How Much to Expect From Your Car Accident SettlementPosted on: September 9, 2022
Luckily, you were able to avoid taking your car accident case to trial.
But how much can you expect from the car accident settlement?
The period of time following a car accident can be confusing.
“How long will it take me to recover from my injuries? Can I afford to pay my medical bills? Do I need to hire an attorney?”
It’s very likely, however, that the first and foremost question on your mind is: How much can I expect from the car accident settlement?
Approximately 95% of all car accident lawsuits end in a settlement as opposed to a trial, so it helps to know what to expect. Unfortunately, no website can tell you exactly what number is a fair offer, but there are some clues you can use to determine what a reasonable settlement offer might be.
In this article, we’ll go over the six main factors that you should determine when deciding whether to accept a car accident settlement so you can have a better understanding of your case.
1. Your Injuries
Your injuries are the primary thing that will determine the amount of your car accident settlement offer.
A variety of injuries can result from a vehicle accident, from cuts and scrapes to fatalities. Each of these injuries affect your life in different ways and they—understandably—warrant a different amount of compensation. You can expect a much higher offer for an amputated limb than a broken leg.
Both the type and severity of your injuries should be considered when the insurance company is determining your settlement offer.
2. Medical Treatment
The medical treatment you need will also affect your car accident settlement.
Did your injuries require a Band-Aid or surgery? Did you need to attend physical therapy for a few months or for the rest of your life? How much do you expect to spend on your medical bills?
The type of treatment you need, how long you need it, and how much it costs should all be factored into your settlement offer.
3. Pain and Suffering
Injuries and medical treatment are concrete and measurable. You can easily refer to medical transcripts and invoices to pinpoint exactly what injuries you have and what it is costing you to treat them.
Pain and suffering, however, are less quantifiable. For this reason, many insurance companies fail to adequately consider them when calculating a settlement offer.
Physical, emotional, and psychological pain all affect your daily life, so keeping tabs on this pain is necessary when considering whether or not to accept a car accident settlement.
4. Insurance Coverage
In the U.S., our government is built on the idea that all humans are created equal. However, most people understand that we do not all have access to the same resources.
For instance, some people have more comprehensive insurance coverage.
If you have coverage under your personal auto insurance policy, you may not receive as much from the at-fault party’s insurance.
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5. Wage Loss
Depending on your injuries (and your job), you may also have experienced some wage losses due to your car accident.
You might have missed work or had to take on a different job (and a pay reduction) while you recovered. You might have used up all your PTO. You may have been forced to resign or permanently retire due to your injuries.
Your past and future wage losses should both be factored into your car accident settlement. If you can no longer expect to bring home a paycheck to support your family, your settlement offer should reflect this.
6. Legal Representation
Of all of the factors that determine your car accident settlement, your choice in legal representation is the only one that lies entirely within your control.
Numerous studies have confirmed that having an attorney can significantly increase the settlement amount of your car accident case. Yet simply “having an attorney” isn’t enough to guarantee a successful outcome.
When it comes to car accident attorneys, your choice of legal assistance matters. Your choice of lawyer should come down to their level of expertise and their experience in dealing with cases similar to yours.
Like any legal website, we can only give you a sense of what your car accident settlement should include and how long a settlement can take. To get a ballpark estimate of what “fair” looks like to you, you will need to visit an attorney who specializes in car accident cases.
At Beers & Gordon, our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience with personal injury cases and have worked on behalf of both insurance companies and injured clients. Our time working for insurance companies has given us a wealth of information that we put to use for each of our clients.
If you’re unsure of how much to expect from a settlement offer or have any other questions about your car accident case, give Beers & Gordon a call today to schedule an appointment with a licensed attorney.
Jim Gordon earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska in 1997, and two years later began working at a firm in Orlando handling insurance defense matters on cases involving vehicle accidents, negligence, product liability, and more. He established Beers & Gordon P.A. with David Beers in 2009 to represent the rights of people injured because of negligence. He is a member of the invitation-only National Trial Lawyers organization and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.