Personal Injury Claim Timeline & Average Payout Amounts for 2021

by Laura Schaefer   ·  3 years ago  

Wondering if it’s worth filing a personal injury claim to recover money for medical bills or lost wages? If you’re hurt in an accident, knowing whether it’s worth your time and effort to file a claim is crucial. Why bother if it’s going to take too long or the payment amount is lower than what insurers typically offer?

The good news for someone like you is that the personal injury claim timeline moves faster than you might think. What’s more, the average payouts are probably higher than you might have guessed. Read on for the details.

How Long Does Settling A Personal Injury Claim Usually Take?

According to the National Center for State Courts’ 2015 Civil Justice Report, it takes just over a year to settle most PI claims. To be more specific, approximately 3 in 4 cases settled in 372 days or less, on average. However, about half the PI cases filed reach a settlement agreement in just under four months (113 days).

How Much Money Can You Get?

About 1 in 5 tort cases are personal injury claims for payments above the limit allowed in small claims court. (The highest small claims court settlement that’s legal in all 50 states is currently $10,000.) Among that personal injury claim subset, about 57% end up ruling in the plaintiff’s favor.

When averaged across all personal injury claim types filed in the United States, the median payout is about $31,000. While that amount may not fully compensate for all your pain and suffering, it typically covers all your medical bills.

Filing a Medical Malpractice or Product Liability Injury Claim

Payouts tend to be much higher for plaintiffs with medical malpractice cases. A personal injury claim in this category may involve asbestos exposure or product liability litigation.

Winning asbestos plaintiffs in state courts received an average $309,000 settlement payment, according to current statistical data. That makes it the highest-paying personal injury claim type for those who win. Medical malpractice cases are a close second, with verdicts averaging $286,000 apiece in the 75 largest counties.

If your case goes to trial, the average personal injury verdict award in 2019 was $7,416,300. Those who settled out of court in 2018 received an average of $100,000 per claim.

To see a current list of product liability lawsuits against harmful products, faulty medical devices and dangerous drugs, visit

Premises Liability Claims Involving Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Slip-and-fall injuries cause more than one million emergency room visits annually, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. In 2019, falls were the second-leading cause of deaths, and the #1 cause of preventable deaths in Americans aged 65-74. Of those, 13,200 accidental fall deaths happened in public places. For public slip-and-fall cases (also known as premises liability), recent data shows the median punitive damages each plaintiff receives is $33,000. The maximum amount is around $160,000, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Selected Findings report. However, those estimates are for cases settled out of court. If your case goes to trial, the average jury awards payouts ranging from $169,902-$1.3 million, depending on your injury’s severity.

If you slip and fall at work, the average workers’ comp payout totaled $47,516 in 2018. Studies show the average hospital bill for unintentional falls was more than $36,000 in 2015.

How Much Is the Average Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim?

The possibility that a dog will bite you or your child goes up on a yearly basis. Why? Because more people become dog owners every year in the United States. Currently, people in more than 63 million homes keep more than 78 million dogs as pets. About 4.5 million people suffer dog bite injuries each year, and most are children or senior citizens. Among those bitten, 885,000 have injuries that require medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nationally, the average dog bite personal injury claim rose more than 162% between 2003 and 2020. At the state level, California residents file the most dog bite claims each year in the U.S., followed by Florida. If your dog bite injury’s covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, the average payout in 2020 totaled $50,245. But what about dogs whose owners don’t have coverage? Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay all your own medical bills — unless you get a good lawyer!

Related: What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For You

Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author ofThe Teashop Girls,The Secret Ingredient, andLittler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at and