If you are wondering how much you can receive and the average settlement for auto accidents, this article is for you.
Let’s begin by examining the factors considered for a settlement in a minor car accident, then how a car accident attorney can come in to aid in recovering a fair compensation for you.
Factors considered in a minor auto accident settlement
Many people make the mistake of not filing a claim when a minor car accident happens, and so they end up not being compensated for the accident.
Every car accident is different; that is why there is no set standard for settlement. So, determining the average settlement for a car accident can be complicated. You should not compare your case against another, as the outcomes could be poles apart for both cases.
Oftentimes, the best option to navigate a settlement is to consult with a car accident attorney. Most reputable car accident attorneys across the country will conduct a detailed investigation and perform a professional evaluation of your case.
A car accident attorney Kansas City, for example, can make a solid case on your behalf saying that you sustained this much damage worth this much money, and then you will be able to recover that amount from the other party.
But, as already mentioned above, certain factors are considered and play a role in the value of the settlement in any given case, including:
I. Types of Damages
The first thing you need to consider is the amount of economic and non-economic damages that you sustained. Two types of damages are taken into account when a settlement is decided:
i). Economic Damages
- Damage to vehicle
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
ii). Non-economic Damages
- Physical pain
- Mental distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Disability or disfigurement
The amount you can get depends on both of these.
Your attorney will be able to add your damages and tell you the worth of your case. Then you can decide whether you want to go ahead or not.
II. Injury Severity
The severity of your injuries also affects the settlement process.
Even though, in minor accidents, the victims are visibly unharmed. You shouldn't make the mistake of walking away without reimbursement.
Some injuries may take time to manifest and these injuries can actually end up being worse than initially thought with time. So, minor accidents with low-speed hits can still cause delayed injuries like whiplash, concussion, or injury to the head. Don’t ignore them.
If your injuries are delayed, this could affect your case. Remember to first get yourself checked by a doctor. And always consult with a skilled and experienced attorney regarding your case.
III. Where your case is resolved
Ultimately, your compensation will be effected depending upon whether your case is resolved with a settlement outside of court or in a court of law.
Court trials will offer a higher amount, but they take some time and can be costly. That is why getting a settlement is sometime a better option in the case of a minor accident.
So, what is the average minor car accident settlement?
In general, all factors considered, for private passenger cars, the average car accident payout is $18,417, including the insurance company’s claim expenses, according to stats by the Insurance Information Institute.
The actual settlement you get for a minor accident, however, could vary widely - anywhere from lower 4-figures up to the million-dollar range - all things considered.
Some experts say that the measure of a good settlement is when both parties walk away from the settlement unhappy. This usually means that the defendant paid more than they wanted to pay, and the plaintiff accepted less than they wanted to accept.
However, note that in many states like Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and more, the dollar amount of your award would be reduced by your percentage of fault.
If your own fault in the accident is greater than 50%, you may not win any damages, so the settlement value of your case is much less than your damages, and maybe zero. It's best to consult your attorney to help you negotiate a fair settlement.