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What is My Car Accident Worth?

What Is My Car Accident Worth?

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Date Modified: April 3, 2023

The typical car accident settlement in the United States is about $15 thousand and change. When it comes to assessing the value of a car accident compensation claim in Los Angeles, one of the first questions that most people ask is how much they can expect to receive from their settlement. However, this car accident compensation estimate can be affected by various factors, including your lost wages and medical bills. So it’s a tricky, confusing situation without input from a well-trained car accident attorney who is capable and prepared to tally and maximize your damages properly.

Acts of God and Car accidents

For instance, the type of injury that you have, the severity of the accident, and the overall settlement amount will all vary. The numbers can also change if you settle the claim instead of filing a personal injury lawsuit. For starters, truck accidents involve more force and present worse injuries than a motorcycle or car accidents, for example. Therefore, they tend to have higher insurance policy numbers to cover lawyer fees and other damages. Having the right insurance coverage plays a big part in helping personal injury attorneys find success as they represent injured parties.

If you met in a car accident in Los Angeles and did not have enough insurance, you even risk not being paid. Your coverage typically needs to be proportionate to the potential damage you can sustain from a car accident. Below, top-rated Los Angeles, CA lawyer Michael Ehline will fully explain the numbers and the variables in your particular, complicated personal injury case in the best way for a non-attorney to comprehend.

What is a car accident settlement?

A car accident settlement is a legal agreement between the parties involved in a car accident that compensates the victim for their injuries and damages. The settlement may be reached through negotiation between the parties or ordered by a court if the case goes to trial.

What types of damages can be included in a car accident settlement?

A car accident settlement may include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage.

How Does a Personal Injury Claim Change Your Life?

A serious car accident can significantly impact your life with a lot of stress and headaches. It can cause you to lose your job, suffer from long-term injuries, and affect the way you provide for your family and loved ones. You will generally suffer out-of-pocket losses for a doctor and medical bills. You or your injured child may even need expensive surgery. Your total losses in a collision and case worth the full amount will probably cause you to lose sleep at night, further complicating your life. However, there are legal ways to try to recover the financial losses you sustained following the incident by hiring a competent lawyer.

Silver to make bullets After a car accident, it is common for the injured driver or passenger to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. A car accident lawyer from Ehline Law Firm can represent you against the insurer during this process and help you get the best possible settlement for your California car accident. After you consult our team of experienced attorneys, we can help you with the initial liability investigation.

Next, we will fight to win the compensation you are entitled to through intense settlement negotiations and evidence gathering to tally a calculation. The goal should be to avoid litigation at all costs. You never want a judge deciding your case when competent negotiations can get you damages without leaving your home or hospital bed. Below, we have provided some statistical data and other information to help you understand your dispute and what you face. We also included several car accident settlement questions and answers for car accident victims seeking damages.

Standard Car Accident Insurance Company Settlement Values

According to the Insurance Research Council car accident settlement examples, the average property damage settlement for a car accident was valued at $3,221. The same study showed that the average settlement of a car accident claim with bodily injuries was $15,443. The numbers presented are averages and do not tell you anything about the value of your car crash case. Each case has various details to consider when considering a payout for a motor vehicle accident.

The personal injury settlement amount that people receive following car accidents varies widely. It depends on the type of accident, the injuries involved, and the insurance company’s willingness to pay. Due to the confidentiality of settlement terms, it is hard to know how much people are being paid for their economic damages and non-economic damages.

The higher the settlement amount will be if you are involved in a serious car accident. Having adult passengers or children in the car can also affect the settlement being sought by your personal injury lawyer. More than anything, your car accident settlement worth for traffic accident claims depends on the personal injury lawyers you choose.

Calculating Various Car Accidents

Your settlement amount as a plaintiff will be affected by the type of accident that you were involved in. For instance, if you were involved in a car accident that resulted in serious injuries, you might receive a higher settlement. The court and insurance company look at causation and fault. They will seek to reduce what you obtain if you are partially liable.

Reason for the Crash

There are numerous reasons that a crash may occur. Some of the main ones are as follows:

  • Vehicle speed
  • Road rage
  • Vehicle design
  • Little driver experience
  • Distracted driving
  • Road conditions
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Illegal street racing.

