Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples (2023 Guide) (2023)

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Personal injury verdicts are often major headlines. Tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars awarded by juries can make for exciting news. You don’t hear as much about settlements, though.

Part of the reason for this is that many settlements are kept private due to nondisclosure agreements, but there’s another reason, too. Personal injury settlements aren’t usually as high as some verdicts, which makes them a bit less exciting.

Still, with the vast majority of personal injury cases resolved through settlement rather than trials, knowing how settlements are reached and what to expect from them may be essential. Especially, that is, if you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury or are weighing a settlement offer. This guide explains what to expect from personal injury settlements.


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Settlements: The Most Common Outcomes in Personal Injury Claims

You may have heard about how many criminal cases are settled without a trial. It’s true, more than 94% of criminal cases are resolved through a plea bargain rather than going to trial. Would you believe that the statistics for civil cases are similar?

Estimates vary, but somewhere between about 95% of civil cases reach settlements at some stage. And a settlement can be reached at literally any stage of the case — from before the case is even filed to after the case is over (when the winning side will offer to settle to prevent the losing side from appealing).

How Do Personal Injury Settlements Work?

No matter what stage of the case a settlement is reached in a personal injury case, the function is the same. A settlement is an agreement for the plaintiff to take a specified sum in exchange for not pursuing the case in court.

(Video) How Personal Injury Lawyers Calculate Settlement | Personal Injury Q&A

The way that settlements are negotiated can be tricky for both sides. The plaintiff—that’s the person who was harmed and is suing—risks taking a lesser amount than they might get from a verdict. The defendant—the party accused of causing the harm— offers to pay something now to avoid the expense of the trial. But the verdict could go either way.

There’s a reason why we have sayings like “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” For most plaintiffs, a guaranteed settlement sum is better than a gamble on the verdict, even if the verdict amount might be a lot higher.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Outcomes

Personal injury lawsuits almost always end in settlements. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, only 4% to 5% of personal injury cases go all the way to trial.

A study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2005 found that:

  • Of all the personal injury cases that went all the way to verdict, the success rate for plaintiffs was about 50%
  • The highest success rate was in auto accident cases, at 61%
  • Plaintiffs were only successful in 19% of medical malpractice trials

What this means for someone considering a settlement offer is that, if you accept the settlement offer, you are 100% guaranteed to get the amount being offered. If you reject it, statistically speaking, your chances are about 50/50. You’ll either end up with an amount greater than the settlement, or you’ll end up with nothing.

Of course, there’s another possible outcome besides settling or reaching a verdict. Cases can be dismissed at any time and for a variety of reasons. The plaintiff can simply drop the case, but the judge can also dismiss either based on motions of the parties—basically one side or the other asks the judge to dismiss—or sua sponte (on the court’s own accord).

How Much Compensation Is Typical in Personal Injury Cases?

Compensation in personal injury cases is based on the facts of each case. Compensation is based on the amount of damages caused, or at least it’s supposed to be. This makes it difficult to estimate a typical amount of compensation even for cases of the same type.

A car accident involving a broken arm is going to be different than a car accident causing a severed hand. .

Still, the study mentioned above does shed some insight (at least as of 2005):

  • Half of all plaintiffs received $24,000 or less.
  • The median award was $31,000 for all cases studied.
  • The median amount awarded in auto accident cases was $16,000.
  • The median award in premises liability cases — cases holding owners or landlords liable for injuries sustained due to the condition of the property — was $90,000.
  • The average award for medical malpractice cases was $679,000.
  • The median payout for product liability cases — cases involving flawed products like medicine with unknown side effects or a lawn mower that explodes whenever it gets hot — was $748,000.


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(Video) 12 Factors That Impact Your Personal Injury Settlement in 2023 (Part 1)

What Affects the Outcome in Personal Injury Cases?

When it comes to deciding whether to settle or go to trial in personal injury cases, there are a number of factors that both sides consider. These factors include:

  • The severity of the injuries sustained
  • The impact the injuries have on the plaintiff—how much the injuries interfere with daily life and work, for example
  • Cost and duration of treatment and recovery from the injuries
  • The emotional and psychological damage from the injuries
  • The certainty of liability—how much debate is there as to whether the defendant is responsible?
  • Cost of litigation itself
  • The length of time litigation could take to get to a verdict
  • Costs beyond litigation—newsworthiness, for example. What will the publicity around a case cost the defendant later in harm to reputation and business?

