What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?

“Show me the money!”

So goes the famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire (arguably one of the most memorable lines from any movie in the past few decades. And it may be EXACTLY the line going through the head of someone who’s been injured (or at least inconvenienced) by a car accident.

If you’ve been in an accident, the settlement with the insurance company is the money you’ll get to cover your medical bills, car damage and/or other accident related expenses.

So how much is the average settlement for a car accident?

Well, coming up with an average amount can prove difficult (though we do have some numbers for you below). We’re not trying to play games here. It’s just that every case differs based on the nature and seriousness of the accident.

And while you may think insurance companies have this down to a science, in reality they don’t. That’s right. Insurance companies truly don’t have any specific calculation method for settlements.

Which can make the process seem like a free-for-all at times. And makes it hard to provide a good average settlement amount because there are so many factors to consider.

Let’s start by discussing expenses an insurance company will actually cover? Technically an insurance company is only responsible for paying the medical bills along with the car repair and income losses.

(Quick, but important side note here… keep in mind that you can only receive a single settlement from the insurance company. You may lose the chances of receiving any compensation if you file for settlement before your medical treatment is over.)

If your case goes to court, a judge may decide on a settlement amount based on the seriousness of the injury. This includes any initial treatments and all subsequent therapy sessions that may have followed.

Not able to do your job properly? You can get compensated for that too. Also, you can receive compensation for the emotional pain you had to suffer because of the accident.

Another quick tip here… save all the bills and receipts for future reference; it’s really important!

Should you hire a lawyer?

There’s nothing that says you absolutely have to hire a lawyer to help you. You can settle a claim by yourself.

That said, unless you’re a lawyer yourself or are a highly skilled negotiator, you may find yourself in over your head. The insurance company will always try to lowball any settlement. That’s their job. And, if you aren’t on your A-game, then you’ll end up getting less for your settlement than you probably deserve.

So, for most people, hiring a lawyer is probably in their best interest. Most lawyers won’t charge a upfront fee but will only take a percentage of the total settlement amount you end up getting. Typically they’ll get around 33%. For the amount of time and hassle they’ll save you and since they should be able to negotiate a higher settlement, their fee is often totally worth it.

What’s the average settlement amount you can get in a car accident?

Again, this is a hard question to answer. But let’s break this down into 2 main categories.

First are minor accidents. Here you can expect the average settlement to be somewhere in the $500 – $3000 range.

For a more serious accident, with serious injuries and major damage to the car, claims can average in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.

The settlement will cover everything starting from your medical bills and car repair expenses. Your wage losses and recovery treatment bills will also be factored in. With that, the pain and suffering you had to bear will also be considered for the claim by the court.

So, the seriousness of your injury plays a major role in deciding the settlement amount. And again, for most people, it’s worth getting in touch with a personal injury attorney to look at all the legal options for the settlement!