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Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts
(7 Factors Explained)

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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If you or a loved one have been in an auto accident, it's essential to understand your rights concerning car crashes. Knowing the typical car accident settlement amounts can help crash victims make educated decisions when involved in an incident.

After becoming injured from a collision, naturally, you will begin contemplating how much financial support and what needed steps must be taken to achieve that compensation.

As a personal injury attorney, I will tell car accident victims everything they need to know about the average car accident settlement for non-injury cases.

Quick Summary

  • Considering the many circumstances that could arise from a car accident, predicting an average car accident settlement amount is impossible.
  • Typical car accident settlement amounts may vary based on the specifics of each case.
  • Your car accident settlement amounts could depend upon whether you need continuous medical treatment and other considerations such as scars, age, and disabilities.
  • After the aftermath of a car accident, an insurance company will attempt to come to a settlement rapidly-- sometimes even before it is clear how much damage has been inflicted.

How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?

Two persons pointing to a corner of a car from a car accidentCar accident settlements are calculated differently for each car accident case. Generally, the amount of money car accident victims will receive is based on the severity of their injury and its impact on their life.

It also considers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and other factors that have impacted your life since the accident.

When deciding how much compensation a person is owed for their car accident, the amount awarded depends mainly on the insurance company and policy coverage. 

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when settling personal injury claims. Yet, standard formulas are often used as a guide to calculate a typical car accident settlement, which generally includes:

The level of accessible insurance coverage primarily relies on the accused's policy. If you suffer an injury from someone without insurance, they may not have enough assets to settle for a judgment against them.

On the other hand, if somebody with adequate coverage causes your loss, then any restitution paid out could be restricted to their particular insurance plan limits.

Everyone's insurance policy limit is determined by their ability to pay for it. Corporate businesses, in particular, are more likely to have greater coverage and higher policy limits than the average person.

What Are the Factors That Affect the Car Accident Settlement Value?

A woman out of her car from a car accident

The factors affecting the car accident settlement value may differ based on your case. The settlement amount you may receive after being involved in a motor vehicle accident depends on the circumstances regarding your injuries, damages, and other factors such as fault and liability.

Generally, settlements for non-injury car accidents are lower than those that involve an injury. This is because there is less of an impact on the victim regarding medical costs, lost wages, and other factors.

For a better understanding of your insurance settlement payout, it is essential to look at injury settlement statistics and other car accident settlement examples.

However, here are some factors that may have an impact on the typical car accident settlement value:

1. Insurance Coverage

A lawyer talking about insurance coverage to a coupleMost states require that drivers have a certain amount of insurance coverage - usually an absolute minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 for the entire accident. 

Furthermore, if you're involved in an accident with someone uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM), it's obligatory to acquire UM protection as well [1]

The lowest limit required by law for this kind of coverage across these three states is $25,000 per person up to a maximum of $50k per incident.

The car accident settlement process and the final settlement amount are significantly impacted by drivers' insurance policies and corresponding providers.

2. Liability

If a car accident occurs, the driver's insurance company at fault must be held accountable for any medical bills, property damage incurred by other parties, and physical injuries resulting from it.

When assessing liability for a car accident, it may be clear who is at fault, or there could be partial responsibility - this concept of comparative negligence allows claimants to still seek some compensation from the other party involved.

In cases where an apparent liable person cannot be identified, legal action may need to take place in court or with a trial.

Related Article: Parental Liability in Teenage Car Accidents

3. Severity of Injuries

A man suffering a headache from a car accidentIf a car accident has resulted in serious injuries, the settlement will likely be significantly higher than if it had caused only moderate harm.

Accordingly, the type of injury incurred is an important factor when assessing compensation for any motor vehicle incident.

When a car accident causes serious, lasting, and irreversible harm, it is only right for the injured party to receive a far higher settlement than if only minor injuries were incurred. This is because they can make claims of agony as well as have far more extensive medical bills.

Shockingly, the average medical expenses from a car accident may exceed $57,000 if hospitalization is necessary.

4. State Laws

Every state has regulations concerning minimum insurance coverage, traffic laws, and other governing rules that decide how fault is factored into a personal injury claim. 

A personal injury lawyer can reveal how your state's laws apply to your car accident case and advise what actions should be taken in settling or filing a car accident claim or a personal injury lawsuit after an accident.

For instance, every state has its car accident statute of limitations time frame, which gives individuals a limited amount of time to take legal action following an incident.

5. Financial Loss

In the assessment of any car accident compensation, the financial loss must be taken into consideration. This includes all vehicle repairs, medical bills incurred from injury, mental anguish endured, and lost income due to inability to work during recovery time.

6. Circumstances of Accident

The circumstances of a car accident may also be essential to consider when determining the appropriate level of compensation. This includes the time and place of the crash, as well as if any other parties were involved, such as pedestrians or cyclists.

Related Article: Car Accident Lawsuit

What Is the Average Car Accident Injury Settlement Amount?

A woman and an enforcer talking about car accident settlementsThe average car accident injury settlement amount for non-injury cases is about $15,000 to $30,000 [2].

