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What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?

If you have recently been involved in a car accident, then you are probably facing a number of expenses. You might have medical bills that are already rolling in from doctors and hospitals, you could have to replace your vehicle, and you might end up missing an extended amount of time from work as you recover from your injuries. Therefore, you might have trouble making ends meet. This is where a car accident settlement can be helpful.

If the accident wasn't your fault, then there is no reason why you should have to bear the financial burden of all of these bills. At the same time, there are several factors that are going to play a role in the size of a potential car accident settlement.

Average Settlement for a Car Accident Factors

1. The Prospect of Insurance

One factor that is going to influence the size of a car accident settlement is the type of car insurance each driver involved in the accident possesses. Each of these policies are going to have a limit on them, which is going to affect the outcome of any potential car accident claim or lawsuit. Some of the limits that most car accident policies carry include:

  • A limit on the money for bodily injury coverage (meaning money for your injuries)
  • An aggregate bodily injury coverage limit (meaning there may be separate coverage limits for two different people in the same accident)
  • A financial limit on the amount of money that is paid out to repair or replace someone's vehicle

These limits are going to play a role in how much money someone might receive from the accident. If the at-fault driver was not insured or underinsured, this could significantly complicate the process of a car accident settlement.

2. The Certainty of Liability

In order for any car accident settlement to be successful, it is critical to be able to prove liability. The more certain liability is any car accident, the larger the potential settlement can going to be. In order to prove liability following a car accident, a case has to prove:

  • The party that is at-fault owed the plaintiff a duty of care when it came to operating his or her motor vehicle
  • The party that is at fault in the car accident breached this duty of care, such as talking on a cell phone, driving while drunk, or driving while tired
  • This breach led to the accident that resulted in the damage is mentioned above, such as medical expenses, property damage, and time missed from work

The easier it is to prove these elements, the less likely it would need to be filed on to go to court. This is because the only issue really becomes now much money a person should get and not necessarily proving who was at fault.

3. The Size of the Medical Expenses

Another major factor that will play a role in the size of a potential car accident settlement is the size of the medical expenses. In theory, the goal of a lawsuit is not to punish someone who is at fault but to get them to accept fault and liability for any financial damages that resulted from the accident. Therefore, the larger the medical bills are, the larger the settlement should be. For example, if someone breaks a bone in a car accident, this could be painful; however, a bone fracture is unlikely to cost the same amount of money as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury.

A car accident settlement is not only meant to cover the cost of medical bills now but is also meant to cover the cost of any future medical bills as well. Therefore, if someone is going to require doctor visits, therapy, and medications for the rest of his or her life, this is going to be incredibly expensive, which is where a potential car accident settlement can be maximized.

4. The Ability of the Plaintiff To Return To Work

A potential car accident settlement also has to account for potential lost income. For example, someone might end up missing work for several months as they rehab from his injury. If they end up losing income as a result of this injury, this lost income should be included in any potential car accident settlement.

In addition, this means if someone is not able to return to work at all, the potential lost income could include decades. As a result, this is going to drive up the value of a car accident settlement.

5. Additional Out of Pocket Expenses

Furthermore, it is also important to take a look at additional out-of-pocket expenses as well. Some of the out-of-pocket expenses that are commonly overlooked following a car accident include:

  • The cost of someone driving to and from their medical appointments following a car accident
  • The cost of renting a car until the original car is either repaired or replaced
  • The cost of hiring help to assist with various activities of daily living while the injuries heal

These out-of-pocket expenses have to be included in a potential car accident settlement as well.

Finally, the quality of the attorney plays a role in the size of any potential car accident settlement. Anyone who has been hurt or injured in an accident has to make sure they enlist the help of an attorney who has experience dealing with car accidents and personal injuries. Only through experience in both of these fields can attorneys truly know how much each car accident settlement is worth. Then, they will be in the best position to advocate for the best interests of his or her client. If you have been hurt in a car accident, reach out to a trained car accident personal injury lawyer today.

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