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Is It Worth It? 5 Real Life Settlement Payouts for Personal Injury

Personal injury lawsuits can win essentially any figure you can imagine. You may see an article reporting a huge multi-million dollar settlement won in court. However, your neighbor might tell you she was awarded $1,500 for pain and suffering following a car accident. The personal injury picture can be confusing. To help make sense of the possibilities, here are five real world examples from Muller Brazil case files to help you understand how much to expect for a settlement. Every situation is unique of course, and if you would like some guidance on your personal injury, reach out to Muller Brazil for a free evaluation.

how much is a personal injury case worth

What is included in a personal injury settlement?

Personal injury settlements generally include two categories of “damages” – 1. Economic (i.e. wage loss, medical bills, and other things to which you can assign a dollar amount) and 2. Pain and suffering.  The following are some examples of what our personal injury lawyers were able to help our clients gain from their situations:

Case #1: $250,000

The victim was a young man who suffered broken lumbar vertebrae following a motorcycle accident. His injuries required back surgery. Due to his recovery, he missed several weeks of work.  

In this case, the pain and suffering far outweighed the economic damages (his wage loss). As a young man working only part time, he was not earning a high hourly wage, therefore the wage loss only amounted to around $4,000. Thus the award was comprised almost totally of compensation for pain and suffering. 

Case #2: $500,000

The victim was a woman who slipped and fell on ice at a convenience store. The woman suffered a fractured leg and broken ankle, which required two surgeries to repair.  

Again in this instance, the settlement was mostly compensation for pain and suffering. As you can see, pain and suffering is not limited to the initial trauma following an accident.  Surgeries usually lead to a painful recovery period and are often difficult post-surgery physical therapy.  Therefore, broken leg injuries or slip-and-fall cases that require surgery can drive settlement values upwards. 

Case #3: $190,000

The victim suffered a broken pelvis after being struck by a bus. His injuries did not require surgery, but he did participate in physical therapy for several months to rehabilitate his injuries.  

The damages, in this case, included mostly pain and suffering (do you see the theme?)  Although the victim suffered a bone fracture, similar to the prior examples, his injuries were not so severe to require surgery or a long recovery period. Therefore the settlement warranted a lower amount compared to the previous two cases.

Case #4: $100,000

This case provides a good comparison to the three prior examples. The victim was a passenger in a vehicle during an auto accident. The victim’s injuries were just as severe as the first two victims – she suffered broken bone injuries requiring surgery, and a long and painful road to recovery.  So why was her settlement significantly lower?  

The answer is bad luck.  In this case, the other driver (the person “at fault” for the victim’s injuries) had only $100,000 in accident insurance coverage. Therefore, the maximum recovery the victim could win was $100,000. In rare situations, there are ways around the insurance “limits” but generally, you are stuck with their policy. 

Learn more about the timeline for an auto accident settlement.

Case #5: $4,000,000

Clearly this personal injury case settled for a large sum. However, less than $150,000 of the sum was dedicated to pain and suffering. So how did the settlement get so high?

In this case, economic damages far outweighed the pain and suffering. The victim required a “life care plan” which is a plan created by an expert to account for future needs and medical expenses. The victim, in this case, needed physical therapy visits for the foreseeable future, a wheelchair, and many other accommodations to her home to allow her to live in comfort.  As you can see, pain and suffering are not always the whole story. 

 Settlement amount for personal injury

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If you have questions about the potential value of a personal injury case, please contact us for a free case evaluation. 


Meet the Author

Paul Brazil - Founding Partner

Paul Brazil is a native of Dunmore, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Dunmore High School. For his undergraduate education, he attended Bloomsburg University where he majored in political science. He then went on to earn his JD from Widener University School of Law. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Brazil worked at a large Philadelphia civil defense firm where he litigated workers’ compensation claims and Heart and Lung Act cases.

Learn more about Paul Bazil