This is still not an exhaustive list of why an accident may occur in Los Angeles. As you can imagine, these areas have quite a bit of variety. It’s not hard for the courts to determine the level of negligence a driver displayed. However, factors that may have been beyond their control must also be accounted for.

These include:

  • Acts of God include poor weather, parts manufacturing issues, or a poor motor vehicle overall. It may even speak to the fact that the other driver had to take evasive maneuvers to avoid you.

This would mean there really may be no case against the opposing party. Alternatively, supervening may be at play. Whenever the chain of causation under California law is broken, this is the term that would be applied.

Of course, the circumstances are different if the other party demonstrated gross neglect or recklessness. Such a situation may see your attorney able to assist you in recovering the full value of your claim.

Pure Comparative Negligence

Regardless of the kind of injuries and damages suffered, all relevant factors must be weighed adequately. State law could change the situation at any time. For example, twelve states allow you to get paid regardless of the problem. California happens to be a pure comparative negligence state. Whatever relevant case law may apply will be consulted.

The courts as a whole will review the situation. Who had a role to play in the accident? This could even include the plaintiff. Anyone with any level of the blame must pay based on the share of responsibility applicable.

Minor Collisions

Minor car accidents can cause damage to your vehicle and injuries to you or a loved one. Most people will receive around $2 thousand from an accident insurance settlement. However, this amount can be less when there is no medical treatment (sometimes only $200 to $500.) It’s important to note that insurance companies typically aim to pay out the minimum amount necessary to cover the damages and injuries sustained in the accident unless you can document your injury claim properly.

How Much for Rear-End and T-Bone Accidents?

The amount that insurance pays for rear-end and T-bone car accidents will vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident, the extent of the damage to the vehicles, the amount of property damage and bodily injury, and the specific terms of the insurance policies involved. This is another reason why you are holding on to your receipts. Documents are an important way to maximize your damages, so they are very important.

In general, if you are involved in a car accident that another driver causes, and you have insurance coverage that includes property damage and bodily injury liability, your insurance company will typically pay for the damages to the other driver’s vehicle and any injuries sustained. The amount that your insurance company pays will depend on the limits of your policy, which is the maximum amount of coverage that your insurance company will pay out for each type of claim.

In some cases, the other driver may have enough insurance coverage to pay for your full and fair damages and injuries. Suppose the other driver is found to be at fault for the accident. In that case, their insurance company will typically be responsible for paying for your damages and injuries up to the limits of their policy. Your lawyer will argue that the damage to your body means you will have to file a lawsuit unless the defendants and their adjuster will talk reasonably when figuring out the settlement.

It is important to note that every insurance policy is different. The amount that insurance pays for a rear-end or T-bone car accident will depend on the specific terms and conditions of the policies involved. Vehicle speeds in a T-bone can result in a soft tissue claim as the low end, death, or traumatic brain injury at higher speeds. Rear enders are no different, but a larger crumple zone protects the vehicle occupants. If you were involved in a car accident, you should speak with a qualified legal professional for guidance on the exact way to investigate and proceed. Clients should let their lawyer deal with the insurance company before they file a single report or make claims with anyone.

What Is The Average Car Accident Settlement for a Child?

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children 15 and under in the U.S., often resulting from improper restraints. The average settlement value for adult victims will have a lower multiplier (a multiplier is a method of multiplying bills times a factor of 2, 3, or higher) than for that of a child.

The average car accident settlement for a child will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident, the extent of the child’s injuries, and the liability of the parties involved. Generally speaking, settlements for children involved in car accidents tend to come with a higher multiplier for general damages like pain and suffering when compared with adult victims. In most cases, this is because children are more vulnerable to serious injuries and have longer medical care recovery times in car accident claims.

In determining the value of a car accident settlement for a child, several factors are considered, including medical expenses, future medical costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The settlement may also include compensation for lost income if the child’s injuries prevent them from attending school or engaging in activities they previously enjoyed. Children typically will not have property damages claims for additional compensation, however.

