How Much Should I Expect from My Personal Injury Case?
Getting into an accident is a devastating experience, even more so when you become injured. Once you’ve determined the extent of your injuries, you will need to be detailed and attentive in how you approach your personal injury case. You don’t want to risk settling for too little of an amount and not be able to cover your medical bills or make up for lost wages if your working life was hindered due to the injuries. Still, even when you do your due diligence in gathering documentation after an accident, it can be difficult to know just how much to expect from your personal injury case.
Things get much more complicated once you take into consideration the different laws in practice in each state – some states practice at-fault laws whereas others are no-fault and assign a degree of liability to each driver based on evidence and testimonies. The most straightforward way to estimate what you should expect from a personal injury case is to look at your part in the accident and the severity of your injuries.
Personal Injury in No-Fault States
In a no-fault state, if you are assigned 51% or less of the fault for the accident, you are legally allowed to pursue compensation for your injuries. Anything more than this 51% and you are determined to be responsible for your injuries and are therefore ineligible to receive financial compensation. This is informally referred to as the “51 Percent Rule,” primarily operating under the modified comparative negligence law.
Under this law, both you and the other driver may share responsibility, but depending on who is more liable, you or the other driver may or may not be granted legal permission to pursue coverage for injuries.
In such cases, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. Your attorney will help you in gathering all of the essential documentation you will need to reflect your perspective of the accident including:
- Medical records
- Cost of expenses related to the accident
- Testimonies (yours and any witnesses including passengers that may have been in the vehicle with you)
Depending on the percentage of liability the jury assigns you, the amount of compensation you receive may either increase or decrease.
Personal Injury in At-Fault States
In any at-fault states, your eligibility to receive compensation is entirely determined by whether you were liable for the accident or not. If you were found liable, you are unfortunately responsible for compensating for the other party’s injuries and damages and will be ineligible to receive the same coverage.
Because of all of the factors that go into granting compensation for personal injury, in addition to the complex process leading up to it:
- Consultation: The victim discusses the accident with an attorney
- Research: Attorney and legal team investigate the accident and its impacts on the victim
- Demand letter: Request for compensation to the negligent party
- Counter-offer: Typically the defendant disputes the offer and proposes a counter-offer.
- Negotiation: This is the point at which you truly need an attorney on your side! Legal knowledge and experience along with interpersonal skills will guarantee the best results for your case.
- Resolution: Your attorney will have achieved the best settlement for you.
Unfortunately, no one amount can be provided as an average to represent a typical personal injury case. These cases vary between states, incidents, and individuals, and rarely have similar outcomes to one another. To get the best possible settlement for your injuries, hire an accident attorney, as they will be equipped to advocate on your behalf and ensure the most reliable results for your wellbeing.