SeanCarlo Lopez | July 19, 2023 | Personal Injury
Personal Injury Settlements: Myths Vs. Reality
If you were recently injured in a car accident or other incident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have started researching personal injury settlement amounts. However, this can be dangerous because there is a lot of misinformation out there. The potential value of your claim depends on many unique factors, so there’s no other case exactly like yours or an average settlement for a personal injury case.
The best way to determine the potential value of your case is to reach out to an experienced lawyer from Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys who can give you a better idea about what to expect. In the meantime, let’s debunk some of the most common myths surrounding personal injury claims.
Myth: Personal Injury Claims Are a Get Rich Quick Scheme
Because of highly-publicized cases involving large payouts, some people look at personal injury cases as a way to get rich. They may think that personal injury lawsuit settlement amounts that are newsworthy are the average settlements for personal injury cases. However, statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that the average car accident injury settlement amounts were $15,785 for bodily injury claims and $3,841 for property damage claims. This is hardly a massive amount of money.
Most personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company. The insurance company will only settle the case up to the policy limits. This is often why personal injury settlement amounts are lower than the public perceives them to be.
Additionally, personal injury cases may take a long time to settle because they must go through the following steps:
You’ll want to reach out to a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so they can advise you on steps you can take to protect your claim from the beginning.
A personal injury lawyer may conduct an independent investigation into the accident. This may consist of:
- Reading any police or accident report
- Visiting the accident scene personally
- Obtaining photos or videos of the accident scene
- Reviewing medical records
- Interviewing witnesses
- Ordering medical records
- Identifying all parties who may be responsible for the accident
- Preserving or obtaining additional evidence for your case
Lawyers may need to conduct an independent investigation because insurance companies will try to minimize their liability. Having strong evidence can help demonstrate why the insurance company must be willing to offer you fair compensation to avoid having to go to court.
Once your lawyer has determined the legal theory to obtain compensation for you and has compiled evidence to demonstrate the full extent of your damages, they can prepare a demand letter. This package contains information about the following:
- How the accident occurred
- Why the defendant is responsible for the accident
- The losses you suffered
- The amount of money you are willing to accept to settle the claim
This letter may be sent to the at-fault party or their insurance company, depending on the case.
The insurance company will respond to the demand package by accepting it, rejecting it, or trying to negotiate a lower settlement. Your lawyer can then respond to this offer with a counteroffer. Many personal injury cases involve several rounds of negotiations before the case is ultimately settled.
Once your lawyer and the insurance company agree on a settlement value, the insurance company will send over a release form for you to sign that states you will not pursue further legal action regarding the matter. Then, it will send your settlement check to your lawyer.
Myth: You Can’t Get Any Compensation if You Were Partially at Fault
Under Florida’s newly enacted modified comparative fault law, accident victims can still recover compensation for their accident as long as they are not more than 50% at fault for the accident. However, their damages will be reduced by their degree of fault. So, if you’re found to be 10% at fault for the accident, your damages are reduced by 10%.
Myth: I Can’t Afford a Lawyer
This myth is perpetuated by insurance companies who sometimes try to convince claimants that they don’t need a lawyer and that the lawyer will only take part of their money. The Insurance Research Council conducted a large study of car accident claims and found that accident victims with a lawyer generally received settlements 3.5 times higher than claims brought by individuals without a lawyer. This usually means that claimants can get more money when they have a lawyer, even after factoring in the attorney’s fee.
Set Up a Free Case Review With a Personal Injury Attorney
If you would like more information on how a lawyer can help or would like realistic personal injury settlement amount examples based on real-life situations, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer. You can receive some initial legal advice free of charge, as most attorneys in the field offer complimentary initial consultations.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm – Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
Contact a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.
Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701