How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?

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October 12, 2019
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How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?

How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?

Injured accident victims have lots of questions. The questions are aimed at the same point: How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?  This “how much?” question is the most pressing issue our clients have. And it should be. As daunting as the situation seems as a whole, if you take a moment to step back and examine the matter a little more slowly, you can find some clarity and know just how much you deserve after your accident.

How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, your insurance or the other driver’s coverage might be responsible for compensating you for injury and damages. Or you have collision coverage on your own vehicle and the crash was your fault, the insurance company will pay a certain amount to fix your car. If the cost to repair the damages is more than the value of your vehicle, the insurance company may consider your car totaled and give you a lump sum based on how much it’s worth.

When the wreck was caused by another driver’s negligence, his or her insurance company should compensate you for any losses, damages, pain and suffering. The sum that the company offers may be much lower than you expect. It’s easy to get reimbursed for funds that you’ve paid out. First, let’s be clear. We cannot give you an exact answer. It’s challenging to put a fair price on pain and suffering.

Average Auto Accident Settlement Amounts

It is difficult to determine average settlements, as each case is unique. However, this is a basic guideline to expect, based on various circumstances.

  • $10,000 to $25,000 for minor injuries (soft tissue damage or whiplash)
  • $50,000 to $75,000 for long-lasting injuries that require surgery or physical therapy
  • $75,000 to $100,000 for spinal injuries (not resulting in paralysis)
  • $100,000 and $250,000 for brain injuries (cognitive impairment, loss of brain function, requiring surgery)
  • For debilitating injuries such as paralysis or severe brain injuries requiring daily assistance, settlements can cost well into the hundred-thousands or millions

Unfortunately, some insurance policies have limits. While the other driver may have had insurance, their company may not compensate the full amount you are due because of their limit. They will give you as much as they can to a point. If your settlement should be worth $20,000 but they will only give up to $10,000, that may be all you’re granted. You would have to sue the other person directly for the other portion of your due settlement.

Factors That Affect How Much Your Car Accident Settlement Is Worth

The settlement amount you receive for your car accident could vary based on several factors. Depending on

  • what or who has been harmed in the accident
  • damage solely to the car, if you sustained physical injuries
  • if you experienced further pain and suffering after the immediate event

You could either receive a settlement that only covers the cost of your vehicle’s damage or you could be granted a higher settlement due to long-lasting injuries and/or compensation for the time you could not work due to your recovery.

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering involves the emotional distress brought on after you’ve been injured in an accident. Several facets of distress fall under the pain and suffering umbrella:

  • Physical pain, both temporary and long-lasting
  • Emotional and psychological disorders (depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc.)
  • Physical limitations (disabilities)

Calculating pain and suffering can be done through several means. The simplest option: Total your bills, between medical expenses, therapy bills, lost wages, and vehicle damage. These are considered Special Damages. However, this is not the only method you can use, as those bills are separate from your personal pain and suffering, which are General Damages.

To accurately calculate your pain and suffering, you must determine what category your pain and suffering falls under: Current pain and suffering, or current and future pain and suffering. The first includes your pain and suffering until the conclusion of your medical treatment. The second extends into the foreseeable future. As would be expected, your claim will be higher for current and future pain and suffering.

Lawyers and insurance adjusters calculate your pain and suffering by using the multiple method. In this case, they take your Special Damages and multiply it anywhere from 1 to 5 times, depending on the seriousness of your case. In a case involving whiplash, your multiplier may fall between 1 and 3. With broken bones, the multiplier would be 3 to 5. Severe injuries like brain damage warrant a multiplier of 5 or even higher.

Should you call a lawyer for my car wreck?

Working with a car accident lawyer can help you receive reasonable compensation that may exceed the amount that the insurance company would offer you on your own. An automobile injury attorney will help you present every detail about your case to the insurance company or a judge. He or she might bring up information that you would have missed if you did the negotiations yourself.

Reimbursement for your car repairs and medical bills will almost always be determined by the amount that you paid. The lawyer will help you negotiate an adequate settlement for pain and suffering.

It’s the insurance company’s job to offer you the lowest acceptable amount for a settlement. That’s how the organization makes the most of their own income and profits. An insurance adjuster may try to prove that you underwent unnecessary treatment. They may attempt to say that you were able to go to work.

If you want to maximize your settlement, you’ll need to do more than submit a claim through an insurance company. An attorney will help persuade the insurance company that they should look into the matter further. A lengthy investigation may be initiated, and the personal injury lawyer will negotiate the settlement with the insurance company.

You don’t always have to file a lawsuit to get a settlement payout for whiplash or another auto injury. The insurance company and your attorney may reach a suitable agreement. If they don’t, you may need to take the matter to court. A car wreck attorney can answer your questions about suing after a car accident.

Great Plains Auto Body Shop Omaha & Council Bluffs | Best Auto Body Shops Omaha & Council Bluffs, IA

At Great Plains Auto Body shop Omaha and Council Bluffs, we’re committed to giving you an unmatched level of service. As a company that’s been family owned and operated for more than 26 years, we’re dedicated to treating our customers as we would treat members of our own family. We’ll keep you informed throughout the entire repair process and make sure you’re satisfied when the job is complete. From estimating and detailing to collision repair and paint services, our ASE-certified mechanics and technicians make sure the job is done right and on time.



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