It is important to note that every car accident case is unique, and there is no set formula for determining the settlement amounts or actual damages for a child. Insurance companies and attorneys will consider the specific circumstances of the case and the child’s injuries when negotiating a settlement. Additionally, the laws and regulations of the state where the accident occurred will also impact the amount of compensation that may be awarded when the case settles. Insurance companies use computer programs like Colossus to arrive at their multipliers.

Suppose your child has been involved in a car accident. In that case, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the circumstances of the accident and help you determine the appropriate course of action.

Average Car Accident Settlements by Injury Type?

The average car accident settlement by injury type can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury, the degree of fault of the parties involved, and the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.

However, here are some general estimates for common car accident injuries:

  1. Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, sprains, and strains are among the most common car accident injuries. The average settlement for soft tissue injuries can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the injury and the length of recovery time required.
  2. Head Injuries: Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries. Settlements for head injuries can range from tens of thousands of dollars to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on the severity of the injury and the long-term impact on the victim’s health.
  3. Neck and Back Injuries: Neck and back injuries such as herniated discs and spinal cord injuries can result in significant medical expenses and long-term pain and suffering. Settlements for neck and back injuries can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, depending on the severity of the injury and the degree of permanent disability.
  4. Broken Bones: Fractured bones can be painful and require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. The average settlement for a broken bone can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the location of the fracture and the degree of permanent disability.

It is important to note that these are only general estimates, and the specific circumstances of each case will impact the value of a car accident settlement. If you have been involved in a car accident and have suffered injuries, it is recommended that you speak with our experienced personal injury attorneys. Our compassionate team will evaluate your case and help you determine the appropriate course of action.

What is a Car Accident Settlement Calculator?

Short answer, a car accident settlement calculator is an online tool, basically a gimmick. Supposedly it is designed to provide an estimate of the potential value of a car accident settlement claim. These calculators are typically created by injury lawyers and pretend to look official, are cost-free, and will seek your contact information. Here is an example of a worthless car accident settlement calculator. Supposedly, this tool takes into account factors such as the severity of the accident, the extent of the injuries, and the estimated medical expenses and lost wages from missed work associated with the accident. These are called special damages (money lost and spent as a result and the cost of the accident.) It appears they use a home-brewed multiplier method to arrive at pain and suffering general damages.

However, it is important to note that car accident settlement calculators are not a substitute for legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. These calculators are incapable of calculating the impact of the value of a settlement, such as the degree of fault of the parties involved, the insurance coverage available, and the specific laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. It could cost you big if you rely on any of these tools to get money from the defending people involved.

Additionally, the results provided by a car accident settlement calculator should be considered estimates only. The actual value of a settlement may be higher or lower than the estimate provided by the calculator, depending on the case’s specific circumstances. For example, what if you require surgery in the future? How is compensation tallied for that dollar amount? How do you even know what it will cost? Your daily life may have been drastically harmed by accident, so don’t think this tool is the best way to get the most money. Last, it would be best if you never gave these websites your contact info, as they are likely a bunch of lawyers concealing their true identity, which is unethical. To get the exact amount due, hire a competent car accident lawyer.

Car Accident Settlement FAQs

Should I accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer?

Accepting the insurance company’s initial settlement offer is generally not recommended without consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. The initial offer may not take into account all of the factors that can impact the value of a settlement, and an attorney can help you negotiate for a more favorable settlement.

How long till I get paid for a car accident?

The time it takes to receive payment for a car accident settlement can vary depending on a number of factors. For example, if you go to trial, the lawyers may settle on the courthouse steps, obviating the need for a jury verdict. But now the court must sign off, which is more time-consuming than pre-litigation settlements. Typically, once a settlement agreement has been reached, the insurance company or responsible party will issue a draft settlement check within a few weeks to a month. However, if the settlement involves a large sum of money, it may take longer to process in most states.

Suppose the case goes to trial and the victim is awarded a judgment. In that case, the responsible party may be required to pay the resolved judgment immediately or be given a period to make payments until the matter is resolved.

It is important to note that the process of reaching a car accident settlement can take several months or even years, especially if the case involves complex legal issues or disputed liability. During this time, it is important to work closely with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your legal rights are protected, and your damages are properly calculated.

Should I Hire Lawyer To Obtain a Car Accident Settlement?

