Craig Rosenbaum | April 1, 2022 | Personal Injury
One of the most common personal injury questions we receive is, “How much is my personal injury claim worth?” However, most people actually want to know how much money they will put in their pocket from a personal injury settlement.
Several factors impact how much money you can receive from a personal injury settlement. Continue reading to learn more.
The Severity and Type of Injuries You Sustained
One of the most significant factors impacting the value of a personal injury claim is the type and severity of the victim’s injuries. As the severity of your injuries increases, the value of your claim increases.
There are several reasons for the correlation between injuries and the value of a claim:
- Generally, it costs more money to treat catastrophic injuries (increased medical bills)
- The recovery period is longer, so the victim misses more time from work (higher amount of lost wages)
- It is presumed that severe injuries cause increased pain and suffering
In addition, traumatic injuries may result in permanent impairments and disabilities. Therefore, you could recover compensation for ongoing medical treatment, future loss of income, long-term care, and decreased quality of life.
Fault For the Cause of the Accident
In a personal injury case, you must prove that the at-fault party caused your injury to recover compensation for damages. However, if you contributed to the cause of your injury, your compensation may decrease.
New York’s pure comparative negligence law allows courts to decrease the amount you receive for damages by your percentage of fault for the cause of the accident. Therefore, if you are 30% to blame for a car accident, the money you receive for damages is 30% lower than the value of your injury claim.
Other Factors Impacting the Value of a Personal Injury Settlement
Each personal injury settlement is based on the facts and circumstances of the case. Therefore, many factors could affect how much money you put in your pocket from a settlement.
Factors that could increase or decrease the value of your claim include but are not limited to:
- The availability of insurance coverage
- The parties involved in the case
- Whether one or more parties could be to blame
- Pre-existing conditions, illnesses, and injuries
- Whether a government entity could be liable for damages
- Your statements and actions after the injury or accident
- Availability and strength of evidence proving negligence and causation
A New York City personal injury lawyer will carefully analyze the evidence in your case to determine fault and liability. The attorney will work to minimize factors that could hurt your case while maximizing the factors that increase the value of your injury claim.
What Happens After I Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
Once your attorney and the opposing party settle the claim, the attorney must pay the costs of bringing the claim from the settlement proceeds. The three most common expenses deducted from settlement proceeds are:
Many personal injury lawyers in New York City accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. The attorney agrees to accept a percentage of the settlement proceeds as payment for legal services. If the attorney does not recover any money for the claim, you do not owe the attorney any money for attorneys’ fees.
Costs and Expenses
Costs and expenses to bring the claim are deducted from the settlement proceeds.
Common costs include:
- Postage and delivery fees
- Copy costs and fees for obtaining accident reports, medical records, police reports, etc.
- Expert witness fees and costs
- Travel expenses
- Deposition costs
- Filing fees (if you file a lawsuit)
Filing a lawsuit is typically more costly because the parties engage in discovery and trial preparation. Most personal injury cases settle without the need to file a lawsuit.
Medical Liens and Subrogation Claims
Your medical providers may have medical liens against the settlement proceeds. However, your attorney must verify and pay outstanding medical bills from the settlement proceeds even without a lien.
Furthermore, if your health insurance company paid medical bills related to the injury, it likely has a subrogation claim. Subrogation claims must be paid from the settlement proceeds.
Experienced Manhattan personal injury lawyers will negotiate with medical providers and insurance companies to reduce medical bills, liens, and other claims to put more money in your pocket.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Manhattan to Settle an Injury Claim?
You can work directly with the at-fault party and the insurance company to settle your claim. The claims adjuster may encourage you to handle your case without a personal injury attorney.
However, it is not in your best interest to accept a settlement offer without seeking legal advice. The insurance adjuster’s goal is to pay as little as possible to close the case. Therefore, the settlement amount may be far lower than the actual value of your injury claim.
Furthermore, the claims adjuster may use questionable tactics to get you to settle your claim for less money than you deserve. A personal injury attorney will protect you from these tactics while fighting to get you the best settlement possible for your injury case.
Contact a Manhattan personal injury lawyer today if you’ve been injured by another party.