How long will it take to settle my case? How much will I receive? If you have suffered a personal injury in Philadelphia, these questions are undoubtedly at the forefront of your mind.
Unfortunately, since every case is different, they are not always easy to answer. However, some factors impact the likely outcome of personal injury settlements. Here are a few things to consider.
1. Severity of the Injury
The severity of your injury is one of the most significant factors that impact injury settlements. “Hard injuries,” like broken bones or damage to your spinal cord, typically pay out more than “soft” injuries, like bruising and sprains.
Permanent injuries, like scarring or disfigurement, traumatic brain injury, or permanent loss of a body part, are associated with the highest personal injury values. If your injury makes it harder to walk, sit, stand, or travel, this will also add weight to your case.
2. Treatment and Recovery
If your injury requires extensive treatment, you are likely to get a larger settlement. This reality is common when the injury requires reconstructive surgery or long-term rehabilitation.
The more specialists you need, the higher settlement you can typically expect. Seeking treatment from doctors and hospitals instead of chiropractors and holistic treatment providers can also increase your case's value.
In addition, the expected recovery time is also considered. This recovery time includes necessary follow-up appointments and the need to take prescription medication on an ongoing basis.
It is important to understand the expected long-term impact of the injury, so it is common for personal injury attorneys to hold off on settling a case until the victim's medical evaluation is complete. While the delay may feel frustrating when your medical bills are piling up, it is almost always in your best interest for them to take their time to ensure you get a settlement that is appropriate for the extent of your injury.
It is also critical that you continue to follow the doctor's instructions and keep up with all the recommended treatments, even if you are starting to feel better. Failing to do so can significantly decrease the value of your case.
3. Life Disruption
Has your injury dramatically impacted your daily life? If you cannot work or engage in extracurricular activities, you will have a basis to ask for a larger settlement. When everything else about the case is relatively equal, those who have not suffered a dramatic difference in their lives will generally receive a smaller settlement than those who can no longer do the things they could before the accident occurred.
Showing that your injuries caused you to miss school, training, recreational activities, or even a planned vacation or special event can add some value to your case.
4. Emotional and Mental Trauma
It is quite common for people who have suffered from a personal injury to have ongoing mental issues, like anxiety and depression. However, this is not always easy to prove.
In most cases, the victim will need to have worked with a reputable mental health professional who can testify about the long-lasting trauma caused by the accident and subsequent injury.
If you are dealing with a high-profile defendant, the desire to avoid any bad publicity could significantly impact your case. Depending on the nature of the incident and how it could play out in the press, the defendant may be willing to offer a large settlement to keep it out of the news and avoid the scrutiny that comes along with it.
6. Complexity of the Case
While it may or may not impact the expected payout, the complexity of your case will impact the time it takes to settle. Dealing with multiple parties, insurance companies, and attorneys takes longer than a claim that only involves a single victim and one liable party.
In addition, if liability is not clear-cut, it will take longer to sort through the details and determine who is at fault. If the defendant denies liability, the case may not settle at all. Instead, all parties may need to wait for a jury to decide who is at fault and, therefore, financially responsible for the resulting damage.
7. Cost of Litigation
There are many expenses involved in pursuing a liability settlement. Hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and even simple clerical work all come with a cost. Sometimes, a defendant will be willing to settle early and for a higher amount to avoid the hassle and expense of fighting it.
On the other hand, a defendant with plenty of disposable money may continue to drag a case on in the hopes of depleting the plaintiff's resources. This strategy pushes the plaintiff to accept a lower settlement rather than continuing to push for what they deserve.
8. Case Risk
When it looks like a case could be dropped, defendants are not likely to offer a significant settlement. As the case passes certain “milestones,” its value increases. This process may include taking an important deposition or getting past a motion to dismiss your case.
The more milestones you pass, the stronger your case becomes. It is common for attorneys to pressure the other party to settle right before a significant milestone. Not only can this increase the value of a settlement, but it also increases the chances that the case will settle sooner.
Have You Suffered a Personal Injury in Philadelphia? D'Intino Law Can Help
There are so many variables that can impact the outcome of your injury case. If you have suffered a personal injury in Philadelphia, choosing the right attorney can make a significant difference.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We will review the details of your case and help you decide on your next move.