The primary goal of personal injury settlements is fully compensating victims for financial losses suffered due to another person’s negligence. Next, these settlements address other losses such as embarrassment, pain and suffering, and disabilities from the accident in question. Curcio Law Offices has experience negotiating favorable settlements for all types of personal injury cases. As personal injury lawyers, we’re often asked questions about what the average permanent injury settlement amounts are for specific case types.
Because each client and case is unique, nailing down an average personal injury settlement amount can be difficult. However, an experienced personal injury attorney at Curcio Law Offices will know which specific factors to account for when determining an expected average settlement figure for clients.
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence and need help evaluating your case, call Curcio Law Offices. Our talented team of super lawyers in Chicago, IL, can look over your permanent injury claim and determine whether you have a solid case.
What is Considered a Permanent Injury?
A permanent injury is an injury that will never go away. These are injuries that, as of now, have no cure. This means that accident victims who have sustained a permanent injury will suffer the consequences of the at-fault party’s actions for the rest of his or her life.
Ongoing mental or physical damage is typically considered a permanent injury or permanent disability. This type of injury limits the victim in work, leisure, and self-care activities for the rest of their life.
Common Permanent Injuries
Common examples of permanent injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Complete or partial paralysis
- Spinal cord damage
- Severe burns
- Loss of limb
- Back injuries
- Joint injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Disfigurement and visible scars
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of hearing and vision
If you and your Chicago personal injury attorney establish that another person’s negligence left you with a permanent effect or “residual injury,” it may significantly increase your damages, as average personal injury settlements are higher when the injured person is permanently disabled.
How to Prove a Permanent Injury
Permanent injuries and long-term injuries are not the same. So if you take legal action or file a claim with an insurance company, you’ll need to prove that your injury is permanent and will affect you for the remainder of your life.
Maximum Medical Improvement
After receiving treatment for your injuries, there is a point where your condition will not improve further. This is called maximum medical improvement (MMI). Your physician determines when you achieve MMI.
When determining permanent impairment ratings, physicians use the American Medical Association (AMA) Guide of the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Your injuries may be considered a permanent or partial disability. An injury is considered permanent if it is not completely healed when you reach MMI.
In addition to your medical provider, other experts may provide information about the effects of your condition, such as your earning ability.
Discuss MMI with your attorney and learn how MMI affects your case.
Document Your Residual Injury in Your Medical Records
Speak with your doctor about documenting the possibility of a residual or permanent injury in your medical record. Include this information when you file a personal injury claim for your damages.
Independent Medical Examination
Often, insurance companies want an independent medical evaluation substantiating your injuries. Be sure to discuss this with your Chicago permanent injury attorney first. They’ll educate you about your rights during such an examination and what to expect.
How Much Should You Ask For in a Settlement?
When your legal team calculates the damages for your permanent injury, numerous factors influence payouts to injured persons.
This includes economic damages, such as expenses for past and future medical care. These damages are easily quantified and hard for insurance companies to deny. Non-economic damages are different because they are intangible and harder to prove. Litigation may be your only option to recoup your non-economic damages.
Factors that influence the compensation amounts for permanent injuries include the level of disability, amount of lost future wages, permanent scarring or visible disfigurement, the victim’s age, and pain and suffering damages.
How Much is Your Permanent Injury Worth?
A Chicago personal injury settlement attorney can help you prove the other party engaged in one or more acts of negligence which caused your permanent injury.
A victim may receive three main types of damages from a successful personal injury claim. Understanding these damages may help plaintiffs learn how much their permanent injury is worth in a civil lawsuit.
Special Compensatory Damages
These damages pay for tangible costs such as medical bills and lost wages. They are also known as economic damages.
The most expensive line item for permanent injury victims in terms of economic damage is medical bills. This includes physical therapy, diagnostic tests, treatment plans, prescriptions, and assistive devices. In addition, permanent injuries may send you to the emergency room or require an extended hospital stay.
The expenses associated with a permanent injury may cost you for years or even decades. Compensation for future medical expenses is one of the most necessary expenses in special compensatory damages for most personal injury cases.
Lost income is another financial burden that permanently injured victims face. While not every person is forced from their job by a permanent injury, many people struggle with lost wages on top of their mounting medical expenses. Salary records from your employer can demonstrate the amount of wages lost. The loss of a job also means losing benefits such as health insurance and a retirement savings plan. The at-fault party must compensate for these losses as well.
General Compensatory Damages
General compensatory damages are a form of non-economic damages. These are non-tangible and can cover damages such as pain and suffering and loss of the quality of your life. Many sufferers of permanent injuries deal with emotional distress and deserve compensation for the extra stress the permanent injury has caused themselves, as well as family members.
It’s hard to calculate a dollar amount for compensatory damages, such as pain and suffering; however, an experienced personal injury lawyer at Curcio Law Offices can evaluate your unique case and calculate the most fair figure to present to the judge or jury.
In addition to actual damages, in some cases, judges and juries award punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, to deter the defendant and others from the conduct that caused the injury lawsuit. Punitive damages both punish defendants for their negligent actions and set a public example.
While punitive damages aren’t awarded frequently, there are personal injury claims in which the compensatory damages just aren’t adequate because the defendant acted in a truly reckless and egregious fashion.
To receive this type of damage award, your injury attorney must prove that the defendant’s careless and reckless behavior directly caused your injury. A substantial award is possible if the defendant acted with malice and intentionally caused your damage.
The defendant may face criminal charges on top of the monetary damages.
Injuries Caused by Corporate Negligence
Corporate entities and government agencies usually have multi-million dollar insurance policies. These at-fault parties are typically involved in cases of Chicago medical malpractice, Chicago bus accidents, and Chicago defective products.
It takes time and resources to fight against a large corporation or government. Curcio Law Offices ligates permanent injury cases like this. We have the financial means to fund your case while gathering the evidence needed for a successful outcome. Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay a penny unless we win financial damages for you.
When Limited Funds are Available
The type and amount of insurance coverage and the amount of damages may limit the compensation a victim can collect.
Auto Insurance Claims
When you are permanently hurt in a Chicago car accident, the at-fault driver’s liability coverage limits the amount you may recover. If you carry optional underinsured motorist coverage on your policy, you can make a claim once the other driver’s limits are exhausted.
If the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage, your provider will pay uninsured motorist coverage.
For accidents involving 18-wheelers, the drivers are backed by the company, and therefore larger semi truck accident settlements are available.
Workers’ comp rules vary by state regarding permanent partial disability claims. Typically, these claims payout in one large lump sum for permanent injury settlements. The sum doesn’t include pain and suffering, nor does it cover the full amount of lost wages.
On the other hand, workers’ compensation settlements are usually not taxable income.
How a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
You need the guidance of a skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer for your permanent injury claims. Your attorney can deal with the insurance companies for you and knows just how to find other payment sources or other parties liable for your severe injuries.
Talking to an attorney about your personal injury case is the best first step in your financial recovery. When you’ve been disabled or suffered permanent injury because of another’s negligence, you have the right to seek justice.
Our dedicated and experienced Chicago permanent injury lawyers offer a free consultation to establish an attorney-client relationship with injured clients. You can speak with our law firm about the value of your potential case. Call us today at (312) 321-1111 to set up an appointment.