Factors that Affect the Value of your Personal Injury Settlement
If you have suffered an injury caused by another party’s careless or negligent actions, you have the right to recover compensation. However, securing the compensation you deserve isn’t always straightforward, and various factors can affect your claim’s value.
Damages is the legal term for the compensation awarded to reimburse victims for the impact a personal injury accident has had on their lives. The more financial losses and accident-related expenses you have had, the higher the value of your claim. For example:
- Medical Expenses: Current and future treatment you require and any other injury-related medical expenses.
- Property Damage: Repairing or replacing your damaged property caused by the accident. (e.g., vehicle, clothing, phone, laptop, etc.)
- Lost Income: Any income you lost and will lose in the future while recovering. This includes compensation for diminished earning capacity if you suffer a permanent impairment that forces you into a different line of work or you cannot earn the same level of income.
To learn more about the value of your claim, consider speaking with an experienced Austin personal injury attorney during a free consultation.
The extent of your pain and suffering can significantly impact your settlement. The insurance company will consider:
- The type and severity of your injuries.
- Whether your injuries are permanent.
- Whether your injuries were pre-existing, and if so, if they were made worse?
- The amount, types, and costs of medical care you have received and will need in the future.
- Whether there were any gaps in treatment, and if so, why?
- Your lost income.
- Whether you are expected to return to work.
- Any restrictions on your daily life.
- How your life has changed and been impacted.
- Whether your spouse or children have suffered.
The more severe your injury, the more compensation you will typically recover.
Causation is a significant factor because if you cannot prove it, you cannot hold the at-fault party liable. Causation is the direct link between the at-fault party’s actions (causing the accident) and your injuries. In other words, your injuries would not have occurred if not for the at-fault party’s negligence. If there are any gaps in your medical treatment after the incident and up until your case is resolved, the insurance company can argue that your injuries did not occur as a result of the accident involving their policyholder or that they are not as severe as you claim.
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. You can sue for damages even if you are partially at fault for an accident, however, if you are more than 50% to blame for an accident, you will be unable to recover any damages. For instance, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 40 percent at fault for your accident, you will only receive 60 percent or $60,000. If you are found 50 percent or more responsible, you will not receive any money.
Insurance Policy Limits
The at-fault party’s insurance policy’s limits play an important role when it comes time for determining how much financial compensation their insurer will offer. If your damages exceed the maximum benefit amounts, the insurance company does not have to pay the difference.