What kind of settlement should you expect from your personal injury case? Settlements are based primarily on four things: whether you can show that the other side is liable, how much financial loss you can prove, how much a jury is likely to award for pain and suffering, and whether you will recover from your injuries.
The easiest part to prove is how much financial loss you have sustained. It is relatively simple for both sides to obtain and total your medical bills, your lost wages and any money you have lost because of the accident. Although it is an inexact science, many attorneys will use the amount of medical treatment you have undergone as a way to estimate what a jury will award for pain and suffering. The more treatment you have undergone, the higher the award for pain and suffering.
Whether you will recover from your injuries or will continue to suffer pain and incur expense in the future is often hotly contested by medical experts. If you will not recover fully and will have future pain and suffering, this makes your case more valuable and should increase the amount of a settlement offer.
Finally, the amount of your settlement offer will be increased or decreased based on whether you can prove the other side was negligent. If you have a "slam dunk" case, and it's clear that the defendant is liable, you should receive an amount that is close to including all of your expenses, an award for pain and suffering, and a future award for treatment and pain and suffering, if applicable. However, if you have only a 50 percent chance at trial of proving liability, you can expect that your settlement offer will be decreased by the same percentage.