What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?

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C​ar accidents can cause a wide range of damage and injuries. So, there is no average settlement amount since determining any given settlement involves unique and complex factors such as:

  • How seriously you were injured
  • The cost of your medical bills
  • The extent to which your life was affected by the injuries 
  • Who is liable for the car accident
  • The strength of the evidence in the case 

Once a lawyer reviews the facts of your case, they may be able to estimate how much your specific case is worth. Then, they can go after the highest possible settlement amount available in your case—not just a general figure. 

Factors that Can Influence Settlements in a Car Accident

Many factors can affect how much you may get in a settlement in a car accident. Because these factors differ in every case, the possible settlements in these cases can vary substantially. Consider the following aspects that may impact your settlement amount:

  • The damages you sustained: In cases of more significant injury or damages, your settlement amount is likely to be higher. It can be helpful to keep track of the damages you sustained and the expenses you incurred since the accident. 
  • Who was responsible for the accident: If you share some blame for the accident, your settlement amount may be less than if the blame rests entirely on the other parties involved. Some states have laws that limit your payout based on your level of shared responsibility for the crash. Also, if the liable party is a major entity like a trucking company, you could seek compensation based on a higher corporate insurance policy.
  • The insurance companies involved: For example, if you were hit by another driver that didn’t have insurance, it could impact the amount you get in a car accident settlement. I​t can be beneficial to exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident to make settling your car accident easier. 
  • The case’s evidence: Having strong evidence that someone else caused your crash and you were hurt can go a long way for your case’s success. A car accident lawyer can use this evidence to negotiate on your behalf to reach a settlement in a car accident case. 

Damages and Compensation in a Car Accident

The damages in a car accident will impact how much you may receive in compensation. For example, you may experience damage to your vehicle, including critical components like the engine. Your car may have to undergo extensive repairs, or you may need to get a completely different car. Other personal property in your car may also have been destroyed, and you may need to replace certain items. Compensation can help to cover these costs.

You could also experience physical injuries ranging from mild to severe. You may need to get emergency medical treatment. You may also need long-term follow-up care to help you get back to your previous level of functioning. Ideally, your settlement will help to cover the costs of your medical bills from the car accident. 

You may also recover compensation for lost wages, such as from the time you had to take off from work to recover after the accident. Finally, settlements can also involve compensation for non-economic losses, such as your pain and suffering or the trauma you experienced because of the accident. 

Working Within Deadlines for Filing Your Car Accident Claim

Settlements won’t happen if you fail to work within the deadlines. For example, you will need to notify insurance companies within the deadlines those insurance companies appoint. You must file your case on time to receive compensation. 

While many cases reach settlements outside of court, you may file a car accident lawsuit to recover compensation. In South Carolina, for example, you typically have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. (S.C. Ann. §15-3-530) This would include most lawsuits related to car accidents. If you fail to file within this timeframe, you will not be able to recover compensation.

Working with an Accident Lawyer Can Help You Seek the Highest Settlement

T​here are some car accident settlements you can handle on your own. For example, simple cases where blame is clear are easier to handle on your own. But working with a car accident lawyer has many benefits:

  • T​hey are familiar with the laws, regulations, and deadlines that will apply to your car accident case.
  • T​hey are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies to help you reach a settlement.
  • T​hey can offer expert legal advice and coach you about accepting potential offers from insurance companies.
  • T​hey can go over the case thoroughly to help you determine who was at fault for the accident. 
  • T​hey can clarify confusing components of your car accident case.

At the end of the day, then, hiring a car accident lawyer can help you go after the best possible financial results in a car accident case. 

Begin Your Car Accident Case Today With a Free Consultation

Every case is different, and that’s another reason why a lawyer’s help can prove invaluable. They can investigate the unique aspects of your case and argue for the specific damages you deserve. 

At Schiller & Hamilton, we offer free case reviews. During this free call, you can get answers to your questions and learn more about how to seek a settlement for a car accident. You can contact our team today to get started.

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