How Much to Expect From a Car Accident Settlement?
In the aftermath of a car accident, the potential settlement amount can vary significantly, typically falling within the range of $19,000 to $1,000,000. If the accident resulted in injuries, you can generally expect a settlement value of approximately $29,700. Conversely, in cases where there are no injuries, the anticipated settlement amount tends to be around $16,700.
These amounts aren’t set in stone because each case is different, and there is no such thing as an average car accident settlement amount. The actual value of your case depends on several key factors, such as your medical expenses, lost wages, who’s at fault (liability), and the damage to your property and vehicle.
So whether you’re dealing with minor injuries or severe damages, understanding the factors affecting car accident settlements can make a significant difference in securing the compensation you deserve.
Factors That Affect Car Accident Settlement
When it comes to car accident settlement amounts, several crucial factors can impact the outcome of the total value you may receive. Thus, these factors include the following, such as:
1# The Severity of Injuries
Severe injuries result in higher medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, and long-term disabilities. This can significantly increase or decrease the compensation you may receive in a car accident settlement.
For example, the settlement value is higher if you suffer serious injuries and lower if you suffer minor injuries. Some car accident injuries that tend to lead to large settlements include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Herniated disc injuries
- Chronic pain
- Neck and back injuries
- Serious concussions
- Nerve damage
- Airbag injuries
Average Settlement Amounts for Bolidy Injuries
Here are examples for your reference of how much compensation you can expect for bodily injuries:
- $11,000 for neck and back injuries
- $85,000 for herniated disc injuries
- $20,235 for any common physical injury
Average Car Accident Settlements in New York for Different Accidents
Here are some amounts that you can expect in car accident claims:
- $900,000 in New York rear-end accident
- $865,000 in NY city truck accident
To increase your chances of fair compensation for serious injuries, consider filing a personal injury lawsuit and talking to a car accident lawyer. Insurance companies may attempt to provide low settlements, but having a personal injury attorney can help you secure the proper compensation, whether your injuries are minor or severe.
2# Medical Expenses
The severity of your injuries directly influences your medical expenses. If your injuries are more severe, your medical expenses will likely increase. For example, if you suffer from traumatic brain injuries, then your medical costs will increase, and you need more compensation for your recovery.
You can take into account the higher medical bills due to:
- Immediate medical care
- The need for ongoing treatment
- Occupational and physical therapy
- Medical equipment expenses
- Long-term or temporary disabilities
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Any future medical treatments and related expenses
Additionally, make sure to consider the copays and deductibles you’ve already paid before you get medical treatment. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your car accident lawyer to review these costs, as it can help ensure you receive a fair settlement for your case.
3# Property Damage
In a car accident, property damage refers to the harm done to vehicles and any personal property due to the collision. Property damage can be a significant factor in determining the settlement amount. There are various aspects that you can consider, such as:
Vehicle Repair Costs: This includes both labor and parts required for the repairs. If the vehicle is deemed a total loss (i.e., the repair costs exceed the car’s value), the settlement will depend on the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV).
Appraisal and Assessment: It may involve taking the vehicle to a repair shop for a detailed inspection or using specialized software to estimate the repair costs.
Diminished Value: If a vehicle is repaired, it may lose some of its market value due to its accident history. This is known as diminished value. The at-fault party’s insurance company will pay you for this loss.
Rental Car Expenses: If the damaged vehicle is in the repair shop for an extended period, you can rent a vehicle. These costs are also included in the settlement if the rental is necessary due to the accident.
Towing and Storage Fees: If your car is towed from the accident scene or stored in a lot, these fees are part of the claim. The responsible party’s insurance may cover these costs.
Personal Property Damage: This involves compensation for damaged electronics, clothing, or other personal belongings like a phone or laptop.
Aftermarket Modifications: If the damaged vehicle had any aftermarket modifications, such as custom rims, stereo systems, or other enhancements, you can add these to your settlement.
4# Lost Wages and Income
When a serious injury hinders your ability to work, temporarily or permanently, it becomes a critical factor in determining your settlement value. It includes:
- Regular salary, daily wages, or overtime pay
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Inability to support yourself and your family
How to Prove Your Lost Wages or Income?
To claim compensation for lost wages and income, you must provide documentation to support your car accident claim. This may include:
- Pay Stubs: Your recent pay stubs can help establish your baseline income before the accident.
- Employment Records: Providing records of your employment history and job responsibilities can prove the impact of your injuries on your ability to work.
- Doctor’s Notes: Medical documentation from your healthcare provider is crucial to confirm the extent of your injuries, the treatment plan, and any restrictions on your ability to work.
5# Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering you experience can also increase your settlement money. It is also called non-economic damages and includes anxiety, depression, PTSD, or mental health issues.
The extent to which the accident has affected your ability to do daily activities, work, and enjoy life can also influence the settlement amount. Moreover, your age and pre-existing medical conditions are a part of pain and suffering damages. For example, a younger person with no pre-existing health issues may receive a higher settlement award because their life expectancy is longer.
Note that these damages may not have a clear monetary value, like medical bills or property damage. Thus, you must consult your car accident attorney to help you get the amount you deserve.
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?
You can calculate your emotional distress damages by using two standard methods:
Multiplier Method: In this method, you can multiply your medical costs and lost wages by a specific number. This number ranges between 1 to 5. This 1 to 5 number shows the severity of your injury and how much it impacts your life. For instance, if the severity of your injury is at number 4 and your medical bills or lost income are up to $80,000, then you’ll get $320,000 ($80,000 x 4).
