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Types of Personal Injury Settlements

A personal injury settlement is the award that is made to the injured victim in a personal injury matter. Tort laws apply to personal injury cases, and they serve to protect and shield persons from civil forms of misconduct on the part of another party, whether intentionally conducted or performed due to negligence. Settlements in personal injury suits are typically awarded for an injury that has a component of bodily harm. However, personal injury suits can technically include any type of invasion of a person's interests under the law and are thereby not restricted to purely physical harms.

Types of Personal Injury Settlements

There are several scenarios and situations that may result in personal injury settlements, namely:

  • cases of nursing home abuse
  • "slip-and-fall" injuries
  • automobile accidents
  • workplace injuries
  • toxic substances or materials injuries
  • dog bites
  • pharmaceutical drug injuries
  • medical malpractice injuries
  • cases dealing with wrongful deaths

Obviously, in the latter, wrongful death cases, it is the decedent's heirs, dependents, or beneficiaries who are most likely the parties who will receive the personal injury settlements if they meet applicable eligibility requirements.

Negotiated Settlements (Out of Court)

The majority of personal injury settlements are negotiated outside of the courtroom in a series of telephone calls. More specifically, these settlements result from negotiations conducted between the defendant's insurance company and the injured party or his representatives. Not surprisingly, in personal injury settlements, the defendant's insurance company's goal is to extend the lowest possible compensation offer to the injured person. Accordingly, it is usually prudent for an injured person to have the assistance of legal counsel available for negotiating personal injury settlements to best protect and maximize his or her interests.

Structured Settlements

A structured settlement is one in which an injured party receives compensation that is either the result of negotiated agreement or a court order. That compensation is intended to serve as an award for injuries and damages over a time period, rather than in one lump sum amount. The actual value of a structured settlement must be reviewed and analyzed to determine how it impacts the overall average amount of personal injury settlements. Structured settlements impact personal injury settlement averages.