What Is a Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount?
There is no such thing as a “typical” car accident. As a result, it is important not to get too caught up on what the “typical” amount of compensation is in a car accident settlement.
No two car accidents are exactly alike. The cause of the accident, the severity of the injuries, and the losses a victim suffers all differ from case to case. If you are offered a settlement for your accident claim, it is much more important to ensure that the settlement covers your losses in particular than it is to know how much victims typically recover on average.
A Raleigh car accident attorney at the Whitley Law Firm can review your case and advise you how much compensation you are due. Contact us today for a free consultation.
How Are Car Accident Settlement Amounts Calculated?
When you file a car accident claim, it is important to account for all of your damages. These include losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing medical expenses, such as rehabilitation, therapy, etc.
- Wages you have lost from being unable to work
- Other out-of-pocket costs related to the accident
- Pain and suffering
- And more
Some damages are relatively straightforward. Any costs you incur, for example, will appear on billing statements, receipts, etc. Other damages from a car accident, however, are more difficult to calculate. These include lost earning capacity (the income you will lose in the future if your injuries leave you unable to work) and pain and suffering (which negatively affects your life but doesn’t have a definitive monetary value).
Insurance adjusters calculate the settlement for an auto accident claim very differently than accident lawyers do. When they act in good faith, insurers will assess your economic damages (such as medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and apply formulas to determine a suitable offer for non-economic damages.
A car accident lawyer, meanwhile, will review the facts of your case, collect evidence, and consult expert witnesses to calculate the full extent of the damages you face now and will face in the future. Given these different approaches, it should come as no surprise that settlement offers from auto insurance companies are often significantly lower than what attorneys pursue on behalf of their clients.
Should I Settle My Car Accident Claim?
When you are facing expenses, out of work, and in pain, an offer from the insurance company may seem like a godsend. However, once you settle your claim, you do not have the ability to pursue more compensation in the future.
For some people a settlement offer will cover most if not all of their losses from the car accident. In other cases, however – particularly if you suffered a catastrophic injury – a settlement will only cover part of what you have lost. Prematurely settling your claim can leave you footing the bill for many of the damages associated with your injuries from the crash.
So how do you know when a settlement is fair and when it may be time to fight for more?
The best way to find out if accepting a car accident settlement is in your best interest is to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Ideally you should consult with a lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster, but it is crucial to seek legal guidance before you agree to settle.
Sometimes it is worthwhile to accept a settlement from the insurance company. Your attorney can advise you if the offered amount constitutes fair compensation for your injuries and damages, as well as whether it makes sense to try to negotiate more and/or take your case to court.
Most car accident claims are settled out of court. However, this is not always the case. The insurer may dispute fault for the accident or won’t budge from a low initial offer. In these cases, it may be necessary to go to trial to recover full damages.
Is Your Car Accident Settlement Fair?
Settlement amounts for car accidents vary. While a minor car accident with minimal injuries may be settled for a few thousand dollars, accidents involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death can involve much greater losses.
Do not settle your case for less than it’s worth. The attorneys at the Whitley Law Firm fully evaluate the damages you have sustained and pursue the compensation you are due.
We are firm believers in fairness, and we strive to help our clients overcome the hurdles presented by insurance companies to recover full damages on your behalf. Our commitment to justice is evident in the verdicts and settlements we have achieved in a wide range of car accident claims.
Please contact the Whitley Law Firm at (919) 785-5000 today to speak to a Raleigh car accident attorney. It won’t cost anything to see if we can help.