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What Is the Average Settlement for a Personal Injury Case?

What Is the Average Settlement for a Personal Injury Case?

One of the first questions many accident victims have is, what is my case worth? It’s crucial to understand that there are dozens of factors that affect the value of a personal injury case, and every case is unique. Even very similar accidents can result in very different damages and settlement amounts. 

Some personal injury cases are worth in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, while others can be worth in the millions. This range is so broad because most cases do not have significant, long-term injuries. Depending on the type of accident, injuries you sustained, and other factors, your settlement may vary substantially.

Here is what you should know about average settlements and why you shouldn’t look to average results to determine what your case may be worth. 

Settlements vs. Jury Awards: Why It Matters

Personal injury settlements are generally confidential. This means no one knows the settlement amount outside the parties involved. About 95% of personal injury cases end in a settlement. The value for the vast majority of personal injury cases is not public knowledge. 

If you take your case to trial and win, you recover a jury award, not a settlement. This award is the amount a jury decides you are entitled to receive, unlike a settlement, which is an amount negotiated between your lawyer and the insurance company (or other at-fault party). 

A jury award does not necessarily mean you will actually recover that amount. Even without considering attorney’s fees and costs, the defendant may appeal the case, and the award may be reduced. Juries may award injury victims more than they are legally allowed to recover, or the defendant may be unable to pay the award total. 

Jury awards are public knowledge, unlike settlements. 

Average Jury Awards in Florida

Because jury awards are available to the public, we can compare median and average personal injury jury awards by case type, injury type, and state. 

Here are the average and median injury awards in 2020 according to Thomas Reuters, Current Award Trends in Personal Injury. 

A Bureau of Justice Statistics report found the following median jury awards: 

  • Medical malpractice: $400,000
  • Premises liability: $98,000
  • Car accident: $15,000

This report found plaintiffs won in 52% of tort cases. Injury victims in car accident and dog bite cases had the highest success rate. In medical malpractice and product liability cases, just 23% and 20% of plaintiffs won, respectively. That means cases that tend to have the highest average value are usually the hardest to win. 

In 2022, a study released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform found the frequency and size of nuclear verdicts in the U.S. is on the rise. These are jury verdicts of $10 million or more. The median nuclear verdict reached $25 million in 2019, up from $19 million in 2010. Florida had the most nuclear verdicts per capita. 

Factors That Affect Personal Injury Settlement Amounts

As a general rule, cases that involve fatalities, severe injuries, or catastrophic injuries are likely to result in a much higher settlement than average. The amount you will recover in a settlement depends on many factors, though. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you understand how these factors affect your case. 

  • Financial damages
  • Type and severity of injuries
  • Whether you suffered permanent disability or impairment
  • Expected future medical needs
  • Whether you can ever return to work
  • The defendant’s behavior
  • Whether you are partially to blame or failed to mitigate damages
  • Strength of evidence
  • Insurance coverage available

Your lawyer will carefully investigate your accident and gather evidence to determine the full extent of your losses. The next step is negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company. This may take weeks or even months. If negotiation is unsuccessful, your lawyer will likely recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit to take your case before a jury. 

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been seriously injured in an accident, determining the value of your case is crucial to make sure you are compensated fairly. Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa personal injury lawyer. We will help you understand what your case may be worth and the best legal options available to you.

Contact the Tampa Personal Injury Law Firm of Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.

We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 223-6200

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
(727) 493-4418

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 314-5988

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 910-5060

Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805
(863) 251-6196

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