You may experience the effects of a car accident, such as injuries and damaged property, long after the initial impact. Many personal injury victims ask how much a typical car accident settlement pays out after they’ve paid the medical expenses, repair bills, and accounted for missed days at work. As a personal injury victim, you may also wonder whether you have grounds to pursue compensation for your damages.
Speaking with a skilled San Antonio personal injury attorney will help clear some of the confusion that comes with personal injury claims. In general, any settlement that a personal injury victim receives should help pay for expenses directly related to their accident injuries, such as medical bills and lost wages.
If you’ve suffered losses in a wreck because of another driver or entity’s negligence, call Janicek Law. Our dedicated lawyers offer a free consultation to establish an attorney-client relationship with you and discuss your potential personal injury case.
What’s The Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount?
Personal injury attorneys usually cannot disclose an exact figure for car accident settlements, as no two accidents are identical. Settlement amounts vary because each wreck has a unique set of factors, such as:
- The vehicles and drivers involved
- Road or weather conditions
- Driver distractions or impairments
While your legal representative works tirelessly to maximize any potential accident settlement, a payout is not guaranteed. Bodily injury settlements are based on the types of injuries a person receives in a wreck and the cost of treatment. Claims for serious accidents, permanent injuries, and wrongful death may receive much larger payouts than the average passenger vehicle accident.
Catastrophic injuries come with a higher price tag. Average damages for a severe and life-altering injury, such as traumatic brain injuries, run higher. Meanwhile, minor injuries, like whiplash, result in lower payouts.
Get in touch today with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer to find out the most accurate settlement estimate for your damages. Working with a skilled attorney increases your chances of receiving fair compensation.
5 Factors That Affect Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts
The settlement amount for your car accident lawsuit varies depending on the situation and your damages. Typically, your injuries should equal the total amount your accident cost you.
A car accident injury settlement is often based on the following factors:
Your Financial Losses
Financial losses cover a broad range of damages you suffered as a result of the accident. Damages may include losses from a damaged or totaled automobile, medical costs, or unearned wages due to missed work.
The Severity Of Your Injuries
Suppose your injuries from the accident, such as bruises and minor whiplash, are not severe. In that case, your car accident injury settlement will be lower than if you have severe injuries, such as loss of limb or other catastrophic injuries.
Damages are either economic or non-economic. Economic damages include tangible expenses such as lost wages and medical bills. Non-economic damages often cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, PTSD, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The average car accident settlement varies because each state has its own car accident laws. Texas is an at-fault state, so you can file a personal injury claim even if your damages are minor.
Texas allows plaintiffs to recover up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits. Drivers must carry a minimum amount of insurance for bodily injury claims and property damage.
- $30,000 for each injured person and a total of $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
If these amounts are insufficient to cover a plaintiff’s injuries, they may seek additional compensation from their insurance carrier if they have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Texas practices a modified form of comparative negligence, also called “proportionate responsibility.” If you share any fault, your awarded damages may be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
In addition, if the injured driver is assigned 51% or more of the fault, they may not seek compensation. A defendant might not be assigned responsibility if the injured party contributed to most of their injuries. For example, if a plaintiff was not wearing their seatbelt and got hurt in a wreck, the defendant may be held blameless.
The court may assign fault in your personal injury lawsuit if there is no obvious negligence by either driver.
Car Insurance Policies
Texas law requires that drivers carry minimum coverage amounts for bodily injury and property damage claims. An insurance policy with more than the minimum often means a higher settlement. Policy limits and the coverage offered can negatively impact the payout for damages without the aid of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
- $30,000 per injured person
- Up to $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
If an accident involves multiple vehicles and persons, the available insurance coverage may not be enough to cover everyone’s losses in a car accident claim. In this case, accident victims may be forced to file suit against the at-fault driver for full compensation. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance, victims may turn to their insurance carrier to recoup compensation from their underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.
Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples
A particular formula is used to calculate car accident settlements. First, you need to determine the types of damages you can claim for car accident injuries in Texas. The total amount of your damages begins with your physical injuries and the costs for treatment. So, you’ll want to keep all invoices and receipts documenting your medical expenses.
The next consideration is lost wages. The amount may be quantified by using your past earnings to estimate the amount lost due to missed workdays.
For example, maybe you received a neck injury in a car accident. The average costs of your damages include:
- $23,000 – MRI, physical therapy, and cervical epidural steroid injection
- $12,000 – vehicle damage repairs
- $1,000 – one week’s missed wages
These damages add up to $36,000. Adding up these costs gives you a reasonable beginning estimate of your possible economic damages.
Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples
Non-economic damages, such as mental anguish, are not tangible and may be difficult to quantify. Other examples of these non-economic losses include permanent disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium in a wrongful death case.
Think of non-economic damages as a multiplier. Non-economic damages are not assigned a monetary amount. Instead, they multiply your economic damages by a number representing the severity of your pain and suffering damages. The multiplier can sometimes be as high as 10 for more severe injuries.
For example, maybe you suffered a spinal cord injury and have medical expenses totaling $415,000. If your injury is severe and life-altering, your multiplier could be 9. Your potential settlement would then be $3.74 million without adding in other economic damages, such as lost wages or property damage.
Average Settlement for Car Accident Back and Neck Injury
Neck and back injuries vary in severity from minor whiplash to spinal cord damage or paralysis. Severe and long-lasting injuries typically garner larger settlements. However, any award you receive is based on your unique case and the experience of your personal injury attorney.
Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts for Whiplash
Car accidents often result in whiplash injuries. The symptoms from serious cases of whiplash can linger for months or years. A whiplash injury may misalign your spine and cause multiple health issues.
Health insurance company guidelines typically set whiplash payout ranges from $7,500 to $15,000. Since each case has different factors and circumstances, it is hard to estimate a settlement amount. For those who can’t work for an extended period due to whiplash injuries, however, $100,000 is a more realistic settlement amount.
How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take?
There is no set time for your car accident injury case to settle. A simple case may settle in just a few weeks, while more complex cases may take several months or years. Your claim, your damages, your injuries, and the amount of compensation your San Antonio car accident settlement attorney requests will determine how long it takes to resolve your case.
Why You Should Contact a San Antonio Auto Accident Lawyer
It is always worth meeting with a qualified personal injury lawyer when another person’s negligence has hurt you. The legal team at Janicek Law offers a free consultation and case evaluation, so it doesn’t cost anything but time to discuss your potential car accident case.
If our firm represents you, you won’t have to pay until we obtain a settlement on your behalf. We work on a contingency basis and keep a small percentage of your damages as payment.
In addition, we determine whether the insurance company offered you a fair settlement or if your damages call for a bigger payout. Our attorneys are well versed in local, state, and federal laws and handle every step of your car accident case.
Call an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
Call Janicek Law with your questions about Texas auto accident settlements. If you suffered a minor or severe injury requiring medical treatment, you need the guidance of a skillful Texas car accident attorney right away.
Injured accident victims deserve compensation for their injuries and financial losses after a car crash, especially after an 18-wheeler accident. The car insurance company will try to pay you the least amount possible. Still, the dedicated legal professionals at Janicek Law will fight to get you the compensation you need for your physical and financial recovery.