When people decide to pursue a personal injury case, a question they often ask is, “How much compensation will I receive?” There is no such thing as an average settlement when it comes to personal injury cases, but understanding which costs are considered can help you decide whether you want to move forward with your case.
NH Personal Injury Settlements: What’s Covered
As part of your personal injury case, a jury will evaluate the economic costs incurred because of the injury. This includes medical bills, loss of wages and benefits, loss of earning capacity, and home care and domestic help. These include both direct and indirect costs during treatment, recovery, and living with the injuries from the accident.
To ensure that your attorney can calculate the total cost of your injury, records must be collected, including invoices, receipts, and evidence of income before and after the injury. These will help a jury objectively verify the full economic impact of your injury.
Non-economic damages are those that are intangible and cannot be calculated with receipts and invoices. Non-economic damages could include pain and suffering, temporary or permanent disability, scarring and disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium or companionship.
Is the Average Settlement for Personal Injury Less Than a Trial Award?
There may come a point during your personal injury case where you receive an offer to settle the case. You have the option of accepting or rejecting the settlement. If you turn the offer down, you opt to continue on to trial where your case will be decided by a jury. The decision to settle versus going to trial should be made with your attorney after reviewing both the facts of your case as well as the settlement offer.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
It’s not unusual for an injured person to reach a settlement with the insurance company of the liable party. Settlements in personal injury cases usually come in the form of a lump sum payment, but may involve a structured payment made in installments over time. Once a settlement is accepted, the injured person signs a release of claims that discharges the liable party from further liability.
If you agree to accept a settlement offered through negotiations with the insurance company, your right to further claims and payment from the party responsible for the injury are terminated. In some personal injury cases, this can be the most efficient path toward recovering damages.
But before you sign a document terminating all rights for recovery you may have, you should consult with an attorney to make sure that you are not giving up too much. Also, you are not required to negotiate with the insurance company and can retain a lawyer to negotiate for you and if necessary file a personal injury lawsuit.