If a case goes all the way through to reach a verdict, some states actually have caps in place that limit how much a jury can award. Some limitations are placed only on parts of an award such as a cap on pain and suffering damages. In some instances, a jury will award a plaintiff millions of dollars only for the state law to reduce the amount to a fraction of what the jury decided.

You can be sure that if there are such laws in place in your state, your attorney and the lawyers on the other side will know about them.

How a Lawyer Can Help with Personal Injury Settlement Amounts

Having an attorney working with you during settlement negotiations is incredibly valuable. After all, the statistics suggest that more than 9 out of 10 cases your personal injury attorney has worked on ended in settlements. That experience alone is invaluable.

Advocating for Your Rights

When you’re in a personal injury dispute, the other side is going to have a team of legal professionals. The insurance companies on the other side of the table are going to be represented by lawyers who work on personal injury cases—and personal injury settlements—all the time.

If you don’t have an attorney, you’ll be on the other side of the table all alone.

Your personal injury lawyer’s experience and perspective can make a huge difference in reaching a favorable settlement. From the first meeting to discuss your case, they will be learning the individual elements of your particular claim and figuring out the best way to get a favorable settlement or verdict.

An attorney will bring their experience to assessing the value of your case and any settlement offers you receive.

Negotiating Settlement Offers

You may know all the details of your injuries as well as anyone, but there are a lot of factors to consider when negotiating a settlement that may not occur to you. They will be second nature to your attorney.

For example, do you know how to calculate lost wages both during your recovery and potentially afterward if your injury will have a permanent impact? Are you aware that in some states, if a car insurance company rejects a reasonable offer to settle and goes on to lose the case, the company—not the driver—is required to pay all damages even in excess of the policy limit?

That means that if you and your attorney make a good faith offer to settle that’s below the limit, there’s an incentive for the insurance company to accept.

If you’re working with a personal injury attorney who specializes in one particular type of injury—as most personal injury lawyers do—they will have a lot of experience negotiating with various insurance companies. It’s even possible your lawyer will have a relationship with the insurance company lawyers, as well.

This isn’t to suggest any sort of improper arrangement, but more working together frequently can lead to a working relationship of respect and relatively fair dealing.

Filing or Threatening a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the initial settlement negotiations—often part of the claims process—fall through, the plaintiff really only has one recourse, and that is to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits can be expensive and time consuming, and generally insurance companies would prefer to avoid them.

(Video) 80% of Injury Claims are WORTHLESS Because of This

As mentioned earlier, there’s a legal team representing most insurers. Legal teams are not cheap, however, and the more time a case requires the more expensive it becomes.

As a non-attorney, the company may not be too worried about you filing a successful lawsuit on your own. If you have an experienced personal injury attorney working on your behalf, however, the threat to file a suit can become much more potent.

Timeline of Personal Injury Claims and Settlements

In order to file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need to first make sure that the time limit to file hasn’t passed. Each state has its own statute of limitations which sets the amount of time after an injury that you must file a lawsuit.

Some states allow as little as one year to file your claim, though others allow as long as six years. Most states have statutes of limitations of two to three years for personal injury claims. If your injury involved a government entity like a police car or a military doctor, though, you may have to file much earlier since there are special protections in place for the government in legal proceedings.

Finding an attorney and preparing your case promptly protects you from running out of time, but it also ensures that evidence won’t be lost or witnesses to forget details.

How and When Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid?

If you reach a settlement with an insurance company, you can expect the process—from start to finish—to take a little less than a year on average. According to one study, the average time between injury and settlement award is 11.2 months, though some received compensation in less than two months.

If you work with an attorney, your settlement will be sent to them. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. This fee arrangement means that they will keep a percentage of your compensation, and if you don’t get any compensation, they simply don’t get paid.


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(Video) 12 Factors That Impact Your Personal Injury Settlement in 2023 (Part 2)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is a personal injury settlement amount calculated?

A personal injury settlement amount is based on the facts of each case. The type and severity of injury, emotional harm suffered, cost of going to trial and many other factors are considered by both sides. Often the settlement amount will be less than the plaintiff hoped for but more than the defendant hoped for.

Before accepting a settlement, it’s important to consider not just expenses and medical bills but also lost wages and any impact to quality of life, as well as pain and suffering.

What types of personal injury cases pay the most?

According to the U.S. Justice Department, product liability cases pay the most at a median payout of over $700,000. The defense teams in these cases tend to be effective, though, with less than 25% of all cases that go to verdict resulting in decisions for the plaintiff.

