When a person is injured by another person or entity, and that injury is the result of negligence, a personal injury claim may be warranted. Although accidents are common, negligence has occurred when a person fails to do what another reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances. As many as half of all personal injury claims are the result of an auto accident – this includes truck, motorcycle, bus, train, boat, pedestrian, bicycle and ATV accidents.
The remainder of personal injury claims is made up of medical malpractice injuries, product liability or dangerous drug injuries, slip and falls, and “other” injuries – such as dog bites, nursing home abuse, or construction accidents. While many people believe that a significant number of personal injury claims are frivolous in nature, in reality, most personal injury suits are the result of moderate to severe injuries.
While there is no such thing as an “average” personal injury lawsuit, the vast majority of personal injury cases will end through a settlement agreement rather than litigation. Both sides essentially determine what they believe the case to be worth, taking into consideration what a jury might award, should the case go to trial.
Settlement offers will likely go back and forth for weeks, or even months, after similar cases are looked at to determine the average damage award. Any unique circumstances will be factored in, and, on the insurance company’s side, they will look at their list of predetermined settlement amounts based on injury levels and type of accident. If no amount can be agreed upon by both sides, then litigation is inevitable.
There are some basic facts regarding personal injury cases, including:
Although many people feel that they will end up with more money if they handle their personal injury claim on their own, in fact, settlements are apt to be much larger when a personal injury attorney is part of the equation. Insurance companies will often make a quick, low settlement with unrepresented clients, but are aware that an experienced personal injury attorney knows what a fair settlement really is. Additional reasons to have an Illinois personal injury attorney in your corner, from start to finish, include:
While the specific damages in any personal injury case depend on the facts surrounding the accident and subsequent injuries, damages will be based on the following:
Economic damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for specific monetary losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages compensate plaintiffs for losses which negatively impact his or her life, yet are hard to place an exact dollar figure on, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. Punitive damages are only awarded when the behavior of the defendant was especially malicious or reckless.
2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim