If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, you will likely have to file a Billings, MT personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for damages. If you were in this situation, you likely want to know how much you can expect to receive in total compensation. There is no single answer to how much someone will receive in a personal injury settlement or verdict. Each case is different, and there are various factors that affect settlement amounts.

What affects the payout amount in Montana?

Most personal injury claims are settled out of court and not at trial. Because of this, jury verdicts tend to be more unpredictable than settlements. An attorney will generally be able to gauge how much a case will be worth based on past patterns of similar cases. There are certain variables that can lead to larger insurance settlements or jury verdicts.

Type of injuries. Generally, the severity and nature of the injuries will have the most impact on how much a person receives in compensation. More serious injuries will likely lead to higher medical bills, more lost income, and additional damages. This means that there will likely be a higher settlement or jury verdict.

Insurance limits. The limits of an at-fault person’s insurance policy can affect settlement offers. Insurance companies are not going to make a settlement offer that is over their policy limits, even if they know the case is worth more than their limits.

Does having an attorney help a personal injury case?

Having an attorney on your side for these cases can significantly increase your chances of a favorable settlement for a personal injury case. Most individuals do not have the resources or experience necessary to stand up to insurance carriers or legal teams. A personal injury attorney will have the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation and to negotiate with all parties involved to reach a higher settlement.

Should you negotiate your settlement?

In many cases, insurance companies will move quickly to offer a settlement, particularly if they know they will likely lose a case. It can be tempting to take an initial settlement offer, especially if you have medical bills piling up and are unable to work and earn an income. However, in these cases, having patience may pay off in the long run. In general, those injured due to another person’s negligent actions receive higher settlements if they refuse an initial offer and instead choose to negotiate.

Should you file a personal injury lawsuit?

It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit if the at-fault party’s insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement. In some cases, just threatening a lawsuit may result in the insurance carrier offering a higher settlement. Working with your attorney, you will have to make the decision about whether or not filing a lawsuit will be necessary. As we mentioned above, most personal injury cases are settled out of court. There is no guarantee that you will end up with a high jury verdict by going to trial. You could even lose a case and end up with no compensation at all.

You should work closely with your attorney in order to determine whether to negotiate a settlement or to take a case to trial.