After a car accident, victims may suffer from serious injuries and face financial burdens from medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. One of the most common questions our firm receives from clients after a car accident is, “What determines how much I can recover after a car accident?” While each case is unique, there are several factors that are taken into consideration in order to help ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve.
The personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing victims and helping them determine the compensation they may be entitled to after a car accident. Call us today at (888) 533-0871 for a free case evaluation and initial attorney consultation with car accident lawyers near you.
What Is The Average Settlement Amount For A Car Accident?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average claim for bodily injury after a car accident in 2020 was $20,235. However, because each situation is unique and heavily fact-dependent, it is likely more helpful to speak with a car accident attorney near you than to research the averages. Your claim could be worth less than the average amount, but it could also potentially be worth much more.
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Settling Medical Expenses After A Car Accident
When you’re injured after a car accident and need treatment, there may be many tests, appointments, and prescriptions that are needed. Medical bills may also include emergency room visits, follow-up appointments, x-rays, crutches, and prescription medication costs, among others. All of these factors can impact the settlement of medical expenses after your accident.
After a car accident, there are many different expenses that an accident victim might have to incur. For example, there may be medical bills, damage to your vehicle or other property, and even lost wages from being unable to work. Importantly, expenses don’t only compensate victims for injuries that they have already incurred, but can also compensate you for future expenses, such as if your inability to work your job will continue into the future. Working with a car accident attorney is most likely the best way to calculate what expenses you could be eligible to be compensated for.
Average Car Accident Settlement By Injury
The amount of financial compensation that you could receive in your case depends in large part on what kind of injuries you have. Some of the more common injury types are listed below.
- Example Settlement for a Neck Injury: Neck injuries can be relatively benign, like minor cases of whiplash, but they can also be extremely serious and require many surgeries and extensive treatment to fix. A settlement for a neck injury could end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars in severe cases.
- Broken Wrist: As far as car accident injuries go, a broken wrist is potentially less serious than something like a Traumatic Brain Injury or a back injury. But they can still be a pain to deal with for accident victims.
- Pedestrian Accident: Injuries in a pedestrian accident can be very serious given the fact that pedestrians don’t have the protection of their own vehicle and typically bear the brunt of an accident.
- Auto Accident Injuries: Auto accident injuries may be as minimal as scrapes and bruises, but they can lead to a wrongful death case as well. The amount of a settlement will be vastly different in either case
- Compensation for Scars: Some forms of scarring or disfigurement can have an extreme impact on a victim’s life. In these cases, a victim could receive thousands of dollars in compensation for their scars.
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What Factors Affect The Amount Of Settlement?
A car accident may leave victims with physical, emotional, and long-lasting damages. When another person is responsible for a victim’s injuries during a car accident, they may be held responsible and have to pay for the harm they have caused. Some of the most important factors that determine recovery amounts from such circumstances include:
Statements and Reports
Eyewitness statements and police reports can help paint a picture of what occurred leading up to the accident, which party or parties may have contributed to causing the accident, and who should be held responsible for the damages. These statements can be used as one of several factors to help determine recovery amounts.
Degree Of Fault
Each state has its own laws on determining fault and how that fault affects recovering damages. In most states, even if you believe you may be partially at fault for causing the accident, you may still be entitled to recover money; however, this amount may be reduced depending on your degree of fault compared to the other party. Determining fault and recovery can be complicated, but an experienced car accident attorney can help navigate the process for you.
Degree of Care
In many cases, the degree of care that a driver displayed or failed to display during the accident will impact the recovery amount. For example, if it is heavily raining and visibility is poor, a diligent driver operating a car with appropriate care on the road would slow down and turn on their headlights. If a driver is found to have deviated from how other reasonable drivers on the road would have behaved in a similar situation, they may be found more at fault for the accident.
Each state has specific statutes, or laws, that determine how much money an individual can recover for their damages. For example, some states have a cap on the amount of damage that a victim of a car accident and their family may be able to recover for pain and suffering.
Severity of Damage
One of the most important factors in determining recovery amounts is the extent of the damages. This may include personal injuries, damage to your vehicle, and time taken off of work. The exact damages that are recoverable are unique in each case, but because of their importance in determining recovery, they are further broken-down below.
How To Calculate Car Accident Damages
Without knowing the type and severity of your injuries, it is difficult to be able to give a surefire way to calculate car accident damages. However, car accident damages generally come from two main sources.
Economic damages are financial payments for the tangible, objective losses that a victim experiences. For example, medical bills, damage to property, and lost wages from being unable to perform at your job fall under this category. Non-economic damages represent compensation for the pain and suffering that a victim experiences as a result of their injuries.
In certain cases, there may also be another source of compensation in the form of punitive damages, which exist not to make the victim whole again, but to deter the kind of conduct that caused the accident in extremely reckless or intentional cases.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me Get A Fair Settlement?
Our car accident personal injury attorneys are here to help walk you through every step of the process. If retained, they will ensure you receive proper medical treatment, investigate the accident, interview witnesses, collect crash reports, negotiate with the insurance company, file a lawsuit, and prepare to go to trial if necessary.
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury lawyers can help you determine the damages you are entitled to by examining and weighing the factors listed above, such as the extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, how severe are your pain and suffering, the value of your lost wages, and the expenses related to the damage of your vehicle.