If you were involved in a car accident and you sustained serious injuries, you are likely wondering about the amount of the average settlement.
This is perfectly understandable as the amount of your settlement will determine whether you can meet the costs of your medical expenses and lost wages. A car accident settlement can also include compensation for emotional pain and suffering.
No two motor vehicle accidents are exactly alike. That said, while the circumstances of every collision will vary slightly, it is nevertheless possible to estimate settlement figures based on certain variables outlined below.
To get the most accurate idea of what settlement value you could receive for your damages, losses, and injuries, consult then retain an experienced personal injury attorney. The contingency fee basis means you pay nothing out-of-pocket, paying instead a percentage of your eventual settlement.
What level of compensation can you expect following a car accident, then?
What Is The Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
If you are involved in an auto accident and you sustain bodily injuries, the average compensation awarded in the United States is $20,000.
For claims involving only property damage – dents and dings in your car, for example – the average settlement value is much lower. Minor accident injuries like whiplash typically result in low settlement amounts of a few thousand dollars, while compensation for severe injuries like paralysis can run into six figures.
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How Are Car Accident Injury Settlements Calculated?
Personal injury settlements are calculated using specific formulas.
Your physical injury is always the baseline. The costs of your medical expenses and treatment forms the core of your settlement. Get all the medical treatment you need as soon as possible. Collect all receipts so you can easily calculate the dollar value of all medical costs associated with your accident injuries.
Lost wages are relevant to your claim if you were unable to attend work due to your injuries. Use your past earnings to calculate the cost of time off work due to your auto accident.
You can also claim compensation for non-economic damages. These are more challenging to quantify than economic damages like bodily injury or lost wages. Your attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid claim for any of the following forms of emotional pain and suffering:
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
The non-economic damages are then used as a multiplier, with your economic damages multiplied by a figure representing the severity of your damages. The more serious the bodily injury, the higher the multiplier used to calculate your total settlement.
How Much Can You Claim for Emotional Pain and Suffering Following a Car Accident?
In at-fault states, everyone has the ability to claim pain and suffering following a car wreck.
This does not always apply in no-fault states. In these states, you may be unable to claim damages for emotional pain and suffering unless your injury is deemed serious. Regrettably, the definition of serious injuries is not transparent.
Remember: your emotional pain and suffering becomes a multiplier rather than representing direct monetary value, instead impacting the extent to which economic damages are multiplied.
How Much Compensation Can You Expect From Involvement in a Minor Car Accident?
If you were involved in a minor auto accident, you can expect a correspondingly lower settlement amount. In most cases, minor car crashes do not lead to pronounced pain and suffering for victims. While you might be able to claim damages for emotional pain and suffering, the multiplier used will be low. Additionally, your medical expenses are likely to be negligible.
As an example, whiplash accident injuries often require $5,000 of medical treatment. You may also miss a week of work, resulting in perhaps another $2,000 of financial losses. Pain and suffering for whiplash may attract a multiplier of just 2, meaning your total compensation in this example would be $14,000.
What is the Average Settlement Amount for Herniated Disc Injuries Caused in a Car Accident?
If you sustain a herniated disc in a car crash, you could receive up to $350,000 in compensation. The value of the settlement will depend on the symptoms, as well as the severity of your herniated disc. If the injury is inoperable, you could be facing a lifetime of pain, resulting in a much higher multiplier for pain and suffering, triggering a higher settlement.
The median settlement value for herniated disc injuries, though, is just $75,000.
What is the Average Settlement Amount for Neck and Back Injuries Caused in a Car Accident?
Neck and back injuries vary significantly in terms of severity. At the lower end of the threshold are minor injuries like whiplash, while the most severe back and neck injuries can involve paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury.
If you suffer TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) or spinal cord injuries, you could receive a settlement in excess of £1 million.
The average claim for a spinal cord injury in the United States settles for $200,000, but the circumstances of your case and the skill of your attorney will impact the total value of your settlement.
What is the Average Settlement Amount for Concussion Caused by a Car Accident?
While you might assume concussion is a minor injury, average settlements for concussion caused in a car accident ranges from $20,000 to $25,000. In the event of more serious concussion, settlements can enter the six-figure range.
Concussions are not only awkward to spot, but the long-term effects of concussion can be challenging to predict. This means it is crucial to seek prompt medical evaluation after any car accident, even if you do not feel you suffered serious injuries.
What is the Average Settlement Amount for Back Injuries Caused in a Car Accident?
Back injuries caused by car accidents vary significantly in terms of severity, making it tough to assign an average value to back injury settlements.
The average settlement for soft tissue back injuries ranges from $2000 to $10,000.
More serious back injuries – spinal injuries, for instance – will settle for much higher amounts, as outlined above.