Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts — No Injury
Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful and frustrating experience. Even if you did not sustain serious injuries in the collision, you may have suffered property damage, emotional distress, and lost time from work.
If so, it is reasonable to seek compensation for your losses. The law backs up car accident victims in this way, enabling them to file an insurance claim against the liable driver.
Every car accident case is unique, so settlement amounts vary greatly. The cause of your accident, the type of accident that occurred, and the extent of injuries you suffered are just some factors that will all come into play.
Below, we will discuss in greater detail various aspects of a car accident claim. We will then consider what factors typically affect your settlement amount.
The Type of Accident You Were Involved in
The type of accident you were involved in, for one, may affect your settlement amount. Certain types of accidents more often lead to life-altering injuries and significant vehicle damage. In general, you are eligible for a higher settlement amount for a more serious collision and injuries.
Minor car accidents
As it happens, a minor car accident or fender-bender can cause physical injuries, emotional stress, and vehicle damage. Even if you were not hurt in the auto accident, you are likely eligible to receive some sort of settlement.
A car accident settlement for a minor accident may be smaller than a catastrophic injuries case. Yet, settlements for even a minor accident can help you regain what you have lost. For example, you may seek compensation for your vehicle repairs related to the incident.
Rear-end collisions account for around 41.7 percent of all motor vehicle crashes. Depending on the circumstances of your crash and the speed at which you were hit, rear-end accidents can cause substantial damage. Your car may be totaled, even if you did not experience personal injury.
The average settlement in a rear-end collision is often higher than the compensation amount awarded for a minor accident. Essentially, your total compensation may depend on the severity of your financial losses.
T-bone car accidents
A T-bone accident or side-impact crash occurs most often in an intersection or when a driver is making a left-hand turn against traffic. A regular passenger vehicle simply can not absorb the impact of another car. Thus, a T-bone accident tends to result in considerable damage.
Car accidents involving passengers
Your car accident settlement could be impacted by whether or not you had passengers in your car at the time of the accident.
For one thing, it may be that your passengers, including children, sought medical attention after the accident or suffered some other type of loss. Circumstances of this sort could increase the overall value of your claim, and your settlement may be higher as a result.
What about liability involving a misbehaving passenger? Drivers are expected to drive in a responsible and safe manner, following all traffic laws, but when adult passengers act in a negligent, reckless, or otherwise distracting way, such bad behavior could contribute to an accident taking place.
If the actions of a passenger resulted in you losing control of your vehicle, then liability depends on the circumstances. For instance, the situation might have called for you, the driver, to take immediate action in order to prevent an accident. Failing to do so could result in you being found partially responsible for the crash. However, it’s also possible for your passenger to share liability or even be found solely responsible for what happened.
Thus, a passenger’s actions could negatively impact your car accident claim or lower your total settlement amount. On the other hand, the passenger who behaved badly could be found liable or share liability for what happened.
Potential Compensation in a Car Accident
Proper car accident compensation can be difficult to determine. All the contributing factors and damages in an accident must be carefully considered.
Car accident victims commonly seek compensation for:
- Economic damages: These include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any other financial losses resulting from the car accident.
- Non-economic damages: These encompass pain and suffering, emotional stress, PTSD, reduced quality of life, and other non-financial losses as a result of the auto accident.
- Punitive damages: These are imposed when the at-fault driver acted in an especially reckless or egregious way, serving as a form of punishment and a deterrent.
Car accident claims can be hard to navigate on your own. An experienced car accident attorney can help you gather evidence and establish the facts of your legal case. He or she will be able to assign a proper monetary value to your claim and assist you in reaching a fair settlement agreement for what you have gone through.
Additional Factors Affecting the Amount of Car Accident Settlements
Multiple factors may impact the average car accident settlement. When preparing to file a car accident claim, it is important to keep these, such as the following, in mind regarding your settlement expectations.
The other party’s insurance coverage
Drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage in most states. This coverage is intended to cover damages suffered by another driver or your passengers if you cause an accident.
The insurance company pays out compensation to victims when the policyholder is at fault for the car accident. Still, each insurance policy has a cap — the insurer will only pay up to the policy limits. If the victim’s damages exceed the amount of insurance coverage, the insurer will not pay the difference.
