If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of somebody else, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Often, personal injury claims are resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers. However, it may be necessary for an injury victim to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party in order to recover the compensation they deserve. Regardless of how a personal injury claim is finally resolved, there are various factors that can affect the value of the personal injury settlement.
Severity Of The Injury
Perhaps the overriding factor concerning compensation in a personal injury case is the severity of the injuries. Typically, the more severe the injury, the higher the settlement a victim will receive. In general, injuries such as spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injuries, broken and dislocated bones, amputations, and other catastrophic-type of injuries will garner a larger settlement than injuries such as severe bruising or sprains and strains.
There are times when injuries dramatically disrupt a victim’s life. This can include their ability to carry out their daily activities such as household chores as well as their ability to work and earn a living to support their families. If an injury disrupts a victim’s life, this will be taken into account when determining the value of a personal injury settlement.
Treatment And Recovery
There will usually be a larger personal injury settlement when the victim has to undergo significant post-injury treatment. This can include being admitted to the hospital, undergoing extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation, and continuing to have to go to follow-up medical visits. Reconstructive surgeries can also be associated with incidents that involve a higher level of care.
Additionally, the duration of a victim’s recovery plays a role in the settlement they received. In general, the longer the recovery time, the more the medical care and other costs will rise.
Certainty Of Liability
A personal injury settlement often revolves around how certain liability is in the claim. If it is clear that the alleged negligent party is 100% responsible for the injury, this will typically result in a higher settlement amount for the victim. However, it may be the case that the injury victim shares liability for the incident. The state of Illinois operates under a modified comparative negligence system. This means that an injury victim can still recover compensation for an injury so long as they are not more than 50% responsible for the incident. However, the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Emotional And Psychological Trauma
Often, the pain and suffering resulting from accidents go well beyond the physical injuries. It is not uncommon for injury victims to experience emotional and psychological trauma, which can include anxiety, fear, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If an injury victim and their attorney can show that they have sustained significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of their injuries, this could significantly impact their overall settlement.