How Much Compensation Can You Expect from a Car Accident Settlement

Key Points

  • The most important factor in how much a car accident case is worth is the severity of your injury.
  • The amount of your compensation may also be affected by the amount of insurance available and the amount of your medical bills.
  • Insurance Companies may inappropriately try to assign a settlement formula to your case, but your case may be worth more.

You’re probably wondering how much your car accident case might be worth. Like many others, you may find yourself searching online for case results similar to yours. We understand. While your physical health and well-being are paramount after an accident, financial concerns are crucial as well because accidents can be expensive. One of the most common questions we receive at our personal injury law firm concerns the potential value of a car accident claim settlement: How much could you receive? What factors influence this amount? Some clients even ask for an estimate. They understand it’s not guaranteed, but they appreciate having an estimated figure.

We’d love to discuss each case individually and suggest specific values that we think accident victims should receive, but the truth is, every case is unique. Therefore, it’s important to exercise caution when comparing your situation to case results found online.

Should I Have Expectations for a Car Accident Settlement?

In personal injury law, there are no guarantees until you have a check in your hand—and even then, it needs to clear the bank. It’s okay to have expectations, but be aware that they might not always be accurate, especially if they’re based on other cases you find on the internet. These expectations can be misleading, but sometimes the outcome can be better than expected.

Even experienced personal injury lawyers can set expectations that might not be precise. Our firm has learned through experience not to make promises to clients. We will tell you what we are aiming for and why we believe it’s a reasonable target. If you ask for an estimate, we’ll share our assessment of what your case might be worth and explain our reasoning.

However, car accident settlements are complex, and many factors can influence the final amount. Even a small detail can make a big difference. So, while it’s good to have expectations, remember that the specifics of car accident settlements can change.

Can You Make a Good Amount of Money off of a Car Accident?

While you might hear about large settlements from dramatic lawyer ads or stories like Uncle Vinny’s Thanksgiving tale of a big payout, making a “good amount of money” from a car accident isn’t as straightforward as it seems. In Georgia, personal injury settlements are calculated after a demand letter is sent to the insurance company. This happens when medical treatment is completed and all costs—including medical bills, lost wages, and future medical expenses—are added up. However, there’s no simple formula to determine the value of an injury case in Georgia.

Lawyers or relatives who claim they can predict the exact value of your case without thoroughly understanding all the details are likely misinformed. Many people develop expectations about the value of their case based on secondhand stories or media portrayals, but these expectations can greatly differ from real settlement possibilities. This discrepancy can lead to mistrust towards insurance providers and legal professionals.

What Are the Settlement Expectations for Car Accidents With Smaller Injuries?

For simpler injuries like whiplash, which usually heals completely and involves neck sprains, the settlement typically ranges from 1.5 to 3 times the medical bills. For example, if treatment costs $3,000, the settlement in the Atlanta area could be between $5,000 and $7,000.

More complex cases, such as those requiring back or neck surgery, where full recovery isn’t guaranteed, can see much higher settlements. If medical expenses total over $100,000, the settlement might climb into the several hundreds of thousands.

Settlements for major joint injuries—like those to knees or shoulders—also vary widely. These depend on the treatment’s success and whether the damage is permanent. A young person who fully recovers from a shoulder injury with $15,000 in medical expenses might see a settlement from $30,000 to $60,000, while a permanent injury could push the settlement over $100,000.

Overall, industry data shows that from 2009 to 2018, the average settlement for car accident cases hovered around $14,000 to $16,000 per case.

What Can Ruin a Car Accident Settlement Expectation?

One major factor that can derail the expectations of a car accident settlement is the amount of insurance available for recovery. This is largely determined by the state laws where the at-fault driver’s vehicle is registered, as each state has different requirements for insurance types and the minimum amounts of coverage. For instance, in Georgia, the law requires drivers to carry a minimum liability insurance policy of $25,000.00. Although this is just the minimum, some drivers choose higher levels of coverage, and commercial vehicles often have policies ranging from a minimum of $500,000 to several million dollars.

However, in situations involving severe injuries, if the at-fault driver only has the minimum required insurance, the potential settlement value may be limited to that $25,000.00 policy limit. For less severe injuries, this amount might be adequate to settle the claim. If the at-fault driver’s insurance does not cover all your injury-related expenses, you might have the option to seek further compensation through your own under-insured or uninsured motorist coverage, which can provide additional funds without any penalties.

What Are the Average Settlement Ranges for Common Injury Cases in Atlanta?

It’s common to see individuals in courtrooms or on television seeking compensation for injuries they claim to have sustained. However, the real question arises: What is the actual value of car accident injury cases in Georgia? Insurance companies frequently utilize a settlement formula to estimate the monetary value of an injury case. This calculation is influenced by various factors, including the number of parties involved in the accident.

For whiplash injuries, which typically involve neck sprains and strains and culminate in a full medical recovery, settlements are generally calculated at 1.5 to 3 times the total medical expenses. Various factors can adjust this range. For instance, if whiplash treatment costs $3,000, the settlement value in the Atlanta region might range from $5,000 to $7,000.

Cases necessitating back or neck surgery present a more complex scenario for applying a standard formula. The settlement value is greatly affected by the patient’s recovery outcome post-surgery, with many individuals not achieving full recovery. For example, if the total medical expenses after surgery and therapy surpass $100,000, the settlement could reach several hundred thousand dollars.

Injuries to major joints like the knees and shoulders also vary significantly in settlement value, primarily based on the treatment’s nature and extent, and whether the injury is permanent. A case involving a young person with a shoulder injury, who undergoes injections and therapy resulting in full recovery and incurs $15,000 in medical bills, is typically valued between $30,000 to $60,000. In contrast, a permanent injury in a similar scenario could exceed $100,000 in value.

Industry data suggests that the average settlement for car accident cases, encompassing all claim types between 2009 and 2018, was approximately $14,000 to $16,000 per case.

Justin Oliverio is an intelligent, experienced, and hardworking attorney who fights hard for his clients. He’s provided me valuable insight into certain aspects of litigation against large corporations and I would have no hesitation to hire him.

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