Personal injury lawsuits can stem from a variety of circumstances, from dog bites to cranial trauma from a slip and fall due to someone else’s negligence. When these cases happen and result in a lawsuit, a monetary award may be awarded. If you were injured and someone else was at fault, you may wonder how much you might receive in damages and whether there is a national average settlement amount. While there is no set number, there are a few factors that can affect how it fluctuates.
State Award Caps
Some states have placed a cap on the award amount for personal injury cases. In some cases, the cap is related to the type of compensation sought, as such economic damage, which can include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- The value of damaged property
Nearly a dozen states currently use these caps, including Ohio, Alaska and Tennessee.
The Degree of Damages
The type and seriousness of your personal injury can affect overall average settlements. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet grocery store floor that was not marked with a caution sign and you break your arm, this might result in an award of several thousand dollars. However, if that same type of fall causes a fractured skull and permanent neurological damage, the settlement could reach up to $100,000 or more.
If your injury took place at a commercial location or at your job, the type of insurance the company uses can affect the total amount of the settlement you receive. Not all employers pay into worker’s compensation or have a cut-rate insurance plan, so you may not be able to collect the total amount from either organization.
While some judicial reports offer mean or median amounts for personal injury cases, these numbers may also fluctuate depending on the value of the defendant’s total assets. For example, if your neighbor’s dog gets loose, attacks you on your property and you sue, your neighbor may not have the assets to pay the judgment. The court may take the money out of the defendant’s wages, but his or her employment status may be taken into account first.
The total value of your personal injury case may also be affected by the type of award you seek. Punitive damages, which punish the defendant for reckless or especially negligent behavior, can push the amount into a higher award bracket.
While there is generally no set average amount for personal injury cases, working with an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in St. Paul, MN, may give you some idea as to national and local guidelines. Contact a lawyer today for more information.
Thank you to JOHNSTON | MARTINEAU PLLP for their insight into hiring an attorney after an injury.