What is the average settlement for a car accident involving injuries?

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Question:

What is the average settlement for a car accident involving injuries?

Answer:

This seems to be a very common question on the minds of people who come to this website. And it’s an understandable concern. Anyone who has been injured in a car accident wants to get an idea of what they can expect if they decide to make an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit.

But we can’t give you any reliable “average” or “standard” dollar amounts when it comes to car accident case settlements. That kind of information isn’t available, and even if it were, it actually wouldn’t be of much benefit to you. There are too many factors that change from case to case.  The only thing you should be concerned with is your case, and that means doing everything you can to ensure the most favorable outcome.

Here are a few key things to consider when you are trying to figure out what your car accident injury claim might be worth at settlement.

Is your medical treatment complete? Be sure that you’ve reported any symptoms of injury or other health problems to your doctor, and that you’ve received proper treatment. If you’ll need ongoing health care because of your car accident injuries (physical therapy, for example), make sure you have a thorough understanding of what that treatment will entail, and what it will cost. 

Do you have medical records and bills? Any injuries that could be attributable to the car accident must be “on the record” in terms of having been treated by a doctor. You want to make sure that, when it’s time to gather your health care records and bills together, you’re presenting a complete picture of your injuries and the treatment they required.

Is it clear who was at fault for the car accident? Make sure you have evidence to show that the other driver was to blame for the accident. This proof can come in the form of your own account of how the crash happened, witness statements, police reports, photographs, and statements from the other driver. 

When all is said and done, if the other driver is clearly at fault, the costs of your medical treatment (past and present) and your lost income will go a long way toward determining the kind of settlement you can expect.

For example, if your medical bills total $7,000 and your lost income is at $3,000, that’s $10,000 in total economic damages. Most settlements will include a “pain and suffering” or “inconvenience” component (unless you live in a “no-fault” state) which could be anywhere from one to four times the amount of economic damages. So, with $10,000 in economic damages, you might expect a settlement anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, but there are many additional factors that will influence the final number. 

by: , J.D.

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