What is a good personal injury settlement amount?

Your personal injury settlement will be based on the facts of your particular case. The amounts as discussed above are not meant to suggest what should be expected for any particular case. In general, you shouldn’t accept any settlement offer that doesn’t cover all of your costs relating to the injury and any reasonable projections of future costs.

While it’s tempting when you hear about settlements for millions of dollars to think that your settlement should mean you will strike it rich, the goal is instead to try to compensate you for your injury. Ideally, you should be paid an amount that allows you to recover and maintain your life as if you hadn’t been injured. Anything less than that is a bad settlement offer.

What is the largest personal injury settlement?

Technically, the case against big tobacco was the biggest personal injury settlement in U.S. history although it wasn’t a single person or family suing the companies. Forty-six states worked together to sue tobacco manufacturers, and they came away with a $246 billion settlement.

It’s difficult to know precisely what the largest personal injury settlement to an individual was. The main reason for this lack of knowledge is that many personal injury settlements are never made public.

(Video) What happens when you settle your personal injury claim?


How do you calculate settlement amount for a claim? ›

Settlement amounts are typically calculated by considering various economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and out of pocket expenses from the injury. However non-economic factors should also play a significant role. Non-economic factors might include pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.

How much can I get for a soft tissue injury? ›

For example, an ankle sprain can result in $15,000, or $20,000 for soft tissue injuries in your shoulder, or $2,500-$10,000 for whiplash, and as much as $100,000-350,000 for a herniated disc injury settlement.

How do I ask for more money in an injury settlement? ›

7 Tips for Successfully Negotiating for More Money with the Insurance Company
  1. Seek Legal Representation Right Away. ...
  2. Think About a Settlement Amount. ...
  3. Be Cautious About What You Reveal to the Adjuster. ...
  4. Don't Necessarily Accept First Offer. ...
  5. Request the Adjuster to Justify a Low Offer. ...
  6. Highlight Emotional Points.
Nov 9, 2022

What is the usual result of a settlement? ›

The result of a settlement agreement involves the responsible party paying a certain amount to compensate for the damages caused to the victim.

What would my settlement figure be? ›

What is a settlement figure? Simply put, it's the amount of money you have to pay back to the finance company to completely pay off your agreement. An early settlement figure is the amount outstanding, minus a rebate of interest and charges if you want to pay off your car finance early.

How is final settlement calculation? ›

Calculated as the number of days of compensation multiplied by the gross salary divided by 26 (Avg. number of working days per month). Non-availed leaves & bonuses: Non-availed leaves and any bonus or credits, which as per the Company policy, can be encashed by the employee during the settlement.

What are 3 common soft tissue injuries? ›

Sprains, strains, and contusions, as well as tendinitis and bursitis, are common soft-tissue injuries. Even with appropriate treatment, these injuries may require a prolonged amount of time to heal.

What is a Grade 1 soft tissue injury? ›

Grade 1 – Used to describe a mild sprain, strain or tear. These injuries will present with swelling and tenderness, but usually heal within 2-3 weeks with the right care at home. Grade 2 – More extensive damage and with more soft-tissue involved.

What grade of soft tissue injury is the most severe? ›

Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Grade 1: Usually mild and involves up to 10 per cent of the muscle or ligament. ...
  • Grade 2: These are moderate tears involving 10-90 percent of the structure and will take several weeks to repair.
  • Grade 3: Tears are severe and indicate complete rupture of that muscle or ligament.

How do I ask for a bigger settlement? ›

You Can Negotiate a Settlement. Here's How
  1. Hold Onto Everything. ...
  2. Open an Insurance Claim in a Timely Manner. ...
  3. Estimate the Value of Your Claim Carefully. ...
  4. Write an Effective Demand Letter. ...
  5. Reject the Insurer's First Offer. ...
  6. Highlight Facts that Benefit You. ...
  7. Remain Calm During Negotiations. ...
  8. Hire a Lawyer to Help.

How do I ask for high compensation? ›

Here are eight tips for how to negotiate a salary that can help you tactfully and confidently ask for what you want.
  1. Become familiar with industry salary trends. ...
  2. Build your case. ...
  3. Tell the truth. ...
  4. Factor in perks and benefits. ...
  5. Practice your delivery. ...
  6. Know when to wrap it up. ...
  7. Get everything in writing. ...
  8. Stay positive.
Apr 7, 2023

How much money should I ask for in a settlement? ›

To get a general idea of settlement, add up the costs in medical bills, damages, and lost wages, and multiply the sum by three. This may be around the amount in the settlement you can receive after a car accident. Compensation for pain and suffering is only given to those who are injured in a car accident.

