Personal Injury Law Blog

Average Personal Injury Settlements in California

After suffering injuries in an accident, you may be left with a stack of medical bills, property damage invoices, and the inability to work. Understandably, you may want to pursue a personal injury claim and settlement against the liable party. But what is the average settlement for a personal injury claim? California personal injury settlements are based on various factors that vary from case to case. Read on to learn more about California personal injury settlements and how a personal injury attorney can help you. 

What Are Average Personal Injury Settlements in California 

California law permits people injured by the wrongful acts of another to recover compensation. Injured parties may be eager to learn the average value of personal injury claims in California. The truth is that there is no average personal injury settlement. The amount of compensation to which an injured person is entitled depends on their case’s particular facts and circumstances. As your personal injury attorney works to gather the necessary evidence to support your compensation claim, they can provide a more accurate estimate of the value for your case. 

Factors Affecting the Value of Personal Injury Claims 

Multiple factors affect the value of personal injury claims in California. The existence of any of these factors may increase or decrease the value of personal injury claims. Your personal injury attorney will carefully evaluate these factors and advise you on how they impact your case. 

Severity of Injuries 

Generally, personal injury accidents resulting in more severe injuries tend to generate larger personal injury settlements in California. For example, broken bones, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries raise the value of personal injury claims compared to sprains and bruising. Severe injuries are more likely to cause long-term health problems to their victims. Additionally, many of those suffering from severe injuries may be unable to work. 

Medical Treatment and Recovery

When injuries resulting from personal injury accidents require doctors and hospitals, medical costs increase—and so does the value of a personal injury claim and settlement. For example, someone suffering from a traumatic injury may require the long-term medical support of neurologists and physical therapists. 

The length of time and prognosis for recovery also weighs heavily on the value of personal injury claims and settlements. A longer recovery means multiple medical appointments, evaluations, and prescriptions for medical treatment. As a result, an injury resulting in a longer recovery time with a negative prognosis increases the value of California personal injury settlements. 

Resumption of Activities 

If the injuries suffered substantially disrupt someone’s ability to resume everyday activities, including work, the value of personal injury settlements in California is increased. For example, some injuries make it impossible to walk or even stand. Additionally, many injuries leave individuals unable to work the job they held before their accident and force them to find other means of employment.  

Liability 

Determination of the degree of fault of the parties involved in an accident has a significant impact on the value of personal injury claims. Your personal injury attorney works to compile the necessary evidence to build a strong case in support of a party’s liability in a personal injury claim. 

California operates as a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence permits a party to recover damages even if it is determined that they were partially at fault for an accident. But this also means that your compensation award will be reduced by the proportion you may have been at fault for the accident. Because California law operates in this way, it is important to have an attorney on your side to help you reduce the amount of fault assigned to you—the less fault you bear, the greater your compensation.

Emotional and Mental Trauma 

Injuries suffered in a personal injury accident are usually never just physical. Emotional distress in the form of depression and anxiety commonly results after an accident. Proving emotional distress requires the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney. Testimony from reputable mental health experts and doctors can help to maximize personal injury settlements in California. 

How Can You Maximize California Personal Injury Settlements? 

Retaining a qualified personal injury attorney to assist as you move through the process of your personal injury claim will likely increase the amount of your settlement. The following steps can also help strengthen your personal injury claim.

Collect and Retain Evidence 

It’s vital to preserve all evidence related to your personal injury claim. One of the best ways to maximize personal injury settlements in California is proving your damages through tangible evidence like: 

  • Police reports, 
  • Medical evidence, 
  • Photographs, 
  • Witness statements, 
  • Contact information of involved parties.

Your attorney reviews this evidence to build a strong case on your behalf so you can arrive at a more accurate picture of the value of your personal injury claim. 

Seek Medical Treatment 

Even if you think you don’t need it, seek medical treatment immediately following your accident. Many post-accident injuries are not readily apparent without a medical examination. More importantly, be sure to receive a complete evaluation. Some seemingly minor injuries may require long-term care and medical supervision. Attempting to seek a personal injury settlement before the resolution of your condition may result in a settlement offer that fails to provide adequate compensation. 

Negotiate 

Although you may be facing extreme pain and financial stress following an accident, never accept the first offer. While it may be tempting to resolve your financial burdens, it’s best to wait until your attorney can determine a clearer picture of the value of your case. 

Take Action

Act quickly following an injury. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California is two years from the date of the accident. As time passes, evidence becomes harder to find and memories begin to fade. The sooner you act with a personal injury attorney, the sooner your attorney can start to build a strong case on your behalf.

What Damages Can I Recover? 

In California, you may recover compensatory damages and punitive damages for your losses. Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are awarded less commonly and under limited circumstances. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate an injured party for their financial losses. Economic damages include the following types of losses: 

  • Past and future medical expenses, 
  • Past and future lost wages, 
  • Property damage. 

These losses are tangible and calculable through supportive evidence such as medical bills, invoices, and receipts. Therefore, retain all records related to your injury in support of your requested economic damage award. 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages represent intangible and subjective losses that vary from person to person. These damages include losses related to:

  • Emotional distress, 
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of society and companionship, 
  • Loss of consortium.

California places no caps on non-economic losses for personal injury unrelated to medical malpractice cases. Non-economic damage awards for medical malpractice cases are capped at $250,000. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages seek to punish the defendant for their egregious and careless conduct. A court awards punitive damages on top of a compensatory award, thereby substantially increasing the value of these types of personal injury claims.  

Contact Us

Attorneys Joshua Glotzer and Daniel Leib of Glotzer & Leib, LLP, are skilled personal injury attorneys helping accident victims recover fair compensation from responsible parties. We help our clients focus on getting better while we work tirelessly to obtain a maximum recovery award on their behalf.

We are skilled in negotiating favorable settlement terms on your behalf and are prepared to take your case to trial if negotiations fail. We understand the financial stresses you may be under as you try to recover from your injuries. You don’t need to worry about how to pay our legal fees. If we don’t obtain a recovery for you, you don’t pay a fee. Contact the attorneys at Glotzer & Leib to get more information about California personal injury settlements and a free case review!  

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