California Personal Injury Settlement Amount
After a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence, it is understandable that a victim may decide to sue the person responsible for the injury. Personal injuries can be physical, like broken bones, or emotional, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They can seriously disrupt a person’s daily life.
If you are a personal injury victim, you may be wondering what the average personal injury settlement is. However, it is important to note that personal injury settlements vary significantly, depending on the circumstances of the accident and severity of the injury.
If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury in a motor vehicle accident, the attorneys at Woodbridge Accident Lawyers can help. Call to schedule a free consultation at (949) 850-6767.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Represent
There are many different types of personal injury cases. At our Irvine personal injury law firm, we exclusively represent victims of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) who suffered a personal injury and property damage due to a negligent driver, business, or other entity.
We represent the following personal injury cases:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Wrongful death
In order to file a personal injury claim, you must first understand the statute of limitations. Generally speaking, personal injury victims in California have two years from the date of their accident or injury. If your accident involves a government agency, you will have a shorter time limit. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible so you do not miss the deadline to file.
How Much Compensation Is Typical for Personal Injury Settlements?
This is a question we get asked often at our personal injury law firm. Yet it is not an easy one to answer because every settlement amount varies widely. Car accidents represent the most common types of personal injury cases, and the average car accident claim is approximately $21,000.
Due to the unique nature of each personal injury claim, no two personal injury claims or settlements are identical. Your lawyer will take these things into account when calculating the value of your settlement:
- The type and severity of the injuries
- The impact of the injuries on the victim’s life
- The extent of the liability
- The at-fault party’s insurance coverage
- The strength of the evidence
During the investigation period, also known as the discovery process, your legal team will gather all relevant evidence, talk to witnesses, and exchange facts to gain a better understanding of the accident. Then, your lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurance company to kickstart negotiations.
The demand letter will outline a victim’s damages, or losses, which may include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses: Medical bills, cost of treatment, medication, etc.
- Lost wages: Missed time from work due to the injury
- Future loss of earnings and benefits: Compensation if the victim is unable to return to work
- Pain and suffering: Physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the injury
In California, personal injury and property damage cases are treated separately. Our Irvine personal injury attorneys can assist you with a property damage claim for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and other personal property.
Comparative Negligence in California
There is one crucial element to a personal injury settlement in California: comparative negligence. The state of California follows a “pure comparative negligence law,” which is different from modified comparative negligence and contributory negligence.
California law allows victims (plaintiffs) to recover compensation even if they are 99% at fault. However, the amount of damages will be reduced according to their percentage of fault. For example, if the injured person was speeding over the limit when they got into the accident, they may be held partially responsible. If the plaintiff is found 20% at fault, he or she would be able to recover 80% in damages.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case?
The time it takes to settle a personal injury case in California can also vary significantly. Like the amount of compensation you receive, the time it takes to settle will depend largely on the severity of the injuries and the other party’s liability. More severe injuries will mean a longer case time.
However, do not let the time frame scare you. Any personal injury lawyer will tell you that a quick settlement often does not reflect the full range of losses suffered by the victim. For example, if you suffered a broken bone and need physical therapy later on, but you accepted an offer too soon, you may miss out on compensation for future medical expenses.
Most personal injury settlements are paid out through the other party’s insurance company. If your lawyer cannot secure a fair settlement agreement with the insurance company, then they will file a personal injury lawsuit. While this is rare, it can significantly lengthy the time of a personal injury settlement.
Speak to an Experienced Irvine Personal Injury Lawyer
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, you have a much better chance at securing a settlement that reflects the full extent of your damages. Without legal representation, the insurance company may try to pressure you into a quick, lowball settlement or even outright deny your personal injury claim.
Unlike other types of law, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee instead of a fixed hourly fee. This means that when you hire a lawyer, you do not pay legal fees upfront, but rather a portion of your settlement is paid out to the lawyer if your case is successful. If your lawyer does not win the case for you, you are not responsible for paying.
The personal injury lawyers at Woodbridge Accident Lawyers have successfully recovered millions of dollars in settlements for injured clients in California. Our dedicated, compassionate legal team will listen to you, work diligently on your case, and help you obtain the maximum possible compensation. Call our Irvine law office for free today by phone at (949) 850-6767 or fill out this online form.