If you were involved in an auto accident and you sustained injuries, you may be wondering if you can get money for being in a car accident.
In addition to claiming compensation for your injuries and damage to your property, you may also be able to claim compensation for lost wages, as well as emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
While no two motor vehicle accidents are exactly alike, it is nevertheless possible to estimate the likely settlement amount for a variety of scenarios. The swiftest route to receiving the compensation you deserve is to consult and retain a personal injury attorney.
How Much Can You Get for a Car Accident?
If you suffer bodily injuries in a car collision, you could expect to receive roughly $20,000 in compensation for your damages and losses. The amount of compensation varies according to the severity of your injuries, with minor injuries like whiplash resulting in a substantially lower settlement than claims for severe injuries like spine injuries and paralysis.
How Are Car Accident Injury Settlements Calculated?
Your claim for compensation will likely be processed by an insurance claims adjuster using formulas to calculate the value of your settlement.
How can your attorney calculate the value of your settlement, though?
Physical injuries are the baseline of your settlement. Compensation for this component of your claim should accurately reflect the costs of your past and future medical expenses directly related to your accident injuries. Get a prompt medical evaluation and follow through on all recommended treatments. Totaling the receipts of all your medical costs stemming from your physical injuries will yield a dollar amount for this part of the claim.
In many cases, accident injuries cause victims to require time off work, whether for surgery or rehabilitation. Using evidence like your pay slips and work contract, you can calculate the economic cost of lost wages due to accident injuries.
You can also potentially claim compensation for non-economic damages like emotional pain and suffering. This type of damages is more challenging to quantify than damages for bodily injury or lost wages.
There are many forms of emotional pain and suffering by car accident injuries. These include:
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
- Impaired enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
Non-economic damages like pain and suffering are not assigned a dollar value, but instead are used as a multiplier. This means that economic damages are instead multiplied by a value expressing the scope and severity of your injuries to arrive at the total value of your settlement. The more serious your injuries, the higher the multiplier used, and the higher the value of the overall settlement.
How Much Can You Get for Pain and Suffering Caused by Car Accident Injuries?
In states operating an at-fault system for auto insurance, you will always have the chance of claiming emotional pain and suffering compensation following a car wreck.
In states operating the no-fault system, by contrast, you may not be able to claim this component of compensation unless your injuries are sufficiently severe.
To underscore, emotional pain and suffering becomes a multiplier for calculating the total value of your settlement rather than becoming a dollar amount.
How Much Can You Get If You Are Involved in a Minor Auto Accident?
Settlements for fender benders and other minor car crashes are normally quite low. Dents and dings do not usually lead to severe injuries or to emotional pain and suffering. You may be entitled to claim compensation for pain and suffering in some cases, but the multiplier used will be low. Additionally, medical expenses are unlikely to be high, leading to a fairly low settlement value.
A common example of minor car accident injuries is whiplash. This type of injury typically requires medical treatment totaling $5,000, along with some time off work. If the claims adjuster uses a multiplier of 2 and you lose $1,000 in wages, your total whiplash settlement could be as little as $12,000.
How Much Can You Get for Herniated Disc Injuries?
Herniated disc injuries are severe and often lead to settlements of $250,000 or more when caused by a car collision. The value of your compensation will hinge on your symptoms and the severity of your injuries.
If a herniated disc is inoperable, this can trigger a lifetime of pain and a correspondingly higher pain and suffering multiplier, leading to a more substantial settlement.
How Much Can You Get for Neck and Back Injuries?
Settlements for neck and back injuries vary significantly depending on the severity of those injuries. Compensation for whiplash claims tends to be just a few thousand dollars, while a claim for more severe back or neck injuries leading to paralysis can settle for six or even seven-figure amounts.
How Much Can You Get for Concussion?
The average car accident concussion claim settles for around $25,000.
How Much Can You Get for Back Injuries?
Most soft tissue injury claims for the back attract settlements of between $3,000 and $10,000.
More serious back injuries lead to much higher payouts.
What To Do If You Sustain Injuries in an Auto Accident
The first thing you should do after a car crash is to fully document the accident scene. If you are too seriously injured to take care of this, ask someone to photograph the scene on your behalf, capturing:
- Your injuries
- Damage to vehicles
- Road debris
- Damage to surrounding property and structures
- Road conditions
You should also obtain the names and contact details of any witnesses to the accident. Your attorney can later get statements from any witnesses to consolidate your compensation claim.
You should always get medical attention, even if you don’t think you sustained severe injuries. Documenting your injuries is crucial to streamline your subsequent claim. You can also have any life-threatening injuries ruled out and get a referral for any treatment needed.
Next, consult and retain a personal injury attorney. You need to pay no out-of-pocket costs due to the contingency fee basis. Instead, you will pay your legal fees from your anticipated settlement.
An experienced attorney can help accurately calculate the value of your economic and non-economic damages, and they can also help you negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement, filing a lawsuit against the defendant on your behalf if necessary.