Perhaps you have been involved in an auto accident and you’re wondering how much compensation you are likely to receive for your medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering.
No two motor vehicle collisions are the same, but it is possible to estimate settlement figures for various scenarios. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can give you an accurate idea of what your car accident claim is worth.
How Much Can You Get for a Car Accident?
For those sustaining bodily injuries in a car crash, you could get around $20,000 in compensation for your losses and damages.
The amount of compensation awarded will vary according to the severity of your injuries. Minor accident injuries such as whiplash, for instance, will result in much lower settlement amounts than claims involving severe injuries like paralysis.
How is a Car Accident Injury Settlement Calculated?
Insurance claims adjusters use formulas to calculate the value of personal injury settlements.
Everything starts from your physical injuries. The core of your settlement will reflect the costs of your medical treatment and all associated expenses. You should always get the medical treatment you need following an auto accident, and you should receive compensation for this. Total the receipts of all medical costs related to your accident injuries to get this dollar amount.
If your accident injuries forced you to take time off work, you can claim for lost wages. Use evidence of your precious earnings to calculate the economic damages for lost earnings due to car accident injuries.
It is also possible to be compensated for non-economic damages, even though these are tougher to quantify than economic damages such as lost wages or bodily injury.
Emotional pain and suffering takes on many forms after a car accident, including:
- Reduced enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship (consortium)
- Wrongful death
These non-economic damages are not assigned a dollar value but are instead used as a multiplier. What this means is that your economic damages are multiplied by a number expressing the severity of your damages. More serious injuries lead to a higher multiplier being used to calculate the total value of the settlement.
It may takes months to reach a settlement. Consider applying for car accident loans to keep you and your family financially afloat.
How Much Can You Get for Pain and Suffering Caused by Car Accident Injuries?
If you live in a state using the at-fault system of insurance, you will always have the option of claiming compensation for emotional pain and suffering in the aftermath of an auto accident.
The same is not always the case in no-fault states. In states operating a no-fault insurance system, you might not be able to claim damages for pain and suffering if your injury is not deemed serious enough.
To reiterate, emotional pain and suffering is expressed as a multiplier rather than a dollar amount, impacting the total value of your claim in this way.
How Much Can You Get If You Are Involved in a Minor Auto Accident?
As you would expect, settlements for minor car crashes tend to be quite low. Most fender-benders and minor dings will not cause victims to experience significant pain and suffering. Although you may still be entitled to claim damages for emotional pain and suffering, the claims adjuster will use a low multiplier. Compounding this, you are also not likely to incur many medical expenses, leading to a low settlement value.
Whiplash injuries are commonly experienced during minor collisions. These injuries typically call for medical treatment totaling around $5,000. You may also need some time off work, amounting to perhaps another $1,000. Using a multiplier of 2 for whiplash injuries, your overall compensation would be just $12,000.
How Much Can You Get for Herniated Disc Injuries?
Settlements for herniated discs caused by a car crash can lead to settlements of up to $300,000. The total value of your settlement is contingent on the symptoms and the severity of the herniated disc.
In the case of inoperable herniated discs, you could face ongoing pain for life, leading to a high pain and suffering multiplier, and a correspondingly higher settlement.
How Much Can You Get for Neck and Back Injuries?
There is a wide variation in the severity of neck and back injuries, leading to dramatically differing settlement values.
Minor injuries like whiplash will settle for a few thousand dollars, while claims for severe neck and back injuries triggering paralysis can settle for $1 million or more.
The median claim for a spinal cord injury in the US settles for $200,000.
How Much Can You Get for Concussion?
Concussion claims often settle for somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000.
How Much Can You Get for Back Injuries?
Claims for soft tissue injuries to the back settle for anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000.
In the case of more serious back injuries, as outlined above, you can expect a much higher settlement.
What To Do If You Sustain Injuries in an Auto Accident
Immediately following a car crash, you should document the accident scene fully. If your injuries are too severe to allow this, ask someone else to photograph the scene extensively. Capture damage to vehicles, any other damage to surrounding property and structures, as well as any debris on the road.
Get the contact details of any witnesses to the collision. You can later obtain statements from these witnesses to potentially strengthen your claim.
Seek immediate medical evaluation, even if you don’t feel you have suffered serious injuries. Prompt medical assessment can rule out any life-threatening injuries and ensure you get any treatment required. Follow up on this treatment. Document all your medical expenses.
While you focus on recovering from your accident injuries, an attorney will build your case, obtaining statements from witnesses and engaging any experts as required. Once you have calculated the value of your claim, including both economic and non-economic damages, your lawyer can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
If negotiations do not generate a fair and reasonable offer, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Consider retaining an experienced personal injury attorney as an investment rather than an expense.