What is the Average Payout for a Car Accident Injury?
A car accident injury has the potential to shape the rest of your life. In the wake of an accident, you might not even realize how far-reaching your medical conditions and injuries can be. It can be hard for you to even imagine when you'll be able to go back to work or what tomorrow might look like, making it all the more difficult to determine more future issues, such as the average payout for a car accident injury.
Of course, there are many different factors that can influence the average payout for a car accident injury but doing your own research can help prepare you to meet and sit down with your personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Since there are so many unique factors that could influence the outcome of your case you want to make sure you're working with a law firm that has extensive experience in personal injury. You need to be prepared to come to the initial consultation to discuss all the critical factors of your case with you, such as how many other vehicles and drivers were involved, the diagnoses you have already received from your medical provider, and any expenses you have already incurred as an accident victim. While no attorney can promise a particular outcome in your case, it can likely give you a range of potential compensation that you may be entitled to in court. The amount that you are entitled to could be different from your actual accident settlement. This makes it all the more important to retain the services of an experienced personal injury law firm to negotiate a fair settlement for you or to prepare a comprehensive case for trial.
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, you are likely coping with emotional stress, insurance payment issues, and medical bills. A car accident settlement can assist you with reimbursing you for the funds you have had to pay out as a result of your treatment and can also help make up for psychological or physical trauma, the cost to replace your vehicle and other expenses like lost wages.
What Is a Car Accident Settlement?
If you have recently been hurt in a car accident as a victim, your insurance policy or the other driver's insurance carrier may be accountable for paying you for damages and injuries. If you hold collision protection on your own car and the wreck was caused by you, the insurance carrier will pay a specific amount to repair your car.
If the estimate to fix your damages is greater than the full vehicle value, the insurance company might consider that your car has been totaled and offer you one payout based on its value. However, in many serious car accident cases, the victim sustains substantial injuries that extend far beyond the cost of replacing a car.
Some of them could be dealing with medical bills in the tens or hundreds of thousands. If you are suffering injuries as a result of another driver's negligence, their insurance carrier should pay you for damages, losses, pain, and suffering. But the total that that company offers as a car accident settlement could be far less than what you expected.
It is much easier to get paid back for funds that you have already spent but it is much more difficult to pin a reasonable cost on pain and suffering, which is why you should retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with this aspect of your case.
How Can I Maximize My Settlement?
Reimbursement for your medical bills and car repair will almost always be determined by the amount that you have already paid out. Working directly with a dedicated car accident lawyer can support you and increase your chances of recovering fair compensation beyond what an insurance company would pay you on your own.
This is because your automobile injury attorney will evaluate each aspect of your case and make a compelling argument to the insurance company or in court on your behalf and can often identify details or information that you might have missed in presenting the case yourself. The insurance company often represents their best interests in a claim by looking for all ways to minimize settlement amounts.
If you plan to increase your chances of a fair settlement, you'll need to go beyond simply submitting your claim. You'll need to be prepared to engage the services of a lawyer to convince the insurance company that they must evaluate this matter more deeply. A comprehensive investigation could be started by the insurance company as a result of this and your personal injury lawyer will then handle settlement talks with your or the other party’s insurance carrier.
What’s Reasonable to Expect Post-Accident?
For a minor injury, you might recoup the funds you’ve already spent on going to the doctor. This could be a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. If you had to pay out of pocket because your health insurance company didn’t want to cover anything associated with a vehicle accident until the claim was handled with the insurance carrier for the vehicles, you might be able to get the money back that you spent on medical care.
But what if your injuries and expenses go far beyond that? What if you’ve been seriously hurt in a wreck and can’t simply quantify future medical expenses? In those cases, you must be prepared to fight back against the insurance company or to recognize when your future expenses go beyond what your insurance carrier would cover.
A judge takes into account numerous different factors when evaluating car accident settlements that go to court. One guideline for determining a settlement amount is thinking about a total that is approximately three times the amount of your medical bills. However, with so many different factors at play, it's important to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who knows the lay of the land and can help advise you whether this number should be raised or lowered based on your personal experience. Judges look at things like the length of therapy, type of injury, treatment plans, the severity of the wreck, and loss of income.
A settlement can usually only be offered when the medical treatment has already been completed for the injuries in question. Permanent injuries, however, will certainly influence the amount of compensation that you could be entitled to receive. If you are working with your insurance carrier after a vehicle accident and they continue to contact you to ask for updates, make sure you tell them that you are still going through the process of medical treatment so that you don't accidentally settle for less than you deserve.
Calculation of Car Accident Settlements
There is no exact formula used by the insurance industry to determine the average car accident settlement amount. If only damage to your car is in question, you will likely only be reimbursed based on your policy limits.
Pain and suffering compensation, however, can only be given when you have been seriously injured in an accident so you need to make sure to get medical attention as soon as possible after the crash has occurred even if you don't believe that you have been hurt. Bear in mind that some injuries associated with car accidents like whiplash might not be immediately present after you have been hurt.
If you want to get a basic idea of how much you could potentially get from a vehicle accident settlement, add up your car repairs, lost wages and medical bills and then multiply that amount by three. You can then bring this to the offices of your personal injury lawyer during an initial consultation to discuss whether or not this is fair and reasonable.
With so many different factors at play, you should also be aware of the fact that the average car accident settlement amount in the United States is around $19,000. This might come as a surprise to you. Wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases, such as those involving loss of sight, spinal cord injuries, severe burn injuries, wrongful death settlements, fractured back or paralysis, and TBIs can lead to more substantial injuries.
Make sure that you have gone to all medical appointments after your car accident and continue to bring all of your medical records to the offices of your personal injury lawyer so that he or she can accurately fight hard on your behalf for the recovery that you deserve.
When to Hire a Lawyer
You should not try to fight the insurance companies on your own. Instead, you should be prepared to work with a law firm right away. In the best-case scenario, your lawyer might be able to get you an above-average payout for a car accident settlement early on in the case by telling a compelling story on your behalf about how the accident has influenced you. You also want to have the peace of mind provided by a dedicated injury lawyer when you have to take the case to court to fight for the average payout for a car accident settlement or even more than the average payout.