This amount varies depending on the severity of injuries and other factors such as insurance coverage, liability, the severity of injuries, state laws, and financial loss.

Speaking with a personal injury lawyer is best to determine what is reasonable for your car accident case.

When an accident occurs, the person responsible is almost always expected to compensate victims for medical expenses, property damages, and lost wages.

To achieve this outcome, most states require drivers to carry liability auto insurance which will provide financial compensation in such instances.

What Is a Fair Settlement for a Car Accident?

A fair settlement for a car accident will be based on the case's specific circumstances. A satisfactory settlement will compensate the injured party for their material losses and psychological distress.

This can include financial awards to cover physical traumas, property destruction, mental anguish, and reimbursement for the pain endured.

Aside from the evidence of your damages, legal precedent also plays an important role in determining a fair settlement; if you have a strong case based on state law, then it should be much higher than when there's uncertainty about the facts or underlying legislation.

It is best to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can advise on what settlement amount is fair, given the individual characteristics of your case.

Related Article: Car Accident Settlement Formula

Minor Car Accident

A woman suffering from head pains from a car accidentEven though minor car accidents typically don't involve a bodily injury settlement, potential injuries can still occur. Whiplash and strains or sprains from the impact may require extensive treatment that could take significant time to recover [3].

As such, most accident claims are resolved by insurance covering damage to vehicles or any property losses resulting from the crash.

Not only will you have to pay for medical bills due to the injuries, but you will also endure economic losses from being unable to work. Even a minor accident can cause severe harm requiring consistent treatments and physical therapy to recover.

As evidence, even minor accidents can bring significant repercussions. These low-impact incidents can be the hardest to solve since insurance companies always try to challenge your claims at every turn. 

They may also try their best to minimize any injuries you experienced and, unfortunately, might go as far as accusing you of exaggerating your symptoms so that they could pay a higher settlement amount.

It's unfair when the insurance company only looks at property damage and assumes that any injuries sustained are insignificant.

What's more, it can be incredibly disheartening to hear an adjuster suggest that your weeks of physical therapy for a neck strain stemming from their client's negligence isn't valid because there was only $2,500 in property damage.

Unfortunately, this type of assessment is all too common, but it doesn't make it right.

Related: How to Deal With an Insurance Adjuster?

Severe Car Accident

A woman beside a car from a severe car crashSevere car accidents are often disastrous, resulting in extreme vehicle damage and devastating injuries or even death for drivers and passengers. 

We've all witnessed unfortunate crashes on the road before but rarely comprehend how severely these outcomes can impact those involved. Broken bones, serious lacerations, back & neck trauma, and other awful effects are frequently the results of severe collisions.

If one is unfortunate enough to suffer from these severe injuries, hospitalization, and extensive medical attention, including physical therapy, are necessary for healing.

In the worst cases, disabilities may be permanent or even lead to an inability for the victim to return to society as a functioning member, thus hindering their everyday life significantly.

Dealing with insurance companies after an accident of this kind poses its own set of obstacles. Unfortunately, many drivers have insufficient coverage - their policy will only cover up to $25,000 no matter how much damage was done and regardless of the victim's condition.

This amount may not even cover medical bills such as ambulance services and hospital admission fees. This means there would be nothing left for future treatments, lost wages, or compensating victims for any pain caused due to the incident.

Related Article: Car Accident Settlement for a Herniated Disc

How Can Damages Influence the Amount of a Settlement?

A man and a woman in a car accident outside

Damages can influence the settlement amount because they determine the financial burden an individual must endure after an accident.

When evaluating the amount of accident compensation, considerable damages exist. Listed below are some of the more common ones [4].

Physical Injuries:

Future Medical Bills:

  1. Medical bills after car accident
  2. Past & future lost wages
  3. Property & vehicle damages
  4. Physical therapy & rehabilitation
  5. Chiropractor sessions
  6. Surgeries


How Much Are Most Car Accident Settlements?

Most car accident settlements are about three times the amount of medical bills, but it varies depending on the accident's severity and other factors, such as available insurance coverage. A car accident settlement amounts can vary substantially, with the average ranging from as little as $3,000 to a maximum of up to $75,000, depending on the circumstances of your particular case.

How Long Do Most Car Accident Settlements Take?

Car accident settlements can take anywhere from two weeks to several years for a car accident lawsuit to conclude.

How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?

Pain and suffering are calculated by using the multiplier method. Determining a car accident settlement amounts to pain and suffering requires the sum of actual damages to be multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. This multiplier denotes how severe your trauma is or was.

Get the Maximum Settlement You Deserve

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you must receive medical attention as soon as possible.

Additionally, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can help car accident victims secure maximum compensation for their settlement by collecting evidence, navigating the legal process of their car accident claims, and negotiating with insurance companies on their behalf.

Take the first step towards understanding your legal options by getting a free case evaluation from the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schmidt & Clark, LLP today.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers have many years of experience determining the true value of a car accident settlement. They are here to help you get the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.