Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Determine Settlement Amount | Calculate Settlement Amount

A personal injury settlement amount is determined differently for each case. Two important elements that are considered are liability and the type of injury.

How is the value of a personal injury settlement amount determined?

The personal injury settlement will vary from one case to another. Although no one can predict an exact amount, there are some common factors that are used to determine the settlement amount. Two main elements that will impact the settlement are liability and the type of injury sustained.

Impact of Liability When on Value of a Personal Injury Settlement

It’s critical to establish fault in a personal injury claim because it could impact not only how much an injured person is entitled to receive, but if a settlement will be available at all. It’s possible to be only partially responsible for an accident but recover nothing.

That’s because Ohio follows the modified comparative fault system when it comes to negligence. An injured person can only recover damages if his/her fault was 50 percent or less. Once fault reaches 51 percent, compensation cannot be recovered.

Even if the individual’s degree of fault falls within the necessary range to file a lawsuit, settlement amount could still be impacted. From the total damages, whatever percentage the plaintiff is found responsible, that amount will be deducted. So if an individual is 30 percent at fault and damages total $15,000, the claimant would only be able to receive $10,500 ($15,000 minus 30 percent).

Impact of Injury When Determining Settlement Amount

The type of injury will be another important element for determining settlement amount. Typically when someone walks away from an accident with just a few scratches, the only money that can be recovered are actual losses, such as repair costs for a fender bender or possibly an emergency room visit to ensure the person is in good shape.

When injuries are serious, it will be important to seek legal counsel. There can be a lot more at stake if the victim is out of work for an extended period of time or incurs significant medical bills.

Factors besides missing work that could impact the outcome of a settlement are:

  • future medical costs (such as for a subsequent surgery or physical therapy);
  • disability (injuries that prevent someone from returning to work); and
  • pain and suffering (the physical and emotional impact of injuries).

Certain injuries will have more worth than others. For instance, a broken arm can certainly be painful and may keep someone out of work. But the impact of a traumatic brain injury or damage to the spinal cord could be life-altering. These are critical factors to consider when determining a settlement amount.

How an Attorney Can Help

In addition to medical bills, lost wages and expenses for property damage, there may be compensation available that address issues such as mental anguish, reduced qualify of life and disfigurement. By consulting with an attorney, an injured person can get a more accurate understanding of how to determine settlement amount for their particular case.

Bressman Law can assist victims who are filing a claim. This personal injury law firm can help calculate the value of injuries sustained in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

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