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How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

Personal Injury Claims, Insurance Payouts, And Damages For Plaintiffs In California

If someone else's negligence caused you injuries, the negligent party is considered liable for all the expenses and losses you suffer. The most common example of this would be a car accident, where the negligent driver would be regarded as responsible for any injuries, property damages, and other out-of-pocket expenses you have. This process is very common in insurance payouts.

However, what happens in a Personal Injury settlement in California, and how does it differ from insurance payouts? How are you paid, how much is it, and who pays for it?

Let's talk about California Personal Injury Laws, as they are often handled by California Personal Injury Lawyer:

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What Are The Payout Options for Personal Injury Settlements in California?

After getting into an accident, the negligent party will need to compensate you for your losses. These days, people don't have to pay out of pocket. They just need to call their insurance provider to deal with your damages.

However, some insurance offers are simply not enough. You need to remember that insurance companies are businesses, and it is in their interest to give you the lowest possible payout.

So, when the negligent party or an insurance company refuses to give you the payout you deserve, you can file a Personal Injury Claim in California.

In most cases, getting a California Personal Injury Lawyer before the insurance company calls you is the best course of action. Leaving them to speak with your California Personal Injury Lawyer should shield you from any underhanded tactics that might lead you to agree to unfair payouts.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid?

There are two ways to get paid for your personal injury settlements in California. This includes:

1. Negotiating Personal Injury Settlements

You consent to dismiss your lawsuit when you accept a private settlement. However, a formal legal claim may be sufficient to compel defendants into settlement discussions. Your California injury attorney will pressure the defendant to make a reasonable settlement offer using the data and proof found in your claim and obtained through discovery.

2. Proceeding With A Trial for Your Case

Some defendants will not agree to a settlement or make insufficient offers to compensate you for the full degree of your damage. You can go to trial if you're unhappy with the offers you've been given. However, remember that trials typically take significantly longer and cost substantially more.

It's crucial to keep the prospect of a trial in mind when selecting your first legal representative. It would be best if you had a California injury attorney who has won cases in court and has expertise in litigating. Defendants could be more willing to offer a just settlement if your California personal injury lawyer is known for being a fierce adversary in court.

A judge or jury can determine whether you deserve compensation and how much you should get at trial. You or the defendant may appeal either the judgment or the award.

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What Is The Average Personal Injury Settlement In California?

Personal injury settlements in California can range from USD 15,000 to USD 50,000. The range is wide because personal injury claims can vary from case to case. Sometimes, a lawsuit can go up to millions of dollars, especially for catastrophic injury claims in California.

The point of damages is to compensate an aggrieved party. The payout is meant to get the plaintiff back in a state before the accident happened. For example, if you suffer property damage due to the accident, the negligent party should compensate you for the total losses caused by the property damage.

That said, what are the types of losses that you can be compensated for? Here are the three types of damages you might be paid:

1. Economic Damages

These are quantifiable damages. These damages could include:

  • Medical expenses

  • Medications

  • Hospital bills

  • Property damage

  • Lost income

  • Lost earning potential

Economic damages are often easy to prove with receipts, invoices, and other documents. However, economists and other specialists can provide the required monetary values if these documents aren't available. For example, you can have an economist look at your current earning capacity and calculate your potential to earn based on work performance and possible promotions.

2. Non-Economic Damages

These damages are considered "intangible". This is because they're much harder to quantify, but these losses and damages could still significantly affect a plaintiff.

Non-economic damages could include:

  • Emotional Distress

  • Psychological trauma

  • Loss of companionship

  • Loss of the enjoyment of life

It is impossible to put a price on someone's suffering. However, compensation for these damages can help alleviate a plaintiff's mental well-being and help them recover from the accident.

Since these damages often need to be proven and justified, getting a California Personal Injury Lawyer will help you build a solid case for all your losses.

3. Punitive Damages

These damages are often rarely given. Instead, they are primarily awarded for especially egregious situations.

Punitive damages are handed down as punishment to the negligent party, often as a way to teach them a lesson. These don't have to be tantamount to any economic or non-economic losses you have.

california personal injury attorney

Personal Injury Claims allow accident victims to fight unfair payouts. The defendant, their insurance company, and their legal team might try to trivialize their negligence or your injuries to deny or reduce your damages.

Getting a California Personal Injury Lawyer is your best bet against these underhanded methods. is a California Bar Association-Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a prescreened California Personal Injury Lawyer best fit to handle your case. Contact us on our 24/7 lawyer referral hotline at 1-661-310-7999 or complete our inquiry submission form for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.

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