In many cases, knowing the average of something can be helpful. Knowing the average settlement for a car accident is not one of those cases. Every car accident is different, and the injuries each person sustains can vary wildly even in the same crash. There are considerations that go into each settlement or lawsuit that accounts for the victim’s personal and professional life, earning capacity, their dependents, and other things that go beyond their injuries to present the “full picture” during negotiations or a court case.
Instead of worrying about average settlement costs, previous settlement amounts, or anything else relating to other accidents, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. You’ll be able to talk to them about all of the different details that make your accident, your injuries, and your situation unique, and get an understanding of how they would approach your case. A lot of great personal injury firms like Grossman Law Offices offer free consultations for this exact reason.
Take a look below at some different factors that go into determining how much a settlement or a personal injury lawsuit adds up to, and get in touch with a lawyer immediately to get started. California has a statute of limitations that will leave you with no options after it has passed.
Determining Personal Injury Damage Amounts
Personal injury damages are divided into two different parts: compensatory, and punitive. Punitive damages aren’t included in settlements, and personal injury lawyers can’t include them in the amounts that they seek. They exist as a form of punishment that the jury can determine is appropriate or not. Below, we will talk about compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate the victim for their injuries and the impacts that the accident has had on them.
Economic damages are often the easiest damages to calculate since they are intended to pay the victim (and their insurance company) back for financial losses. These include things like medical bills and surgical procedure costs, but they go beyond that. If the victim has missed work and lost out on wages, or if their injuries have reduced their earning capacity, these are also factored in. As you can imagine, the range of amounts can be enormous, depending on the medical attention required, as well as the amount of money that they victim makes (and is now unable to earn).
Non-economic damages are a bit trickier to calculate in a car accident, but they are equally important to get compensation for. Whereas economic damages are intended to repay expenses and recover costs, non-economic damages address issues that do not have a set price associated with them. They include things like pain and suffering, depression or grief after an accident and injury, a reduced quality of life or ability to enjoy hobbies, and more.
In order to determine the value of non-economic damages, it is common that an attorney comes up with a “multiplier” that can clearly represent these issues to a judge and jury. The multiplier is then added to the economic damages. For example, $10,000 of economic damages and a non-economic multiplier of 5 would result in the victim seeking $60,000 in total – $10,000 + (5x economic damages).
Determining Your Settlement Amount
It’s important that you work with a good attorney to make sure that you are compensated for everything you deserve. Car insurance companies stay in business by paying out the least amount of money possible, and when you are working with them you shouldn’t expect that they will treat your case any differently.