The Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts: This is What to Know
Every year, approximately three million people get injured in car accidents. Are you dealing with a car accident injury right now? Are you wondering how much you can expect to receive from the insurance company?
Read on to learn more about the factors that influence typical car accident settlement amounts. You’ll also learn what you can do to maximize the payout you receive after being involved in an accident.
What Determines Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts?
When calculating your settlement amount after you’ve been involved in a car accident, insurance companies consider a lot of different factors. The following are some of the ones that are the most important:
The Severity of Your Injuries
One of the first things insurance companies will take into account is the amount of pain and suffering you’ve experienced. They’ll require extensive information about your injuries, how much damage occurred, and what conditions you were dealing with prior to the accident.
They use this information to help them understand the extent of your injuries and what the long-term consequences will be. This includes things like additional therapy or treatments you might need, as well as surgeries and disability accommodations.
Insurance adjusters will want to know about your medical expenses, too. They’ll need to take into account how much money you’ve been billed for already when it comes to seeking medical treatment and getting your injuries taken care of. They’ll also consider how much money you’ll likely need to spend in the future to make a full recovery.
Remember, adjusters consider all the expenses associated with your accident. This includes the cost of an ambulance ride to the hospital, bills for follow-up visits, and more.
If you have to take time off of work to deal with your injuries, the insurance adjusters should consider that when determining your settlement. Since you can’t work, they’ll need to make up for the money you lost while you were recovering.
When they’re looking at lost wages, they also must consider any potential bonuses you may have missed out on. These lost opportunities for extra income will have an impact on your final settlement as well.
Being involved in a car accident is traumatic. Beyond the physical issues you might be dealing with after the accident, there are likely emotional and psychological issues as well. You might have post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD for short), for example, or you may develop another form of anxiety after the fact.
The insurance company should consider the cost of treatment for these problems when calculating your settlement. This includes the cost of therapy, as well as the cost of medications you might have to start taking.
Of course, the damage done to your car plays a role in the calculation process, too. This is one of the easier calculations for the adjuster to make.
If your car was totaled, they should include the fair market value of it in your settlement. If it needs repairs but is still driveable, they should still include the cost of repairs in your payout, the final number just won’t be quite as high.
Lost Opportunities and Experiences
Finally, there are lost opportunities and experiences to think about. Will you be ineligible for future promotions because of your injuries? Will it be hard for you to go to back work full-time after getting hurt?
In addition to work-related opportunities, adjusters should also think about personal opportunities and experiences. For example, were you forced to miss a family reunion while you recovered or a vacation? If so, the suffering you experienced, as a result, should factor into the final payout.
How to Get More from Your Car Accident Settlement
Do you want to get the highest payout possible following your accident? Of course, you do. Here are some steps to help you accomplish this:
Seek Medical Care Right Away
As soon as possible after being in an accident, you should see a doctor and have your injuries evaluated. If you wait too long to do this, it can be harder to prove the severity of your injuries. This also makes it harder for you to prove that your injuries are the result of the accident and not something else.
Attend All Doctor’s Appointments
In addition to seeing a doctor as soon as you can after your accident, you need to continue working with them on a consistent basis. If you skip or cancel doctor’s appointments, that can send a signal to the insurance company that your injuries aren’t as serious as you say. This, in turn, can lead to a lower payout.
Hire a Lawyer Immediately
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, it’s important that you hire a lawyer as soon as you can. This is especially true if you suspect that the insurance company might try to lowball you with your settlement.
Having a lawyer on your side will show the insurance adjusters that you’re serious about getting what you’re owed. A lawyer can take some of the burden of your accident off your shoulders and advocate for you, too.
Gather and Hang on to Evidence
Make sure you collect and hang onto all evidence related to your accident. This includes medical records, copies of accident reports, and all other documents. Keep them in a safe place so that you can find them when necessary and use them to back up your case.
Settle Your Settlement Concerns Today
It’s not easy to determine exactly what you’ll get as a payout after your accident. Now that you know more about what factors determine typical car accident settlement amounts, though, you might have a better idea of what you can expect when your settlement arrives. Be sure to follow the guidelines listed above, too, so you can get the largest settlement possible.
Do you want to learn more about handling life after a car accident? Whether you have legal questions or want to know what you can do to speed up your healing, we’ve got lots of helpful articles available on our site. Check them out today.