What’s The Average Car Accident Settlement?
Determining a fair settlement amount is unique for every case. Car Accident settlements depend on many factors. More complicated cases have more factors to take into account.
- The severity and type of your injury and suffering and any resulting disability
- Loss of income, workdays
- Damage to your vehicles, other property damages
- The costs covered by your insurance coverage
- The cost of medical bills
- The treatment plan, length of therapy, side effects
There is not a perfect formula that will predict the amount of a settlement in a car accident case. However, if you want to get a rough value on “how much should I settle for my car accident?” simply add all your expenses and multiply that sum by three. If the accident resulted in a permanent medical condition, the amount of settlement will increase.
How Much Should I Ask for Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident?
In cases where liability or fault is not evident, you must be able to prove fault. You also need to prove whether your injury is related to the accident or not.
Experienced attorneys know the settlement values from their previous cases and can estimate a value for your case. This value depends on how serious your injuries are. All your records and medical bills will be examined. You also need to count your lost wages and get a verification statement confirming them from your place of work. Settlement values vary according to the circumstances and state you live in.
Timing of medical care is crucial. Any delay in care could change the settlement amount. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after your accident and as often as your doctor prescribes. It may be that you see an emergency room doctor but then have follow-up care with a specialist. Follow the doctor’s plan. Anything short of that will be to your disadvantage and help the at-fault party and their insurance company. Insurance adjusters assume that if you don’t get immediate care and frequent care for your injuries you have not have been seriously injured.
Watch this video of attorney Stuart Carpey discussing the Venus Williams car accident case.
When to Contact a Car Accident Attorney?
If you are unsure whether you should hire an attorney or not, you can always contact an attorney to discuss your case and the possibilities of pursuing a claim in court.
You should always talk to an attorney about your legal options. If there is a question about who is responsible or the police report does not look accurate, an attorney can help. An attorney can help you to predict the car accident injury settlement amount.
To get more information about “When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident” Click here.
Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents
Victims in catastrophic car accidents, such as rollovers or pileups, can suffer a wide range of injuries. One injury that is not always so obvious to detect is crushed. A Car Accident injury occurs when a body part is subjected to a high degree of force or pressure, usually after being squeezed between or under heavy objects or as a result of extreme forces such as from a collision, and can lead to further complications.
The type of injuries resulting from an accident can be dependent on the type and causes of the car accident. Here is a list of some common causes of car accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Texting (Pennsylvania’s law banning texting while driving has long been in effect)
- Radio/music accessories: i.e., iPods, MP3 players, CD players, tape decks, radios
- Reading, checking e-mail, or eating are also fairly common and incredibly dangerous.
- Using an interior mirror; for instance, when applying makeup.
- Paying too much attention to your passengers or being distracted by passengers.
- “Rubber-necking,” or slowing down in traffic to inspect an accident scene or construction site, causing sudden stops or changes in speed that endanger everyone on the road.
- Disregarding posted speed limits.
- Reckless speed in certain conditions (i.e., night-time, rain, snow, ice, etc.).
- Speeding on different road types.
- Drunk or intoxicated driving
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving ability is impaired. Fatal accidents are hundreds of times more likely to occur (the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated that a drunk driver is 385 times more likely to be in a fatal accident than a sober one) when drivers are drinking.
- Reckless driving & racing
- Reckless drivers do not take into account other motorists on the road. They may race, change lanes without signaling, and treat the road as their playgrounds. These drivers endanger not only themselves but others.
- Weather conditions
- Slick surfaces like bridges are much more likely to be icy than roadways
- Black ice
- Un-plowed roads should be avoided or reported to the appropriate authority. Snow on the road covers such hazards as water, rocks, and black ice.
- Rainy conditions obscure vision.
- Hydroplaning (see our article here: Watch Out for Water on the Road)
- If your wipers are in bad shape, your visibility is shot. It’s important to remember to check your windshield wipers and replace the blades when necessary.
- Disobeying traffic signals
- Running stop signs. Also, the “the rolling stop” is not considered stopping at a stop sign. Practice waiting a few seconds at a stop sign before proceeding. This will statistically reduce your chance of a collision with another driver approaching the intersection
- Chasing yellow lights is incredibly dangerous. Do not attempt to “make” the light by accelerating. If you aren’t sure if you have enough time, do NOT try. Many accidents occur from these scenarios, whether someone has chased a light or has tried to speed through one. It is just as important to give ample time to stop as it is to wait before crossing an intersection.
- Failing to yield the right of way.
- Night driving
- Light and distance perception is altered.
- Be sure not to try to drive when you are tired.
- Vehicle defects
- Manufacturer faults– most notable are tire and brake failures. It is important to know your vehicle’s appropriate tire pressures and to maintain your brakes.
