How Much Should You Expect From a Car Accident Settlement?
If you were recently in a car accident, your first thought might be to how much a settlement may be worth? Although there is not a universal amount paid for every car accident, this is useful information to know in deciding whether or not to proceed with a lawsuit. Knowing what type of settlement to expect after an accident helps people decide on consulting an experienced car accident attorney to assist them in negotiating with the insurance companies and other parties involved.
The Full Extent of Your Damages
Asking how much you should expect from a car accident settlement is in truth asking what the full extent of your damages are. The amount of your settlement is determined by a variety of damages, not a simple dollar amount.
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Lost wages
- Loss of employment
High damages refer to injuries suffered that are either permanent or caused you to no longer be able to perform your regular duties. For these reasons, high damages are the most valuable in a car accident settlement. Depending on how severely the injuries affect your ability to work, compensation may include past and future wages.
General damages cover pain and suffering, which is also commonly associated with car accidents. Pain and suffering as a legal term covers a long list of conditions. This may include emotional trauma, psychological impacts, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, loss of companionship, and physical pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering can last a person’s entire life, especially in the case of injured hips or spines.
Punitive damages are not present in every car accident settlement. The judge orders punitive damages and seeks to punish the other party by making them pay a fine, in both the interest of justice and as a deterrent to future similar acts by others. This is especially common in cases of drunk driving and where negligence is present.
All of these damages combined contribute to your final compensation for a car accident. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure the most compensation for your damages.
How Much Can I Expect?
If you’re still interested in finding out how much to expect from your car accident settlement, there are some average settlement statistics available. As a general rule of thumb, the more serious your damages and injuries, the higher the dollar amount of your claim. In rare cases, injured parties may receive millions of dollars for injuries such as spinal cord injuries that come with a lifetime of issues. However, settlements are usually between $14,000 and $28,000, with a high end of $31,000 for average car accidents in which individuals sustain average injuries.
It is difficult to calculate what a potential settlement may be worth based on averages alone. A variety of factors influence the final outcome of any specific case. Any settlement comes from the amount your own insurance pays and the amount the other driver’s insurance pays. This is whether or not the car is a total loss, if negligence is present, and from pain and suffering. Most of these damages are straightforward to prove, such as medical bills and car repair bills. However, it is difficult to put a price on pain and suffering.
Should I Call a Lawyer?
You would call a doctor to vouch for your ailments and missed work days. Why wouldn’t you contact a lawyer to vouch for your car accident injuries? If you want to maximize your settlement, it’s wise to consult with an attorney. An attorney will know how to best negotiate with insurance companies and know what factors will affect your case. In addition, a lawsuit may not always be necessary and a lawyer can help you reach a settlement faster.