It is possible for a car accident victim to pursue a claim directly against the at-fault driver for losses not covered by insurance. Unfortunately, though, such a third-party claim usually doesn’t award much additional settlement money. Many defendants do not have the assets to actually pay for extensive damages, even if the court were to order them to do so.
Liability in the car crash
In some car accidents, it is clear what happened and which driver caused it. Other collisions are less straightforward and may even involve multiple negligent parties.
Accidents in which a driver admits fault and accepts responsibility are often the simplest to resolve. The motorist’s insurance company will likely present a reasonable settlement offer. Oftentimes, the insurer is hoping to avoid a car accident lawsuit.
When fault is unclear or disputed in a car accident, there may be no settlement offer. Or, the insurer may attempt to push through an extremely low settlement offer to try to put an end to the investigation and claim.
Being partially at fault for the car accident lowers how much compensation you can be awarded, though it is to be noted that some states have rules in place that may work in your favor. Under California’s comparative negligence rules, you can still seek compensation even when you bear some responsibility for the accident.
The severity of the injuries in the car accident
When the injuries sustained in a car crash are severe, this will impact the settlement amount. The cost of current medical bills, future necessary medical expenses, and additional pain and suffering may be counted as part of the settlement.
Further, the accident may have resulted in permanent injuries. The cost of loss of ability as well as ongoing medical treatment must be factored into the settlement agreement. High medical costs often result in notable settlement awards.
The financial losses resulting from the auto accident
The settlement in any personal injury case is intended to put the accident victim back where he or she was, financially speaking, before the incident. Any substantial financial loss will affect a typical car accident settlement.
A car accident can easily result in missing several days or more of work, resulting in lost wages. Medical bills, property damage, and other losses all have a negative financial impact on the victim and thus merit fair compensation.
Ways to Attain the Maximum Settlement Amount After a Car Accident
Car accidents can be scary and traumatic, even if you were not seriously injured. Understandably, in pursuing a car accident settlement, you are seeking a fair amount of damages. Ideally, you should get a compensation amount that will fully cover all of your financial and emotional losses related to the incident.
Taking the following steps will help you maximize your settlement amount after a car accident:
- Get a medical evaluation. Even if you don’t think you were hurt in the collision, it is a good idea to see a doctor after a car accident. A medical professional can check for any underlying injuries. He or she will also document the state of your emotional well-being after the crash.
- Gather as much evidence as possible. The more evidence you have against the negligent driver, the stronger your claim will be. Take pictures and video at the scene of the car accident. Get eyewitness contact information and statements, as well as a copy of the police report. Keep every receipt and bill related to the accident.
- Don’t post about your accident on social media. Anything you put on the internet stays on the internet. Insurance adjusters and others may misconstrue your posts in an effort to use your own words and pictures against you. A single post on social media could significantly diminish your settlement amount.
- Beware of what you say to the insurance company. The other party’s insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. The adjuster’s goal is often to pressure you into the lowest settlement agreement possible. Be careful how much information you reveal — and don’t be intimidated.
- Be patient as you pursue compensation. The first settlement amount put forward is rarely the best an insurance company has to offer. By patiently negotiating the auto accident settlement, you will most likely reach a more favorable compensation agreement.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through every step of your car accident settlement. He or she can evaluate the full range of your losses and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
All too often, accident victims go without the maximum settlement amount they deserve. The settlement process can be complicated and the unique circumstances of each auto accident can be confusing, but you can get qualified and affordable legal assistance.
Get the Help of an Experienced Lawyer in Resolving Your Car Accident Settlement
Being involved in a car accident is nerve-racking, whether or not you sustained serious injuries. Even if it was a minor accident, you deserve to be compensated for your vehicle damage and pain and suffering.
The personal injury lawyers at Harker Injury Law are ready to support you throughout the claim process. Our attorneys are adept at resolving car accident settlements in our client’s favor.
In our eyes, every case is important — no matter how small. Our legal team will use our experience and resources to get you back on your feet after a car accident.
If you or a loved one is pursuing a settlement after a car accident, get the help you need today. Please click here or call 760-INJURED to schedule a free consultation. We want to hear your story.