consultation today.