What is the Average Car Accident Settlement Amount?

Being involved in a car accident can be extremely distressing. Between dealing with injuries, vehicle repairs, insurance claims, and lost income, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed.

One of accident victims’ most common questions is, “How much money should I expect from a car accident settlement?”

The answer depends on various factors specific to your case. An experienced car accident lawyer can thoroughly review your case details and provide guidance on arriving at a fair settlement.

This article explains how car accident settlements work, the steps in the settlement process, and what influences the payout amount.

Understanding Car Accident Settlements in

Car accidents are unfortunately common. When an accident occurs, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is typically expected to cover the expenses related to the accident. A car accident settlement refers to the payout that an at-fault driver’s insurance company offers to the accident victim. This settlement is meant to compensate the victim for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages and earning capacity, and other accident-related costs.

The settlement procedure commences when the accident victim, often with the assistance of a car accident lawyer, initiates a car accident claim against the insurance company of the driver at fault. The claim outlines the details of the accident, the resulting injuries, and the amount of compensation sought.

Average Car Accident Settlement Amounts Received?

One of the initial inquiries that crosses the mind of every car accident victim is, “What can I anticipate receiving for my car accident claim?” The typical car accident settlement sum can fluctuate significantly, contingent on factors such as the severity of injuries, the extent of necessary medical treatment, insurance coverage limits, and other case-specific elements.

However, most car accident settlements fall within $3,000 to $75,000. Here are some examples of average settlement amounts based on injury type:

  • Minor soft tissue injuries (whiplash, contusions, sprains): $3,000 – $25,000
  • Moderate injuries (broken bones, torn ligaments): $25,000 – $75,000
  • Severe or permanent injuries (brain damage, loss of limb): $100,000+
  • Wrongful death: $100,000 – $1 million+

Keep in mind that every car accident case is different. The value of your car accident claim will depend on the specific details and circumstances of your accident and injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer can review your case and provide a valuation estimate based on similar settlements and verdicts.

Factors That Might Affect Settlement Value

There are numerous factors that influence compensation you might receive for your car accident injuries, including:

  • Fault and Liability — Who was at fault? Did one driver cause the accident through negligent or reckless driving? Was fault disputed? Strong evidence of the other driver’s fault can increase your settlement.
  • Type and Severity of Injuries — Did you suffer minor soft tissue injuries or major trauma requiring extensive treatment? More serious injuries warrant higher compensation.
  • Medical Bills and Expenses — What are your current and estimated future medical costs due to the accident? Bills, receipts, and doctor records help verify expenses. Remember – Accidents don’t always show up right away. Watch out for the signs of shock after a car accident.
  • Lost Income — How much work did you miss due to accident-related injuries? Wage verification and pay stubs document lost wages.
  • Pain and Suffering — How have your injuries impacted your quality of life? Things like emotional distress and loss of enjoyment are considered.
  • Insurance Coverage Limits — Does the at-fault driver have sufficient liability coverage to fully compensate your damages? Low policy limits can restrict potential payout.

By calculating and documenting these different elements, an experienced car accident lawyer can create a demand package to start negotiating a fair and full settlement with the insurance company.

Car Accident Settlement Process

The typical settlement process involves these key steps:

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Get checked by EMS personnel at the accident scene. Follow up with your doctor promptly, even if you don’t have apparent injuries. Some symptoms, like whiplash, concussions, or internal bleeding, can take days to manifest. Medical records will be crucial evidence later.

Report the Accident

File an official report with the police detailing how the crash occurred and who was at fault. Get a copy of the police report, which will aid your claim. Also, report the accident to your insurance provider promptly.

Document the Accident Scene

Take photos of damage to all vehicles and the accident scene. If possible, get the contact details of eyewitnesses. This evidence can help prove the other driver’s liability.

Consult a Car Accident Attorney

Hire an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will handle correspondence with insurance companies while you focus on recovery.

Submit the Claim to the Insurance Company

Your attorney will submit your claim demanding damages to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The claim will include evidence like medical records, accident reports, and calculations of all expenses owed.

Negotiate Settlement Offer

The insurance company will likely make a low initial settlement offer. Your lawyer can negotiate firmly on your behalf to reach a fair settlement amount fully covering the damages. If you cannot reach an agreement, your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit.

Get Your Compensation

Once the insurance company agrees to a reasonable settlement, the funds will be paid out, your lawyer will take their fee percentage, and you’ll get the remaining compensation.

Typical Car Accident Settlement Timeline in

So when can you expect to receive your car accident settlement check? Every case follows a general timeline from accident to settlement:

  • 0-14 Days After Accident – Seek medical attention, report the accident to insurance companies
  • 1-3 Months After Accident– Treatment and recovery period, insurance investigation
  • 3-6 Months After Accident – Hire an attorney, send a demand letter/package to the insurance company
  • 6-12 Months After Accident – Negotiate settlement, insurance makes settlement offer
  • 1-2 Years After Accident – If negotiations fail, file a personal injury lawsuit
  • 1-3 Years After Accident – Case goes to trial if settlement isn’t reached

Of course, less complicated cases with minor injuries can be resolved much quicker. Serious injury claims often take longer to litigate. An experienced car accident lawyer will work to expedite the process and achieve a satisfactory settlement amount for you.

Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

An aggressive personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in getting maximum compensation in your settlement. Here is how an attorney helps:

  • Investigate accidents to prove other driver’s fault
  • Challenge any allegation that you were partly to blame
  • Gather evidence like accident reports, medical records, witness statements
  • Calculate all past and future accident-related damages
  • Handle negotiations with insurance adjusters
  • Take the case to trial if a fair settlement is not offered

Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront fees, and the attorney receives a percentage of your final settlement. This gives your lawyer an incentive to maximize your payout.

Car Accident Settlement FAQs

What should I do immediately after an auto accident?

After an auto accident, it is important to prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved. If you are able, move to a safe location away from traffic. Call the police to report the accident and seek medical attention for injuries. It is also recommended to gather information from the other party and any witnesses, take photos of the scene, and notify your insurance company.

How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?

The statute of limitations varies per state. Nevertheless, it is crucial to seek counsel from an attorney to comprehend the precise deadlines that may pertain to your case.

How long does a car accident lawsuit take to settle?

The time it takes for a car accident lawsuit to settle can vary. Some cases may be resolved within a few months, while others may take years to reach a settlement or go to trial. The timeline for a case is influenced by various factors, including the intricacy of the case, the willingness of the parties to engage in negotiations, and the court’s docket schedule.

How will insurance companies affect my car accident settlement?

Insurance companies play a significant role in car accident settlements. They may offer a settlement amount based on their claim evaluation or deny the claim altogether. It is crucial to have a car accident attorney representing you, as they can engage in negotiations with the insurance company and safeguard your paramount interests.

Get a Strong Lawyer and Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement

A car accident can turn your life upside down. The negligent driver should be held accountable. With professional legal representation,  car accident victims can recover the maximum compensation they are entitled to. Consult a car accident lawyer for a free case review and get the settlement you deserve.

Scroll to Top