Factors That Affect the Value of Personal Injury Settlement in Philadelphia

Personal injury claims are very common in the United States, with over 30 million Americans injured in accidents each year. Additionally, accidental injuries represent the third leading cause of death in the country, resulting in over 224,000 fatalities per year.

If you have suffered a personal injury in an accident in Philadelphia, you may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount of compensation you may receive, known as a personal injury settlement, can vary greatly depending on multiple factors. Understanding these key factors can help set reasonable expectations when seeking damages for your injuries.

Type and Severity of Injuries

The most important factor affecting a personal injury settlement is the type and severity of the injuries sustained. More severe injuries that result in ongoing medical treatment, loss of mobility, disability, loss of wages, and diminished quality of life will warrant higher settlement values. Permanent injuries like brain damage, paralysis, loss of limbs, and severe burns typically result in higher settlements than soft tissue injuries like whiplash. For example, a settlement for a moderate TBI might be in the region of $100k, but for a more serious TBI, settlements of £1 million+ are not uncommon. Documenting the injuries through diagnostic testing and physician reports is key.

Liability and Negligence

The ability to prove negligence and liability is another significant factor. Settlement values are higher when the defendant’s responsibility for the accident and injuries is clear-cut, such as in drunk driving cases or incidents with strict liability like dog bites. If liability is disputed, proving negligence through police reports, witness statements, video evidence, and expert testimony becomes critical. Defendants are more inclined to settle when faced with strong evidence of negligence.

Insurance Coverage

The insurance coverage available to the liable party will impact settlement amounts. This includes auto liability insurance in vehicle accidents, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance in slip and falls, medical malpractice policies, product liability coverage, and more. Those at fault often carry state minimum policies, resulting in lower payouts. Identifying all potential insurance resources available to the defendant is an important step.

Lost Income and Cost of Medical Care

Philadelphia personal injury lawyers recommend documenting all accident-related expenses and economic damages as key to maximizing settlement value. This includes past and future medical bills, prescription and treatment costs, hospitalizations, physical therapy, missed work wages, loss of future earning capacity, and other damages. Supporting these losses with evidence makes it more likely an insurer will agree to settle.

Experience of the Attorney

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney also impacts the potential settlement value. Seasoned personal injury lawyers have a strong understanding of claim value and negotiation tactics to secure the maximum settlement. They also have established reputations with insurance companies and are often able to negotiate more effectively. Less experienced lawyers often struggle to achieve substantial settlements. Many interconnected factors shape the value of personal injury settlements after an accident in Philadelphia. Working with an experienced attorney to present persuasive evidence regarding injuries, costs, lost wages, and negligence is key to maximizing potential compensation after someone else’s negligence has caused harm. Understanding these influential factors can help accident victims evaluate their options.

Written by Johnny Steele