How Much Is the Average Car Accident Settlement?
"I was in a bad car wreck that caused me to break my leg and be hospitalized for several days. Billy and Brittney came and met me with and my family in the hospital. From day one, they hit the ground running, and they never stopped working at full-speed on my case. The settlement that Billy got us changed our lives. We paid off all of our debt. We have been able to remodel our home, buy new vehicles, help out our kids financially, and save for what might come in our future."   - Kathy H.    |    TESTIMONIALS FROM CAR ACCIDENT CASES

Car Accident Settlement

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If you were injured in a car accident, it’s certain that you’re dealing with medical bills, lost time at work, and physical and emotional distress. As you worry about these costs, you may be left wondering how much is the average car accident settlement. An insurance settlement can reimburse you for all that money you’ve paid out for medical bills. But it can also make up for lost wages, the physical or psychological trauma you’re dealing with, and repairing or replacing your car and any other personal property damaged in the wreck.

If you’ve filed an insurance claim and you’re dealing with the defendant’s insurance company by yourself, you’re probably beginning to feel like you are being victimized once again, this time by the driver’s insurer. One piece of advice: you should seriously consider finding a good car accident lawyer before you do anything further. Hopefully, you haven’t said or done anything to undermine your claim, because insurance companies try to trick you into doing just that, in order to avoid paying the rightful settlement money you deserve.

Just How Much Constitutes a “Fair” Car Accident Settlement?

This is a very good question, but all auto accident claims are different due to a variety of factors, such as…

  • The seriousness of the injuries
  • The health of the victim at the time of the accident
  • The prognosis for the victim’s recovery
  • How long recovery might take
  • The nature of the victim’s prescribed rehabilitation.

How Are Economic Damages Calculated?

Economic damages are those which can be easily calculated. They involve bills, payments, wages, and balance sheets — something which can be quantified. Their opposites are non-economic damages; they are things we cannot see and touch easily. Non-economic damages deal with aspects such as physical pain, emotional anguish, humiliation, reputational damage, loss of enjoyment of activities, worsening of prior injuries and loss of consortium – defined in this case as “familial association.”

How Policy Limits Impact Settlement Calculations

One other thing we must share before diving into any settlement calculation is insurance policy limits. All Kentucky drivers must have a minimum coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person per accident, $50,000 bodily injury for all persons in each accident and $10,000 property damage liability, usually referred to as “25/50/10.” Smart motorists usually carry significantly higher coverage amounts, simply because the value of medical costs has shot up 300 percent or more since these amounts were established. So if you’re seriously injured, and the negligent driver’s coverage is exhausted, your insurer makes up the difference.  If your financial needs exceed both combined policy limits, you may have to sue the negligent driver personally for the difference.

When calculating medical bills and lost income, a general formula is to multiply the medical bills total by three, then add 100 percent of the lost income. We’ll use this simple model.

Non-Economic Damages Calculation

Putting an exact price on your pain and suffering is virtually impossible. However, that is exactly what is attempted when calculating non-economic damages. They can include:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish/emotional stress
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of ability to enjoy life
  • Scarring/disfigurement.

There are so many variables to this seemingly simple task. It centers on how your attorney uses the evidence in your case to maximize your non-economic damages. Some of these factors include:

  • The type, severity, and length of time it takes you to recover
  • Whether you’re permanent disabled, scarred, or disfigured
  • How your injuries impact your daily life (or employment)
  • The changes in your relationships with family, associates and friends
  • Your long-term medical prognosis.

Let’s Look at an Example Car Accident Case

A quick and simple example would involve a couple involved in the same fiery accident in which both suffered serious, but not horrific, facial burns. The husband is a firefighter and his wife is an on-air reporter for the local television station. Since the wife’s face is an essential element to her employment, she will likely receive noticeably higher non-economic damages for her pain and suffering than her firefighter husband.

Pikevill Car Wreck LawyerAs far as an estimation of non-economic damages, when comparing them to economic damages, settlements can run from two to ten times the amount of medical bills and lost income – again, depending on the circumstances of the accident, extent of injuries, and whether punitive damages are demanded by the injured victim’s lawyer in order to punish the defendant’s reckless or willful behavior for causing the accident.

When represented by a seasoned injury lawyer, insurance companies would rather negotiate reasonable settlements with injured plaintiffs. As far as they’re concerned, a reasonable settlement is preferable to a trial where things could go badly for the insurance company. This is why it is so important to have a skilled attorney whose reasonable and fair demand for damages is accompanied by a strong case that proves the negligence defendant’s culpability.

Learn How Much Your Car Accident Case Is Worth

The Pikeville, KY car accident lawyers at the Johnson Law Firm have extensive experience with the court system and insurance companies. Billy Johnson has represented vehicle accident victims throughout Kentucky, as well as in other states. He can help determine responsibility, establish your claim, and earn you financial compensation. The Johnson Law Firm offers prospective clients an initial case evaluation for free, in person or over the phone.

Attorney Billy Johnson

William “Billy” Johnson grew up in the Dorton area of Pike County, Kentucky, and early on decided to stay in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. Like many others in Eastern Kentucky, Billy’s dad worked as a coal miner, a hard job but one that taught his son how to meet challenges head on and persevere. Attorney Billy Johnson has years of experience helping injured clients with claims such as car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, wrongful deaths, work injuries, and more. [ Attorney Bio ]

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    • Pikeville Kentucky Personal Injury Lawyers