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How Much Is a Typical Car Accident Settlement?

October 12, 2021 By Flora Templeton Stuart

At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we are often asked, ‘How much will I get for my case?’. The amount you are awarded in a car accident settlement is based on several basic factors: liability (other party at fault), extent of property damage, medical treatment/injuries, insurance company you are dealing with, and the amount of insurance available to collect. However, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to develop your case with liability and medical treatment and negotiate your settlement can be the biggest factor in how much you receive for your claim.

What’s In This Guide:

How Much Is a Typical Car Accident Settlement?

After a road accident, money is the main priority for any victim. After all, even if you experienced minor injuries, you’ll still deal with hospital bills, car repair or replacement, and a severe interruption to your personal and career life.

If you’ve never filed an insurance claim or hired an attorney before, you may not know what to expect or the auto accident settlements you’re entitled to. You may receive an offer from the insurance company, but where do they get that number? It doesn’t just materialize from thin air!

As you and your family struggle with piling bills and ever-increasing needs, you’re left to wonder, “How much is a car accident settlement? Should I accept what the average settlement the insurer is offering? What if the amount isn’t sufficient?”

Typically, the car accident settlement amount to expect depends on your accident’s unique circumstances. You’ll get a realistic idea of the approximate compensation injured crash victims can expect from a claim on this page.

Where Does the Average Auto Accident Settlement Come From?

After a car accident, compensation for the resulting injuries and property damages will come from your coverage or the other driver’s insurance. If you have collision insurance coverage on your car, your insurer will pay the BlueBook value for your car before the wreck or the other party’s insurance if you’re not at fault. If the repair costs are higher than its value, they’ll consider your car totaled and offer a lump sum according to the actual value.

If another driver’s negligence caused the wreck, their insurance provider should compensate you for any damages, losses, injuries, pain, and suffering. The skilled negotiators at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers can increase the total value of your settlement. The first offer is usually increased.

What Settlement Should I Expect from A Car Accident?

image of settlement

If you’ve sustained injuries in a crash where the other driver is at fault, they’re obliged to compensate all the damages you’ve suffered as a result. These damages fall into the following three categories:

Economic Damages

These damages relate to the quantifiable losses and expenses evident through receipts, bills, and other critical documentation. This includes ER and therapy bills and losing workdays for recuperation and continuous treatment. These damages may include:

  • Current hospital bills– After the crash, you likely required an ambulance ride to the emergency room, surgical treatment, hospitalization, physician’s appointment, medication, therapy, and other healthcare needs. You can be reimbursed if you provide proof that you covered all these out of pocket.
  • Future healthcare expenses– If you need future therapy, in-home care, or therapy, the anticipated costs can be appraised and added to the claim.
  • Property damage– If your car or personal belongings were damaged or lost, you also deserve compensation for repairs and replacement. You’ll select your preferred repair shop and never allow a tow truck company or insurance adjuster to do it for you.
  • Lost wages– If you have severe injuries, you’re probably off work. Timesheets, pay stubs, letters, and emails from your employer can verify your standard wages and the days you’ve not worked due to the crash.
  • Future lost earning potential and wages– If the accident forced you to modify your work responsibility and no longer serve the same role, you could be compensated for lost earning potential.

Non-Economic Damages

While the above economic damages have a swarm of numbers and trail of proof, pain and suffering don’t. Placing a price tag on a victim’s and their family’s emotional distress after the traumatic incident is not easy.

Non-economic damages address the emotional aspect and are only available to those who can prove their hurt. Attorneys understand how catastrophic and overwhelming these non-economic losses are.

The damages often cover the costs of:

  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive Damages

Occasionally, accident victims are granted punitive damages in some instances of obscene negligence. Also called exemplary damages, these aren’t for directly compensating victims. Instead, they’re aimed at punishing the at-fault party for their reckless behavior. Driving while intoxicated in Kentucky and Tennessee is the most common.

In Kentucky, there is a $25,000 minimum for punitive damages. The greater your accident-related medical bills the higher the settlement. Our team has often collected $25,000-$50,000 more for cases without serious injury but good medical treatment and liability insurance.

How Car Accident Settlements Are Calculated

Insurance providers don’t use a specific formula to calculate the average settlement amount. If you’ve sustained damages to your vehicle, your reimbursement will depend on your insurance policy limits.

Compensation for pain and suffering only occurs when there are injuries, so ensure a physician examines you immediately even if there aren’t any apparent injuries. Injuries like whiplash don’t reveal themselves until several days. So if you’ve taken long to be treated or negotiated the settlement already, you might receive compensation.

If you need a rough estimate of the anticipated settlement, you can sum up your medical care costs, lost income, and car repairs or replacement, then multiply the number by three. For instance, assuming you hurt your leg in an accident and paid $3,000 in hospital bills and lost $2,000 in income. In this case, your average settlement might be $15,000.

More severe injuries or permanent bodily harm attract a generally higher settlement. You’ll also pay more if the at-fault motorist was driving while intoxicated.

Notably, the other party’s insurer has a policy maximum that limits your injury claim. If the insurance company has a limit of $10,000 in Kentucky & Tennessee and you are offered these policy limits, you can often collect more from your underinsured policy.

Factors Determining the Average Settlement Amount

Several factors determine accident settlement to expect. These include:

  • Injuries severity– A compensation should be directly proportional to the severity of a victim’s injuries. Therefore, severe and long-lasting injuries attract higher car accident settlements.
  • Financial losses– Since the compensation also covers your financial losses, you’ll likely receive a higher settlement amount if you experience more significant financial implications.
  • Your local laws– All states aim to compensate accident victims fairly, but subtle differences in regulations between them can affect our claim’s value.
  • The obviousness of fault– Your claim’s strength can determine what you receive. If the other party is more obviously at fault, you’ll receive a higher accident settlement.
  • The available insurance policies– The responsible party must have the resources to compensate for a claim. With a more robust insurance policy, you’ll likely receive a higher settlement. Furthermore, specific coverage and insurance policy limits can affect an accident settlement.
  • The insurance adjustor you deal with– The insurance adjustor in charge of your case may be generous or stingy. At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, we refer our clients to quality physicians for good treatment records.
  • The type of medical treatment you receive– Whether you need surgery or care from specialists, the extent of treatment will impact your final settlement.
  • Any preexisting or other conditions unrelated to the accident– Previous injuries or conditions can cast doubt on whether the accident itself directly caused the injuries listed in your claim.

To maximize your settlement, build the evidence and prepare an aggressive legal strategy. You must formulate a strong case by developing tangible evidence, interviewing witnesses, and getting a more robust legal position using the legal process.

Contact Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers Today

If you’ve suffered injuries and property damage in a car accident, you must act quickly. Typically, you must file the case within the deadline set by your local statute of limitation. For instance, Tennessee residents have one year to file their personal injury claims, while those from Kentucky have a two-year statute of limitations.

Reaching out to a car accident attorney can simplify the process and ensure minimal distress. This is your best shot at getting adequate compensation to cover your damages and recoup the precise pain and suffering value.

So reach out to us for a case evaluation today and speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Author Photo

Flora Templeton Stuart

Flora Templeton Stuart is the lead attorney and founder of the law firm Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, established in 1976. She is a nationally recognized personal injury lawyer with over 40 years of experience. Her story has been featured on Fox, The New York Times, ABC, Time, and NBC.