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Personal injury settlements: explained

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

If you have been involved in an accident victim and have a personal injury case, then you are probably familiar with the term personal injury settlement. Although people know the term, do they truly know what it means or entails? Your accident attorneys are here to explain what personal injury settlements are and how they work.

personal injury settlements explained

Settlements: The most common outcomes in personal injury claims

Although most people believe that personal injury cases are resolved in trial, a lot of them are not. In fact, only about 4% of cases reach the trial stage. That means that 67% of personal injury cases are settled by most personal injury lawyers out of court.

When you agree to a settlement, the agreement details the conditions of it and prevents the plaintiff from taking further legal action later. Once the judge receives the settlement agreement and signs off on it, it becomes legally binding to everyone involved.

How do personal injury settlements work?

Personal injury settlements have multiple steps involved before reaching an agreement. An experienced personal injury attorney will handle all of the settlement negotiations for you so that you do not have to worry about those steps. They also can litigate the case if no reasonable settlement offers are made.

Keep these factors in mind when deciding on a proper settlement value:

Your personal injury settlement is meant to cover the cost of damages and losses that you incurred. If the settlement offer seems too low for your accident, you can contact your attorney and speak to them about your legal options. Here are some factors you will want to consider when getting your settlement offer:

  • Medical Costs: This is the core element in most personal injury cases. You want to ensure that beyond the PIP benefits, (which come from your insurance coverage) which is mandatory in the state of Florida, that you have those additional funds to cover what is left of your medical bills. These medical bills can include but are not limited to: physical therapy appointments, x-rays, hospital stays, etc. That is why it is extremely important to keep a record of all the medical expenses, post your car accident.

  • Loss Wages: If you had sustained injuries from the accident that prevented you from working and forced you to take unpaid leave, these are losses for which you can get compensated.

  • Pain and Suffering Damages: Assigning value to these types of damages is extremely difficult. Your personal injury settlement amount will be determined by the severity of your injuries and if the effects of those injuries were permanent.

  • Mental and Emotional Distress: This is another aspect that is difficult to determine without significant evidence. If you have ongoing distress that a licensed medical professional determined then you may be entitled to compensation for this.

  • Property Damage: In most accidents, you are also filing a property damage claim, such as in a motorcycle, car, or truck accident.

If you have been injured, it is essential that you retain an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine what your case is worth and fight for the settlement you need to move toward a better future.

How Much Compensation Is Typical in Personal Injury Cases?

Many factors contribute to how much compensation you will receive after an accident. As we stated previously numerous factors go into determining a fair personal injury settlement amount.

The typical amount for a standard personal injury case can average anywhere between $3,000 to $75,000. That amount can be more, but this is just the base average.

It is also important to note that most lawyers in the personal injury fieldwork on a contingency fee basis. This means that when you sign on with a law firm, you have agreed to their fee arrangement. This fee is usually an agreed-upon percentage of your overall settlement offer.

personal injury settlement breakdown

What Affects the Outcome of Personal Injury Cases?

The outcome of a personal injury lawsuit is purely dependent on if a settlement offer is fair or if the situation needs to be handled in court. When you file your insurance claim numerous factors contribute to how it will be handled.

Contributing Factors:


The first thing an attorney must establish in a personal injury case is liability. When that occurs the injured party can then seek compensation for their damages. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Liability can also affect how a personal injury case is handled in terms of settlement negotiations and trial. If the other party accepts liability for the injury, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement without going to trial. However, if liability is disputed, it may be necessary to go to trial to establish who is at fault.

Once we have enough evidence to establish who's at fault, your case moves on to the next hurdle.


In order to establish causation, the injured party must show that there is a direct link between the other party's actions and their injuries. This can be a complex process, and it may require medical testimony and other evidence to establish that the injuries were caused by the other party's actions.

For example, if a person is injured in a car accident, they must show that the injuries were caused by the other driver's negligence. This may involve providing medical records and expert testimony to show that the injuries were caused by the accident and not by some other factor.

Causation can also be complicated in cases where the injured party had a pre-existing condition. In these cases, the injured party must show that the other party's actions made their pre-existing condition worse or caused additional injuries. This may require medical testimony and other evidence to establish that the other party's actions were a direct cause of the injuries.

Establishing causation is crucial in personal injury cases because it determines whether the injured party is entitled to compensation. If the other party's actions did not cause the injuries, then the injured party is not entitled to compensation. However, if causation can be established, then the injured party may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.


The amount of damages that the injured party can recover will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. In some cases, damages may be limited by state law or by insurance policy limits.

The role of damages in a personal injury case is to compensate the injured party for the harm they have suffered as a result of the other party's actions. Damages can be a crucial factor in settlement negotiations and trials, as the amount of damages that the injured party is entitled to will be a key point of contention between the parties.

When Will You Receive Your Settlement Check?

If you have been involved in a personal injury case and have reached a settlement agreement with the other party, you may be wondering when you can expect your personal injury settlements paid out to you. Well, the timing as to when you will receive your settlement check is dependent on numerous factors.

First, it's important to note that settlement checks are typically not issued immediately after a settlement agreement is reached. In most cases, it can take several weeks or even months for the settlement check to be issued.

The reason for the delay is that there are often several steps that need to be completed before the settlement check can be issued. For example, the settlement agreement may need to be reviewed and approved by a judge, or the insurance company may need to complete its own internal review process before issuing the check.

Once all necessary steps have been completed, the settlement check will be issued. The check will typically be made payable to you and your attorney, if you have one, since your attorney may be entitled to a percentage of the settlement amount as their fee.

It's important to note that there may be additional delays if there are any outstanding liens or debts that need to be paid before the settlement check can be issued. For example, if you have outstanding medical bills that were paid by your health insurance company, the insurance company may have a lien on your settlement proceeds, which means they will need to be paid before you receive your portion of the settlement.

How a Lawyer Can Help with Personal Injury Settlement Amounts

If you or a loved one have been in an accident, it's helpful to understand how personal injury settlements work. Your accident attorney can help you with perusing legal action and ensuring that you receive a fair settlement for your personal injury claim.

There is no way to fully know how your injury case will be resolved. However, the team of accident attorneys at Demesmin and Dover have your back and help accident victims throughout their claims process. So call 866-954-MORE (6673) today for your free consultation, and we will make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.


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