Being injured in an auto accident is a scary experience, especially when someone else’s negligence caused the collision.
You might be wondering who will pay for your medical expenses, the time you lost from work, your property damage, and more. Understandably, prospective clients want to know what the average auto accident settlement is.
However, you should evaluate your case on its own merits. To learn more about your potential case value, speak with the skilled Northern California car accident attorneys at Wells Call Injury Lawyers.
Why There Are No Average Auto Accident Settlement Amounts
Every car accident claim is unique. Even claims that involve similar injuries or circumstances won’t necessarily resolve for similar amounts. It’s essential to understand the factors that make up your claim’s value.
Injury Type and Severity
The first factor in determining your case value involves your injuries. What are your injuries, and how severe are they?
Cases involving soft tissue damage, such as whiplash, that resolve on their own in a few weeks are worth less than those involving a spinal cord injury with permanent paralysis.
Total Amount of Damages
Your overall total for damages also impacts your case value. Your damages can be divided into two main categories—economic and non-economic. Your economic damages are items that have corresponding financial value, such as:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future expected medical costs,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earning capacity, and
- Property damage.
Non-economic damages are slightly harder to calculate as they are more subjective in value. These damages include physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, etc.
Determining who is responsible for the accident also has a significant impact on your case value. You can have two cases with similar injuries and damages, but the settlements are not similar at all due to liability.
California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can collect a portion of your damages, even if you are primarily at fault for the collision. Your corresponding percentage of negligence will reduce your compensation.
For example, if you are 20% at fault, you can collect 80% of your damages. If you are 70% at fault, you will receive 30%. Remember that means the other parties can also collect their damages from your insurance company.
Even if you have a case worth a lot, it can still resolve for much less. One of the reasons why is available insurance coverage. California only requires that drivers carry liability limits of 15/30/5. What that means is:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person in an accident;
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person in one accident; and
- $5,000 for property damage.
You could have $100,000 in damages, zero percent liability, and only collect $15,000 if that is all the available coverage.
However, if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on your own policy, you could potentially collect more under your own insurance.
You could also sue the at-fault driver directly if they have any assets to collect against.
How a California Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Instead of figuring out what typical car accident settlement amounts are, concentrate on ways to maximize your own claim value.
Hiring a lawyer early in the claims process protects your rights and increases your chances of a higher settlement. As your attorneys, we will conduct an independent investigation and gather all necessary evidence.
We will also handle all communication and negotiations with the defendant’s insurance. This is important because the other driver’s insurance company will want you to give a recorded statement.
Their hope is you will say something they can use to place additional blame on you. If they extend a settlement offer, it will undoubtedly be for less than your case is worth.
Having an attorney on your side ensures the insurance company cannot take advantage of you.
At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience with car accident cases. We understand how insurance companies work and the tactics they use.
We have a proven record of success and will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can assist you after a car accident.