Learn How Much You Can Expect For Your Personal Injury Claim
Here at The Law Firm of Fenters Ward, one of the most common questions we get from clients who want to file a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania is, “How much is my personal injury claim worth?” As with so many other legal issues, the answer is, “It depends.” We can tell you that the average payout for a personal injury claim is $52,900 and the likelihood of payout is 70%.
While these are pretty good numbers, the payout amount and likelihood of payout may be higher or lower, depending on your circumstances. While we can’t tell you exactly what the payout will be, we can tell you some factors that will increase the likelihood – and amount – of payment for your personal injury claim.
Out Of Court Settlements In Pennsylvania
One thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of payouts are the result of out of court personal injury settlements, not actual trials. Juries can be very unpredictable, and so can their verdicts. Settlements, on the other hand, tend to be more consistent, as there are patterns that most companies follow when settling injury claims. That said, there are still several variables that can affect the settlement amount.
The Severity Of The Injury
One of the biggest factors affecting settlement amounts in Pennsylvania is the severity of the injury. That is, the more serious your injury was, the more money you can expect to receive. That is because more serious injuries lead to higher medical bills, longer time off work, and a more reduced quality of life.
When going to trial, or entering a settlement, it is important that you provide all documentation concerning the severity of the injury, especially doctor’s notes. For example, if you claim to have had extensive pain following a car accident, but can’t provide any documentation that you were injured, it will be hard to get the money that you are owed for your injury.
We recommend seeing a doctor as soon after your injury as possible so that you can get it documented. If you wait too long to seek medical attention, it will affect your settlement.
Insurance Limits In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania insurance limits also affect the settlement amount. Insurance policy limits keep Pennsylvania settlements low, as settlements cannot exceed the policy limit. This is something to keep in mind when taking out an insurance policy in Pennsylvania. We have seen too many clients expect a big payout for a personal injury, only to receive much less money than they expected, because of their insurance policy’s limit.
Threatening To File A Lawsuit
As we said before, most personal injury payments in Pennsylvania are the result of settlements, not trials. That being said, threatening to file a lawsuit may increase your chances of receiving a settlement, as well as the size of the settlement itself. A recent survey showed that 81% of respondents who threatened to file a personal injury lawsuit – or began the process of filing – received some sort of settlement, as opposed to 67% who didn’t.
Even more telling, respondents who threatened to file a lawsuit received a payment that was almost twice the amount, on average, of those who didn’t ($45,000 compared to $23,000). All this is to say that if you are looking to be compensated for a personal injury, it pays (literally) to hire a lawyer and being the lawsuit process.
Negotiate The Settlement
Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company often increases the payment. This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised at how many Pennsylvanians simply accept the first offer that the insurance company provides. Negotiating with the insurance company – or better yet, hiring an experienced attorney from The Law Firm of Fenters Ward to negotiate for you – will increase the amount of your settlement.
Hire Legal Representation In Pennsylvania
As you may have guessed, hiring legal representation also increases your settlement amount. What is shocking, however, is how much money you will gain by hiring a lawyer. In the survey mentioned above, respondents who hired an attorney to negotiate settlements received, on average $60,000 more than those who didn’t!
Respondents who did not hire a lawyer received an average settlement amount of around $17,000 while those who hired a lawyer received an average payout of around $78,000–around three times the payout amount. Those who hired attorneys were also more likely to receive settlements in the first place (91% compared to 51%). If you are involved in a personal injury claim, you may balk at having to hire a lawyer because of the fees. As this statistic shows, you will likely receive much more money when you hire a lawyer, even after fees are deducted.
Of course, it helps to have an experienced lawyer in Pennsylvania. The more experienced and capable your attorney is, the higher your settlement payment will be. That is because an experienced attorney in Pennsylvania will know how to negotiate with the insurance companies. What you want is a Pennsylvania attorney who refuses to settle for less. After all, this settlement money will be used to help you get your life back on track following a serious injury–the more money you can settle for, the easier your recovery will be going forward.
Contact The Law Firm Of Fenters Ward Today
If you live in the Pittsburgh, PA area and have been injured, you need look no further than The Law Firm of Fenters Ward. We have been in the business of helping Pennsylvanians settle personal injury claims for over 20 years. Our areas of practice in Pittsburgh, PA include:
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice
- Automobile Accidents
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Products Liability
If you have been injured in Pittsburgh, PA, call the law firm that will help you get the biggest settlement possible. We have helped our clients receive millions of dollars in personal injury settlements.