Personal injury settlements are the only way to adequately compensate a person who has been injured due to the negligence or intentional conduct of another person or entity.  The law in Michigan has specific factors that judges and juries can use to determine the type of compensation that can be awarded to a victim.  The amounts vary on a case-by-case basis and no two cases are the exact same.

What is the “Average” or “Typical” Settlement for an Injury Case?

Many people like to search for “average settlement amounts” for a specific case type to get a better idea of how much their own case is worth.  While a search result may provide such an average, this should not necessarily be considered as the proper settlement in your case.

Insurance companies and lawyers do not use averages to negotiate settlements.  Every case is completely different with respect to liability, injuries, and insurance coverage so there is rarely ever an “apples to apples” comparison.  Settlement amounts also differ between states and even amongst counties located in the same state.

The best way to learn more about your settlement amount is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.  Our award-winning lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. will evaluate your case for free.  Once we investigate your case, we can provide you with a recommended settlement amount.

How is a Personal Injury Settlement Amount Calculated?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a settlement calculator, but if there was it would not be very accurate.  A calculator does not have feelings or emotions, so it could not possibly factor in the proper compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These are some of the many factors that go into determining the settlement amount and it takes the skill of an established personal injury lawyer to explain these damages during the settlement process.

Certain factors, like medical bills and lost wages, are easily determined and can be calculated as part of the total settlement.  However, the major factor in all settlements is pain and suffering damages.  This is compensation for the physical and emotional harm suffered by the victim.  These damages must be proven through medical records, testimony, and other evidence.

Examples of Michigan Injury Settlements

  • $5,000,000 judgment against a negligent driver who struck and severely injured a motorcyclist. The motorcycle rider is permanently disabled from work and requires lifetime medical care.
  • $1,800,000 settlement for a Detroit truck accident client who sustained a serious brain injury after being struck by a semi-truck on the highway.
  • $1,600,000 settlement for a wrongful death case in Oakland County, Michigan for the estate of a pedestrian who was struck and killed in a car accident by a corporate vehicle.
  • $1,400,000 settlement for a lead-poisoned child with behavioral problems and learning difficulties. He lived in a HUD government-subsidized apartment building at the time of his poisoning.
  • $1,375,000 settlement for a woman who suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed in a rear-end auto collision in Detroit, Mich.
  • $1,200,000 settlement for a client whose hands were crushed in a press on the job. Many of the safety features were disabled by the employer.
  • $1,100,000 settlement for an experienced motorcycle rider who suffered catastrophic injuries, including a brain injury and numerous bone fractures, when a truck forced him into oncoming traffic in Detroit.
  • $1,000,000 judgment for a woman against a negligent driver for serious injuries suffered in a Michigan bicycle accident.

How Are Settlements Paid Out?

Settlements are usually paid out by the issuance of a settlement check to the law firm and the client.  The law firm is required to deposit the check in its trust account and will then issue a check to the client for his or her share of the proceeds.  Typically, the attorney’s fees and expenses and all liens are paid out from the trust account and the client is paid a check for the amount after those deductions.

There are occasions when settlements are paid with a structured insurance policy.  These policies are purchased with settlement funds and paid out to the plaintiff at specified dates over time.  Structured settlements are often used in cases for minor or those involving substantial amounts.

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

The general answer is “no,” as long as the payment is for physical pain and suffering, emotional damage, and psychological harm.  The emotional and psychological damage must generally be related to some type of physical injury to make it non-taxable.  It is wise to speak with your tax preparer about this issue but most likely you will be advised that you do not have to pay taxes on your personal injury settlement.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement?

There is no specific time frame for getting your settlement.  Some cases settle quickly because of limited damages or limited insurance coverage for a case with big damages.  Most cases do take some time because it is necessary to get all medical records and to fully evaluate the case before even beginning settlement negotiations.  If an injured person is still actively treating, it is often best to wait until treatment is finished before demanding a settlement so the full extent of the injuries is known.

If a lawsuit is filed, the amount of time will vary based upon the case scheduling order set by the judge.  Some courts set long schedules and others set short time frames to promote quick resolutions.  This is on a case-by-case basis, but our attorneys will give you our best estimate for your case.

Once your case is settled, the insurance company will send us a Release of All Claims.  We will review it and then send it to you for signing.  After it is executed and sent to the adjuster, we should receive your check within thirty days.  Many times, it is even much faster.

Find Out About Your Settlement from Our Michigan Injury Attorneys

To find out how much of a settlement you should receive from your personal injury case, contact our experienced lawyers today.  We will evaluate your case and will tell you if you qualify for a settlement.  If you have a case, we will start working on it immediately.

Our law firm does not charge any legal fees unless you win a settlement.  There are no costs or obligations to get started.  Call us now for your Free Case Review!

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