When I sign up new clients, I am frequently asked the same question: What is the average personal injury settlement amount in Ohio?
Law suits are time-consuming, and they are often very hard on those involved. So, of course it makes sense that clients want to know if it will all be worth it in the end. As much as I want to give them an answer and ease their concerns, I just can’t. Personal injury cases are much more complicated than that.
Generally, there is no way to quantify the average personal injury settlement amount.
Many factors are used to determine the appropriate settlement amount in an Ohio personal injury case. Each injury case has different parties, different facts, different circumstances, and different injuries. Each case is unique and must be treated as such.
While I cannot give my Ohio personal injury clients an average settlement amount, I can provide them with some thoughts to consider.
The following are questions you can ask to place a value on your personal injury claim:
1. What Type of case do you have?
While it is hard to place a number on any type of case, it is generally true that some cases are, in essence, more valuable than others. For example, medical malpractice cases are typically resolved for more than slip and fall cases. And, a wrongful death case will settle for more than a fender bender. Looking at the type of case you have is a good starting point for determining the general value of your claim.
2. What is your geographic location?
Just as the cost of living changes based on location, the value of your personal injury claim will increase and decrease depending on where the injury happened and where the case is pursued.
3. Is liability clear?
The more clear a liability is against the defendant, the greater the value of your case. For example, if you will have trouble proving the defendant was at fault, or if the defendant can prove that you, too, were at fault, the value of your claim will decrease.
4. Who are the parties?
The identity of the parties may change the value of a case. For instance, if the defendant is a large corporation with “deep pockets,” a large settlement may be possible because (a) they will be able to pay a large settlement, and (b) if punitive damages are available, the award could be greater against a defendant with more assets. Alternatively, when the identity of the plaintiff is, say, a professional athlete, and they can no longer play their sport because of their injury, the settlement may be greater in terms of lost earning capacity.
5. How have cases similar to yours resolved?
One very telling way to place a value on your personal injury claim is to research other claims similar to yours and see how they resolved. When doing this, it is important to look for cases with similar facts, in similar locations, and with similar injuries.
When you pursue a personal injury claim, there are many uncertainties, however, there is one thing I know for sure; no matter what the value of your case, I can guarantee the settlement amount will be higher if you hire a lawyer with experience and the resources necessary to fight for you.
Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.