While you are dealing with hospital bills, insurance claims, and trying to find a new car or repair the one that was damaged in the accident, you probably feel overwhelmed by the whole situation. You may well want to know how much to expect from a car accident settlement if this is the situation you’re in.
Finances are a burden when you’ve got a ton of paperwork that you don’t understand, signing every highlighted line and hoping your lawyer was doing his best work when getting you financial reward after a motor accident. As difficult as everything seems, taking a step back and examining everything a little more slowly can provide you with some clarity that will help you know just how much you are entitled to after your accident.
Average Settlement Amounts for Auto Accidents
Determining average settlements is no easy task, as every case is unique. There is, however, a basic guideline to expect, depending on various circumstances.
- $10k – $25k for minor injuries
- $50k – $75k for injuries that are long-lasting and require surgery or physical therapy
- $75k – $100k for spinal injuries
- $100k – $250k for brain injuries
Settlements for debilitating injuries such as severe brain injuries or paralysis which require daily assistance can increase the compensation paid after a car accident to hundreds of thousands or even millions.
There are some insurance policies, however, which have limits. The other driver may have had insurance, but it is possible that their company will not compensate the full amount because of their limit. If your settlement is worth $20k, you may only receive compensation after an auto accident of up to $10k. For the other portion of the money, you will have to directly sue the other person.
Factors Which Affect Your Car Accident Settlement’s Worth
The compensation after a car crash can vary based on several factors. Depending on who was harmed in the accident, the damage the vehicle received, whether you sustained physical and permanent injuries or you experienced further suffering after the event, and your medical bills all impact the settlement you could receive. Indeed often people are under the misapprehension that a settlement will only cover your vehicle’s damage, and indeed you do stand to win a higher settlement because of longer-lasting injuries or the missed wages you had to face on account of your recovery period and indeed the property damage sustained.
How Much Can I Get for Whiplash?
When it comes to car accidents, whiplash is a very common injury. Due to the delayed symptoms and perhaps the difficulty in documenting them, making a claim for whiplash could prove tricky. To ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve, you have to document your symptoms as best you can before suing and have a carefully documented medical record. Your personal injury lawyer and law firm should be able to provide the best advice in a case like this and also give you a sound idea of the average car accident settlement that similar accident victims have been awarded including the types of injuries.
As mentioned earlier, whiplash is considered a minor injury and the average settlement ranges from $10k to $25k. More often than not, for moderate cases of whiplash, the amount ranges between $2k and $10k. In cases where the injury is severe and requires ongoing treatment, it may even go as high as $30k.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Pain and suffering involve any distress that comes as a consequence of being injured in an accident. It can mean several things:
- Physical pain, be it temporary or long-lasting
- Emotional and psychological disorders
- Physical disabilities
There are several ways you can calculate pain and suffering; the simplest way is by totaling your bills – medical expenses, therapy, lost wages, and vehicle damage. These are called special damages, but they are separate from your personal pain and suffering, which falls under general damages. They are all important things to take into account when considering compensation after an auto accident.
In order to calculate pain and suffering as accurately as possible, you must first determine under what category it falls under: current, or current and future. The first category describes pain and suffering until the conclusion of your medical treatment. The latter covers any pain and suffering that extends into the future. As you’d expect, your claim will be higher for this category.
Attorneys and insurance adjusters calculate pain and suffering by using the multiple method, which means they take your special damages and multiply it by anywhere from 1 to 5 times, based on how serious your case is. For whiplash cases, the multiplier will likely fall between 1 and 3. With broken bones, it would probably be between 3 and 5. For severe injuries it may go even higher than 5.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Employing the services of a car accident lawyer can greatly help you receive a fair compensation and it will also give you a good idea how much to expect from a car accident settlement, which will very likely exceeds the amount the insurance company would offer you if you were on your own. A good lawyer will present every detail regarding your case to the insurance company or a judge and they may bring up certain information that you would have missed if you were the one doing the negotiations.
The insurance company will offer you the lowest possible amount as settlement – that’s how insurance companies work. Insurance adjusters may even try to prove that some of your treatment was unnecessary, or that you were in fact able to go to work. A good lawyer knows how to handle these situations and will help you take every necessary measure to protect yourself if you have suffered injuries in an auto accident.
To maximize your settlement, you will need to do more than just submit a claim through the insurance company. A lawyer will try to persuade the insurance company that they should take a closer look into the matter. An investigation may be initiated, and your lawyer will negotiate the settlement with the insurer.
You may not have to file a lawsuit in order to get a settlement payout for your injuries, as your lawyer and the insurance company may reach an agreement. If they don’t, the matter can continue in court. A car accident attorney is essential for your case and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement? We Get you the Highest Possible Car Accident Settlement!
To ensure that your claim is the highest possible, documentation is essential. Write down everything about your injuries and the discomfort you are facing or go see a therapist who can record your psychological effects. Any receipts you can provide or even testimony from friends and family who can corroborate your claims will help you with your claim.
Settlement claims can be tricky. Each case is unique, so attorneys and insurance adjusters need to examine every aspect of your accident when calculating your claim. You should prepare yourself for a few setbacks, but if you are diligent with your record keeping, things will be easier.
Here’s a really useful infographic from collisionsciences.ca
(image c/o https://collisionsciences.ca/)
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