What is the most percentage a lawyer takes? ›

Whatever the amount is, your law firm will charge you on a contingency fee basis. This means they will take a set percentage of your recovery, typically one third or 33.3%. There are rare instances where a free case is agreed to by the representing lawyers. This is known as a pro bono case.

What percentage do most personal injury lawyers take? ›

As a general rule, the personal injury lawyer will receive 33% of the final settlement amount in the case. However, cases that go to trial often incur different costs. The goal of this fee structure is to minimize the client's financial risk in hiring an attorney to represent them.

What is the most money awarded in a lawsuit? ›

1998 – The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement - $206 Billion. The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was entered in November 1998 and is still the largest lawsuit settlement in history.

Why is my settlement figure lower than my balance? ›

Your balance might be lower than your settlement figure because of a Direct Debit payment you've made. A Direct Debit could still go out after you get a settlement figure and before you pay off your loan. This will reduce the amount you owe and make your balance lower.

What is a settlement quote? ›

What is a settlement quote? This is a letter that gives you the amount that you need to pay if you would like to pay off your vehicle loan in full.

What is value or settlement amount? ›

The settlement value of a variable payout contract is the amount of contract value remaining, based on whether it was bought or sold. The difference between the price at which the contract was bought or sold, and the settlement value, determines the profit or loss (excluding any applicable exchange fees).

How do I calculate my average final compensation? ›

Your compensation earnable is determined by dividing the total amount of salary earnings for which contributions are credited to your Defined Benefit account by the sum of the total amount of service credit earned during the school year and adding any remuneration in addition to salary.

What are final settlement prices? ›

Settlement price refers to the price at which an asset closes or of which a derivatives contract will reference at the end of each trading day and/or upon its expiration. The settlement price will be determined on the settlement date of a particular contract.

What all are included in final settlement? ›

Full and Final Settlement commonly known as FnF process is done when an employee is leaving the organization. At this time, he/she has to get paid for the last working month + any additional earnings or deductions. The procedure has to be carried out by the employer after the employee resigns from their services.

What are 3 examples of hard tissue injuries? ›

Hard tissue injuries include fractures, dislocations and loss of teeth. That is, any injury to the skeletal system. A fracture is the technical term for a broken bone and there are various types of fracture with various degrees of complication. The other main hard tissue injury is a dislocation.

How do you know if you have Grade 3 soft tissue injury? ›

Grade 3: A Grade 3 injury is the most serious. It involves a total rupture of the soft tissue. There is considerably more swelling than Grade 1 or Grade 2 injuries along with a significant amount of instability in the affected joint structure. Inability to use the injured limb is a clear indication of a Grade 3 injury.

What is a Grade 4 injury? ›

Grade 4 injuries are complete tears to either the muscle (grade 4) or tendon (grade 4c). The athlete will experience sudden onset pain and significant and immediate limitation to activity.

What is Grade 2 soft tissue damage? ›

Grade 2 (Moderate):These soft tissue injuries involve a degree of tearing, which may feel like an abnormal amount of looseness in the joint and result in pain, swelling and tenderness.

What is a Grade 2 or 3 tear? ›

Grade II (moderate) strains have nearly half of muscle fibers torn. Acute and significant pain is accompanied by swelling and a minor decrease in muscle strength. Grade III (severe) strains represent the complete rupture of the muscle.

What is the difference between Grade 1 2 and 3 injuries? ›

Grade I (Mild): Tissue is stretched. Grade II (Moderate): Involves stretching and some tearing of tissue. Grade III (Severe): Complete tearing of tissue.

How painful is soft tissue damage? ›

When soft tissue is damaged, there is usually immediate pain along with immediate or delayed swelling (excessive swelling can slow the healing process – see treatment below). Stiffness is also very common as a result of the trauma and swelling. Bruising may also develop after 24-48 hours.

What is permanent soft tissue damage? ›

Soft tissue injuries that cause permanent damage can leave scars or cause disfigurement. In some cases, accident victims lose muscle function from damage to tendons or ligaments. This long-term damage has unpleasant long-term consequences.

What are the damages for soft tissue injuries? ›

Many activities can lead to soft-tissue damage of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The result can be pain, swelling, bruising, and damage. Soft-tissue injuries are classified as the following: Contusions (bruises)

Why do lawyers often try to negotiate a settlement? ›

Generally, it is best to negotiate rather than litigate if at all possible. Most disputes can be resolved if two people will just remain reasonable and try to bargain for an agreement. Doing so also has the benefit of avoiding expensive attorney fees and litigation costs.

