A settlement, in the context of personal injury claims, is essentially an agreement or compromise between two parties according to what they deem the jury might award as well as the odds of winning over the jury in case of a trial. This means that when trying to determine a settlement award, you need to try and think like a jury.
Generally speaking, however, the calculation of a potential award could vary significantly depending on the following factors:
Depending on which state your case would be tried, the jury might need to apportion liability among multiple parties, which includes you and other potential parties. This means that any award would be reduced accordingly, depending on state laws. Additionally, let’s say your car accident case has multiple defendants, the jury might have to apply the legal concepts of several and joint liability, adds an experienced auto accident injury attorney in Utah.
Damage Award Caps
Some states place caps or limits on the damages that could be recovered in personal injury cases. However, depending on local court regulation or state laws, the jury could award damages in excess of the damage cap. They likewise tend to vary according to the specific type of the case. For instance, the cap might be higher in personal injury claims involving medical malpractice than in cases involving a sip and fall due to simple negligence.
Reduction of Damage Awards to Present Value
It’s the job of the jury to calculate the worth of future damages using interest rates published by the government, actuarial tables, and other financial tools. This is because the value of the dollar changes due to inflation as well as other factors, so $10 18 years from now might only be valued at $5.50 today.
Collateral Source Payments
These could potentially reduce the amount of your damage award. Collateral source payments are those provided by entities to as compensation for your injuries. These include worker’s compensation and medical insurance. However, it would be up to the judge to decide whether or not the jury should factor in collateral source payments when calculating your award.
Understanding the way a jury decides on an award amount in personal injury cases could be a challenging proposition. With that being said, during settlement negotiations, you need to work with an experienced attorney that could give you valuable insight on the defendant’s behavior, how juries approach cases like yours, and the specific of your claim.