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California Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples (2024)

California Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples (2024)
Marc Karlin

The term “personal injury” can refer to any incident in which one party suffers harm because of the actions of another party. The victim has the right to file a civil suit against the defendant, seeking compensation for the financial losses they suffered from the incident. Under state law, the victim has the right to expect full recovery of their economic losses along with compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced.

If you or a family member recently experienced any type of personal injury, you must identify the party responsible for causing the injury before you can recover compensation for your damages. Most personal injuries happen because of negligence, or failure to use reasonable care in a specific situation. However, it is also possible for a personal injury to happen from intentional misconduct.

Claiming Compensation in a Personal Injury Case

Once you prove fault for your personal injury, you can proceed with claiming compensation for all resulting damages. For example, if you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you likely have grounds to claim compensation for vehicle repair costs, medical bills, and more. However, accurate calculation of these losses is essential to build your case, and an attorney’s assistance will be invaluable when it comes to maximizing your recovery.

The total value of a case award can fluctuate based on several factors, but the majority of plaintiffs will be eligible to claim compensation for:

  • Medical bills, including future medical treatment costs for serious injuries requiring ongoing care.
  • Lost income, including lost future earnings, if the victim will be unable to return to work in the future due to the severity of the harm they suffered.
  • Property damage, such as the cost of repairing a home, vehicle, or replacing other personal property damaged or destroyed by the defendant.
  • Pain and suffering compensation, awarded to reflect the severity of the physical pain and emotional distress the plaintiff experienced because of the defendant’s actions.

The average plaintiff may be able to calculate immediately noticeable damages like hospital bills and vehicle repair costs, but assessment of their long-term economic losses and determining pain and suffering compensation is more difficult. Other variables, such as shared liability or punitive damages, may also change the potential value of a personal injury suit.

Ultimately, every personal injury case is unique, and there are many ways for any given case to unfold. No matter what type of personal injury you experienced, the right attorney is the optimal asset you can have to navigate your proceedings as successfully as possible and increase your chances of maximizing your final case award as fully as California law allows.

FAQs About California Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Calculated?

Under the state’s personal injury statutes, the defendant who caused a personal injury is liable for the full extent of associated damages. These are likely to include economic losses such as medical bills, property damage, and lost income. Additionally, the plaintiff can seek compensation for projected losses, such as any medical treatment they will need in the future, as well as lost future earning capacity. Finally, the plaintiff also has the right to claim pain and suffering compensation. For comprehensive legal advice in such cases, it’s advisable to consult an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

The total value of your personal injury case hinges on the extent and severity of the damages you suffered. You have the right to claim full repayment of your immediate and future economic damages as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. Other variables can also influence your case, such as the potential to receive punitive damages if the defendant broke the law in causing your injury, or a diminished case award if you share fault for causing your damages.

How Does Comparative Fault Affect a Personal Injury Claim?

California upholds the pure comparative fault rule. This means that if a plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their claimed damages, they lose a percentage of their case award to reflect this shared fault. There is no threshold of fault that bars the plaintiff from recovery as exists in states with modified comparative fault rules. Under the pure comparative fault standard, the plaintiff’s fault percentage is the percentage deducted from their case award, whether they are found 1% at fault or 99% at fault.

What Happens if a Personal Injury Is Fatal?

If the victim of a personal injury dies, their family could have grounds to file a wrongful death suit against whoever caused the death. A wrongful death suit is effectively a replacement for a personal injury claim when the victim does not survive. There are special rules in the state regarding eligibility to file a wrongful death claim and the damages the plaintiff may claim from the at-fault party.

How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?

If you intend to seek pain and suffering compensation from the defendant who caused your personal injury, it is possible to base the amount of compensation on the overall severity of your injury or the time it will take you to reach maximum medical improvement. Attorneys generally use the per diem method in the case of the latter, calculating an appropriate amount of daily compensation and then multiplying this by the number of days the plaintiff takes to recover. When a plaintiff has suffered severe harm, their attorney is more likely to aim for a larger lump sum, calculated by multiplying the plaintiff’s economic damages by a factor that is usually one to five.

The right personal injury attorney can help navigate your case with more confidence. Karlin & Karlin have years of experience helping clients recover from all types of damaging incidents, from car accidents and slip and fall accidents to dog bites and all manner of catastrophic injuries. If you believe another party is responsible for your personal injury, we will help you hold them accountable. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how our team can help you recover.

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