How long do settlement negotiations take? ›

Mediation can take as little as a few hours or as much as several days. If you still cannot agree during the mediation, you might decide to file a lawsuit. Overall, the settlement negotiation process typically takes a few weeks to a few months.

What makes a good place for a settlement? ›

flat land, to make building easier and safer. local raw materials, eg wood and stone, to build homes. a local water supply for drinking, washing, cooking and transport. dry land, so that people could build on areas that don't flood.

What is a good answer for compensation? ›

When making your compensation expectation statement during an interview, consider offering high compensation as your answer. If you expect an amount close to what you researched, offering a higher amount can show your potential employer that you've researched and understand the industry.

What not to say when asking for a raise? ›

That said, there are certain words and phrases that you should avoid when asking for a raise.
  1. "I Deserve a Raise Because I Have Been Here 'X' Amount of Years." ...
  2. "I Feel That…" ...
  3. "X Is Making More than Me." ...
  4. "I'm Overdue for a Raise." ...
  5. "I Will Leave if I Don't Receive a Raise of X Amount."
Jan 27, 2023

What should I say for desired compensation? ›

On a Job Application

Not all applications will ask for your desired salary, so if they don't ask, there's no need to give one. And if they do ask, keep things simple by saying something like “salary is negotiable” or “salary may be discussed during the interview process.”

How do you negotiate a full and final settlement? ›

What percentage should I offer a full and final settlement? It depends on what you can afford, but you should offer equal amounts to each creditor as a full and final settlement. For example, if the lump sum you have is 75% of your total debt, you should offer each creditor 75% of the amount you owe them.

When should you make a settlement offer? ›

If you find yourself with a financial windfall such as an inheritance or money from a friend or relative, using the lump sum to make a debt settlement offer could be a viable way to clear your debts. Money from compensation, the sale of an asset, or a pension if you're over 55 could also be included.

How long do most personal injury cases take? ›

However the typical personal injury case can take from a few months to a couple of years. Indeed, the timeline of your claim will depend on many different factors, some of which are within the control of you and your lawyer, and others that are largely within the control of the insurance company.

What is the formula for claim calculation? ›

ADVERTISEMENTS: The actual amount of claim is determined by the formula: Claim = Loss Suffered x Insured Value/Total Cost. The object of such an Average Clause is to limit the liability of the Insurance Company.

How do you calculate average time to settle a claim? ›

To calculate an average claims settlement cycle time, take the sum of claims settlement cycle times over a certain period of time and divide that value by the total number of claims settled over the same time period.

What is a good settlement figure? ›

How Much Should I Expect from a Settlement? A good settlement offer should not only be able to cover your hospital bills and legal fees, but it should also be equivalent to close to a years' worth of your current wages, especially in cases where your injuries may be permanent or cause some kind of disability.

What is value per claim? ›

The 'claim value' is the amount payable by the insurance company when a claim is made on the policy. Typically this is when the life assured dies.

What is the formula for determining the actual cash value of a property claim paid by an insurance policy? ›

Actual cash value is equal to the replacement cost minus any depreciation (ACV = replacement cost – depreciation).

What is the claim settlement ratio for 2023? ›

Claim Settlement Ratio 2023- 99.34% | Max Life Insurance.

What is a good average settlement period? ›

What is an ideal average payment period? An ideal average payment period is considered to be 90 days by many companies. Any payment significantly higher than 90 days would indicate that the company is taking too long to pay off its credit.

What is the latest claim settlement ratio? ›

Max Life Insurance has the highest claim settlement ratio in terms of the number of claims with 99.34 per cent for the year 2021-22. With a 99.09 per cent death settlement ratio, Exide Life insurance and Bharti Axa Life Insurance bagged the second position.

What are settlement values? ›

The settlement value is the amount a contract holder may receive for it when it's held until expiration. The settlement value of a binary options contract is $100. The settlement value of a variable payout contract is the amount of contract value remaining, based on whether it was bought or sold.

How to do settlement figures? ›

The calculation is worked out by dividing the total amount payable for rates by the amount of days in the year (i.e. 365/366). This figures is then multiplied by the amount of days being allowed.

What is normal settlement? ›

Transaction in which a stock contract is settled and delivered on the fifth full business day following the date of the transaction (trade date).


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