There is no certain way to identify the average settlement for a car accident claim for multiple reasons. Perhaps most importantly, this is because no two car accidents are exactly the same. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), there were more than 6.7 million car accidents in the United States in 2018 alone. A variety of considerations played a role in the outcomes of the accident claims that resulted from these accidents.
For instance, certain factors could increase or decrease the value of a prospective personal injury claim. Settlements will vary based on accident liability, your medical expenses, insurance policies and procedures, and more.
While it may not be possible to adequately evaluate average settlement amounts, the good news is that it is possible to obtain an assessment of your potential claim. Speaking with an attorney offers you the best chance to identify the value of a potential car crash settlement.
What to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement
A potential car accident settlement is not best understood in terms of a single dollar amount. Instead, there are many different types of compensation you could obtain through a car accident settlement. Each of these types of compensation could be worth different amounts.
- Medical expenses. Medical bills make up a large part of most car accident claims. According to 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), crash injuries amounted to $18 billion in medical costs over victims’ lifetimes in the United States. The cost of medical treatment can be extensive. Serious injuries could result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, if not more.
- Property damage. As the cost of motor vehicles increases, the price of repairing these vehicles increases as well. Property damage claims are typically several thousand dollars. For luxury vehicles, these claims can be much more.
- Pain and suffering. Unlike many other types of compensation, pain and suffering damages are subjective. These losses may track with the cost of medical care, however.
- Lost wages. The value of a lost wages claim depends on what a person was making prior to their injury. These claims could recover not only the wages lost before filing a suit but any long-term effects on compensation as well.
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Factors That Could Impact Settlement Amounts
There are many factors that can raise or lower the potential settlement value of a car accident claim. Some of these factors include:
Whether or not the at-fault driver is covered by insurance will play a major role in the amount of a potential accident settlement. Private insurance will pay for vehicle accident claims based on the terms of the victim’s insurance policy. When the at-fault driver lacks insurance coverage, the likelihood of a fair settlement offer drops drastically.
What’s more, some insured drivers have limited amounts of liability insurance coverage. In other words, they may carry limited coverage to pay the costs of someone they hit and injure. Insurance companies only have an obligation to pay up to the maximum coverage levels for an injury claim.
When your damages are more than the policy limits, you may be able to pursue the at-fault driver for the remainder, depending on the insurance procedures of your state. It may be difficult in this situation to obtain the full value of your claim.
The Severity of Your Injuries
How severe your injuries are will obviously play a part in the value of your claim. The more severe your injuries, the higher the cost of your medical bills. What’s more, serious injuries are more likely to lead to substantial lost wages and pain and suffering claims as well.
Your Financial Circumstances
Not every injury victim is in the same financial position. Insurance companies, on the other hand, typically have the resources needed to delay paying out a claim. If you are in dire need of compensation right away, you could have to weigh that with getting the settlement offer you deserve. While many claims will be settled, obtaining a fair offer can be time-consuming.
Liability is central to a successful car accident claim. To recover a verdict at trial, you must demonstrate that the other driver involved in the crash was negligent. If liability is not at issue in your accident, it may be easier to obtain the compensation you deserve. However, a settlement might be harder to come by if there is a question of which party was responsible for the crash.
Discuss a Car Accident Settlement with an Attorney
While general information regarding the basics of a car accident settlement can be helpful, you deserve more information about your case. The good news is that the attorneys at Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can review your case and advise you on what your claim might be worth. If you are ready to learn about more than the average settlement for a car accident, call (317) 743-7971 to schedule a free consultation right away.