- Unsafe road maneuvers
- Sudden lane changes, or lane changes without signaling
- Sporadic braking and uneven speed are incredibly dangerous on the road
- Road defects
- Changes in road gradients, slopes, and surfaces require more attentive driving.
- In construction sites, lane shifts and other tactics are meant to keep drivers safe. When you are instructed by signage to “Stay IN Lane,” that usually means the pavement ahead is uneven and may cause you to lose traction or a safe driving line.
Wound Dressing Following an Accident
If you were injured in an accident — be it a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or fall down accident — part of the healing process may very well include the dressing and regular changing of bandages in the event of lacerations or abrasions.
One of the best bandages you could use on your injuries is hydrocolloid wound dressings. These dressings are very effective if used correctly, and can expedite the healing process. These bandages come in many forms — most commonly a sheet or patch — and effectively absorb any fluids seeping from a wound.
Hydrocolloid wound dressings are waterproof, which means you can keep them on in the shower; and they typically can be worn for up to three to five days. These bandages are useful for the dressing of many kinds of wounds, including (but not limited to):
Hydrocolloid dressings come in many shapes and forms, and you can choose the best for your injury.
Read more about “What to Do After a Car Accident” Click here.
Chronic Pain and its Relationship to Accidents
Chronic pain is acute pain that lasts beyond the expected period of healing. Acute pain is often treatable with medication, surgery, or both. However, there are times when pain does not go away after a reasonable healing period for a particular injury. That is chronic pain. While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain continues over a long period and is likely to interfere with daily activities.
If you have been in an automobile accident you should be aware of the following signs and symptoms of chronic pain.
- Pain that continues three to six months after your body is expected to be healed
- Shooting, burning, or aching pain
- Discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness
- Tiredness or loss of energy
- Trouble sleeping
- Irritability decreased concentration, anxiety, or depression
- Inability to perform daily activities
Chronic pain can be a permanent injury and should not be taken lightly. Attorneys who are knowledgeable in the area of personal injury lawyers should always take chronic pain symptoms into account when they are evaluating a car accident victim’s case.
Read more about How long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury
How Long Do You Have to Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?
You should seek medical attention if you are injured and follow your doctor’s prescribed medical plan. There is no exact science as to how people recover from injuries. Your doctor may predict your recovery time, but everyone is different and you may require more or less time than the average.
Legal Resources & Links for Personal Injury, Car Accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injury
- Brain Injury Association of America: The Brain Injury Association of America strives to create a better future through brain injury prevention, research, education, and advocacy. Their website is one of the more detailed and comprehensive sites for information and support for brain injury survivors and their advocates. It includes a detailed explanation of brain injury, treatment, and rehabilitation, fact sheets, guides for professionals and survivors, legal aspects, and prevention.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): The mission of NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological disease – a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.
- The Center on Outcome Measurement in Brain Injury (COMBI): The Center on Outcome Measurement in Brain Injury (COMBI) describes several different outcome measurements for brain injuries, which are commonly used in the treatment of brain injury. Primarily for professionals, it includes a survey to help determine which scales are the most effective.
- The Franklin Institute’s Brain Injury Statistics and Information: Information on Brain Injury including Concussions and Alzheimer’s Disease
- The Traumatic Brain Injury National Data Center (TBINDC): The Traumatic Brain Injury National Data Center (TBINDC) features searchable current research publications about many aspects of brain injury.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide: Published by the clinical director of the Neuro-Recovery Head Injury Program.
- Traumatic Brain Injury- CDC
Spinal Cord Injuries
- American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA): The mission of the American Spinal Injury Association is to promote and establish standards of excellence for all aspects of health care of individuals with spinal cord injury from onset throughout life.
- Mayo Clinic – Spinal Cord Injury
- National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA): Founded in 1948, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association is the nation’s oldest and largest civilian organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with the results of spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) and their families. This number grows by thirty newly injured people each day.
- Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System (NWRSCIS) – Support Group: The mission of the NWRSCIS is to improve the lives of people with SCI through excellent patient care, research, and education. Consequently, the NWRSCIS strives to provide specialized care to persons with SCI, to conduct clinically relevant research, and to disseminate the most useful, evidence-based information to people with SCI, their families, and professionals. Share your stories and experiences, ask questions, get real-life answers or just listen to fellow members of the Spinal Cord Injury community.¦3rd Thursday of every month ¦12:30 PM to 1:30 PM ¦Harborview Medical Center ¦4–West Patient & Family/Multi-Purpose Room (across from the nurses’ station). If you have questions, please call 206-616-8568 or email email@example.com.
- Spinal Cord Injury Information from The National Institute of Neurological Disorders
- Spinal Cord Injury Information Network
- The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Resource Center: The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Resource Center promotes the health and well-being of people living with a spinal cord injury, mobility impairment, and paralysis by providing comprehensive information, resources and referral services.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.