Although you can negotiate with your insurance company on your own, an experienced attorney can help you reach a settlement or take the case to court if no agreement can be reached. Keep in mind that the first offer of a settlement is only the initial step in the process when dealing with insurers.

Wrangling is something very important in a good lawyer with superior ability. Before choosing an attorney, it’s important that crash victims ask past clients about their previous experiences with the law firm or look at user reviews or news stories. This will help new clients understand if the attorney has the necessary skills and experience to handle and resolve their cases.

How Do Lawyers Calculate Pain and Suffering?

As discussed above, under the multiplier method, when a person experiences emotional and physical trauma due to an automobile accident, they are referred to as a victim of pain and suffering. Depending on the situation, some insurance companies will pay out between 1.5 and four times the bills, including medical expenses and property damage claims.

Being aware that pain and suffering are personal and subjective, skilled attorneys can often present a strong case for higher awards, which ultimately affects the total compensation paid to the client in most cases.

What Do Lawyers Consider to Be a Good Car Accident Settlement?

A good settlement offer is a type of financial settlement that provides you with the necessary compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost time at work, and property damage. It can also help you get back on track and put some of the trauma and pain that you have experienced behind you.

Fortunately, an experienced attorney with knowledge can evaluate and help multiply the final offer and advise you on its reasonableness. An experienced attorney will prepare your case as if he is going to trial. That is the hallmark of a brilliant personal injury law firm that seeks to achieve a decisive outcome for its eligible client! Your main limitation will be hiring a bad lawyer.

Potential Economic and Non-economic Recovery Elements

  • Past, present, and future lost wages
  • Past and future medical care
  • Assistive medical devices such as a wheelchair lift or mobility chair
  • Pain and suffering compensation
  • Loss of consortium damages, including loss of sexual intimacy, affection, and care
  • Punitive damages to punish grossly negligent, intentional, and reckless acts.

The jury, court, and adjuster will examine all the above elements. There is no magic calculator here.

A Typical $100 Thousand Car Accident Claim Example

Using the available information, our accident lawyers determine the reasonable probability for the dollar amounts associated with your damages. In a typical case that settles for 100k, the lawyer would typically recover 33.33% or 1/3 of the gross settlement. This would leave the car accident victim with a maximum settlement net amount of approximately $67 thousand. Remember, the lawyers you choose significantly affect your case outcome. We are adept at these situations since insurance companies often swindle victims.

Should I Fire My Lawyer?

Sometimes, clients want a change because they think they deserve an above-average settlement or hate their current lawyer. We’ve worked with many clients who previously fired lawyers. After suffering injuries in a traffic collision, things get stressful, especially when the police report is full of mistakes that favor the responsible driver.

Is Your Compensation Limited to Insurance Company Amounts?

Insurance policies go so far and no more. The cap may not be adequate for the plaintiff based on what is deserved. While some policyholders have multiple policies, some drivers have none at all.

Uninsured and Underinsured Protection

Being uninsured in California is illegal and causes many problems. If the negligent party is uninsured and a claim is filed, uninsured motorist protection can come in handy if the victim has it. Underinsured motorist protection may also apply if the offending party doesn’t have enough coverage. For example, what if you can’t find the at-fault driver? This insurance coverage can be beneficial for car crash victims in wrongful death cases surrounding a hit-and-run motor vehicle case.

Factors Beyond Control

As you can imagine, the amount of variety in vehicle damages sustained is quite vast, as is the level of suffering and injury. Be careful, and don’t forget that the quality of the legal service provided by the law firm you choose. This decision will have a significant bearing on the level of financial recovery.

Contact a Car Accident Worth Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a car accident, you may need legal help to file a claim on your behalf. Doing so requires you to complete and submit the proper paperwork, and insurance companies often don’t cooperate. Ehline Law Firm is a leading personal injury and car accident firm that has the experience to fight for the rights of those who have been injured due to the negligence of others.

We can help you gather evidence of the recklessness of other drivers. We will give you a sense of personal security. We also will not hesitate to file a lawsuit if we can’t get you a fair settlement. For a free consultation, contact us today.

Here are some additional answers to frequently asked questions:

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Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.