How Much Do Most Car Accident Settlements Yield?
When most people think of a lawsuit, they visualize what they’ve seen on television or in movies, i.e. lawyers and their clients battling it out in court to avail high damages figures. But the reality is that most car accident claims get settled out of court between involved parties and their insurance companies. There are several reasons why this is the case, but the main reason is that conducting a trial is not only expensive for involved parties but for the court as well, and it’s best if only cases that cannot reach a resolution outside of court get heard.
So how do settlements work, and more importantly, what determines the value of a car accident settlement? For answers to these questions and other information regarding settlements, read through this blog.
What Determines a Settlement’s Value?
A settlement figure is largely determined by the injuries and property damage that result from a car accident. If a party is significantly injured and their vehicle has sustained significant damage, they will seek monetary compensation, otherwise known as “damages” in the legal sphere, to offset accident-related expenses. They may also seek damages for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of earning capacity
Economic damages are usually awarded to offset fixed costs that an accident victim is saddled with following the accident, whereas general damages are used to offset expenses related to personal injuries that are hard to quantify, like pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, disfigurement, and dismemberment.
What Injuries Are Common Following Car Accidents?
A variety of injuries can result from a car accident. The kind of injuries sustained has a lot to do with how severe the car accident was. But just because an accident is minor doesn’t mean severe injuries can’t result from it. It could be the case that you get rear-ended and you slam your head against the windshield in such a way that causes a traumatic brain injury. Here are common car accident-related injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Hand & wrist injuries
- Foot & ankle injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Broken ribs
- Broken pelvis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts & lacerations
The extent of your injuries will largely determine how much you get in a settlement. For example, if you only have injuries that require a few treatments and you’ll be back to work soon, you’ll get less in a settlement than someone who’s sustained a traumatic brain injury that will affect them for the rest of their life.
How Much Do Car Accident Settlements Generally Yield?
Although a car accident settlement figure largely depends on a variety factors, generally speaking car accident victims settle for between $40,000 and $42,000. Those who are involved in truck accidents settle for a similar amount, but those who are involved in motorcycle accidents tend to settle for much more ($60,000). The reason why motorcycle accidents have higher settlement figures is because these are usually associated with more severe injuries. And just because the average settlement figure is $40,000 doesn’t mean this is what you’re going to take home, but more on that later.
What Are Some Settlement Negotiating Do’s and Don’ts
Negotiating a settlement can be a big win or a big loss depending on how you approach it. Here are some do’s and don’t to keep in mind:
Don’t Answer Questions Without a Lawyer Present
You should never talk to involved insurance providers without a car accident lawyer present. You should even be skeptical when talking to your own insurance provider. One wrong statement could preclude you from seeking a fair amount in compensation, or you could preclude yourself from seeking compensation altogether. A lawyer will make sure you speak tactfully and only tell the insurance providers what they need to know—nothing more.
Don’t Take a Low-Ball Settlement
It’s common for insurance companies to offer low-ball settlements to car accident victims. You shouldn’t take one even if you want to settle the claim fast. If you settle too soon, and you develop injuries later on that force you to get expensive treatments and long-term care, you won’t be able to sue at-fault parties because of the settlement you agreed on earlier.
Don’t Come With an Unrealistically High Figure
You should refrain from coming to the negotiating table with an unrealistically high figure. Doing so may tell the insurance company that you’re not serious, and they may just walk away from the table and wait for you to cave. If you take an at-fault party to court and demand a high figure, it’s likely a jury won’t grant you this, so it’s best to stay realistic.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Things to Court
Don’t be afraid to take things to court if a settlement can be reached. Although most car accident claims get resolved out of the courtroom, there are times when taking a claim to court is necessary. If an insurance provider refuses to pay you what you’re owed or they’re not acting in good faith, formal legal proceedings may be needed to yield a conclusion.
Who Gets Paid From Your Settlement?
After you receive a settlement, the first person who gets paid is your lawyer. Then from the remainder, you have to pay your health insurance provider if they covered some of the treatment costs. If you have a lien against you from a medical provider, they’ll have to be compensated as well. After all parties that helped you achieve the successful outcome have been paid, the remainder is yours.
We understand that hiring a car accident lawyer can be a challenging task nowadays. That’s why we set out to simplify the process. Just call 1-800-HURT-511 when you need to speak with a highly qualified, multilingual, and experienced lawyer. The lawyers we work with have secured over $1 billion for their clients over the years.
Call 1-800-HURT-511 now, as you may be running out of time!