Per Diem Method: A daily rate is assigned to your injuries, and then this daily rate is multiplied by the days you experience pain and suffering due to these injuries. For example, if you stayed in the hospital for 200 days after your accident and the daily rate is $800, then the amount you will get is $160,000 ($800 x 200).
6# Negligence of Other Party
Negligence of the other party can significantly impact the car accident settlement amount you receive. If the other party is entirely responsible, you will likely receive a higher settlement.
In many states, drivers are required to have liability insurance, which can cover your expenses if the other driver is at fault. However, this coverage is limited to the specific amount stated in the policy. If your expenses exceed this limit, the insurance company can’t cover the extra costs. In such situations, you have the option to take your car accident case to court. Your personal injury attorney can help you in pursuing your claim in court to seek fair compensation.
Minimum Liability Insurance in New York
New York laws require drivers to carry liability insurance. The minimum requirements of liability coverage in NYC are as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury of one person
- $50,000 for the death of one person
- $50,000 for injury of two people
- $100,000 for the death of two people
- $10,000 for the harm to property of others per accident
7# Liability in Car Accident
Liability plays a crucial role in influencing a car accident settlement. If the liability is clear, then you will likely get a higher amount, but if the liability is unclear, then you will either receive no payment or get a low amount.
However, if the liability is shared between multiple parties, it can significantly impact the car accident settlement amount you may receive. According to the N York state laws, if multiple parties are at fault, the following rules come into play, such as:
Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
Under this rule, if you’re primarily at fault for the accident, you can seek compensation. For instance, if another driver is 30% at fault and you’re 70% at fault, you can still recover 30% of your damages.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
Under this rule, there are two variations:
50% Bar Rule: If your fault is less than 50%, you can recover damages. For instance, if you’re 40% at fault, you can recover 60% of your damages.
51% Bar Rule: In the 51% bar rule, you won’t be able to recover damages if your fault is equal to or greater than 51%. If your fault is 50% or less, you can recover damages.
8# Laws in Your State
The state laws and regulations can also impact your settlement amount. In no-fault states such as NY, you have to rely on your own insurance company to cover your damages or injuries. For this purpose, your insurance company would require you to have personal injury protection (PIP), from which you can expect around $10,000 for your damages.
However, in the at-fault states, you depend entirely on the at-fault driver insurance coverage or insurance company. You can also file a lawsuit if your accident occurs in a fault state to seek compensation for your losses.
9# Reliable Legal Assistance
Seeking the assistance of a personal injury lawyer on your side can make all the difference in receiving the right compensation. Here is how an attorney plays a vital role in influencing the settlement amount you truly deserve.
Gathering Evidence for a Strong Case
A car crash lawyer knows the importance of evidence in negotiations. They will collect and analyze evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and accident scene photos to build a solid case on your behalf.
Working with Experts to Strengthen Your Case
To further strengthen your insurance claim, a personal injury attorney collaborates with accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and other professionals who can provide invaluable insights into the accident’s cause and your injuries.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance adjusters can be tricky, but a car accident lawyer is a buffer between you and the insurance company. A lawyer knows the tactics of insurers to undervalue your claim and can counter them effectively.
The Settlement Process
An experienced lawyer initiates the auto accident settlement process by sending a legal demand letter to the insurance provider outlining your personal injury claim and the damages you seek. They will handle counteroffers and negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair settlement.
Find Out Your Car Accident Settlement Worth with Uptown Injury!
At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, we’re not just a law firm; we’re your advocates, support, and voice during the toughest times. We know the pain, confusion, and frustration that follow a car accident, and we want you to know that you’re not alone. We’re here to help, to guide you, and to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
With more than 15+ years of experience, our team of car accident lawyers understands the struggles you’re facing because we’ve seen it countless times. We’ve secured $100 million for our clients in personal injury claims.
Our commitment to you is to:
- We’ll take the time to listen to your story and understand your unique situation, ensuring your case is approached with the compassion and attention it deserves.
- Our New York’s best car accident attorneys will relentlessly pursue your rightful compensation for medical bills, lost wages or income, and pain and suffering. Because we believe you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.
- We’ll guide you through the complex legal process and make it as straightforward and stress-free as possible so you can concentrate on healing.
Your journey to a just settlement begins with a conversation. Contact us today, and let us provide you with a clear understanding of your case’s worth and what you can expect. Also, you can call us toll-free at 917-540-8728 to schedule a FREE OF CHARGE consultation.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Yes, hiring a car accident lawyer is highly recommended, especially if you’ve suffered injuries or extensive property damage. An attorney can protect your rights and navigate the complex legal process to make sure you get fair compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
In New York, you have to file your lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. It’s essential to act promptly and consult with a lawyer to avoid missing the deadline.
Can I Recover Compensation if I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Yes, you may be eligible for compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, in comparative negligence states, your compensation may be reduced due to the percentage of your fault.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit?
It can take between several weeks to months or years to settle a car accident lawsuit. However, the duration of a lawsuit varies depending on the case’s complexity and the parties’ willingness to negotiate. Some accident cases settle quickly, while others can take months or even years to resolve.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, prioritize your safety and seek medical attention for injuries. Report the accident to the police, gather evidence, exchange information with the other driver, and contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Can I Negotiate a Car Accident Settlement on My Own Without a Lawyer?
While it’s possible to negotiate a settlement on your own, having a car accident lawyer can increase your chances of getting a fair and favorable outcome. A lawyer has experience dealing with insurance companies and understands the legal complexities involved.