The average payout from a car accident settlement

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Car accidents can have severe consequences, including physical injuries, job loss, and other difficulties. In many cases you may be eligible for compensation to cover your expenses. Filing a car accident claim allows you to seek a car accident payout for medical treatment, car repairs, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you experienced due to the accident. Many people are curious about the amount they can expect to pay when resolving a car accident dispute. In this article, we’ll explain the factors that influence car accident settlement payouts and how they are calculated.

Table Of Contents

Car accident settlement payouts

How does the car accident settlement process work

The car accident settlement process involves the following steps:

  1. Report the accident promptly to the police and your insurance company. Obtain a copy of the police report and document the scene and your injuries with photos and videos.
  2. Seek a medical diagnosis for your car accident injuries and receive appropriate medical care.
  3. Gather evidence, including witness statements and police reports, to determine fault for the collision.
  4. You have the option to start a personal injury claim against the driver at fault or their insurance company. It’s crucial to keep detailed records of your expenses and losses, while also ensuring you receive the necessary medical attention.
  5. Engage in negotiations with the insurance adjuster or the at-fault party’s lawyer to seek compensation. It’s advisable to have a personal injury lawyer represent you to assess the value of your claim and evaluate settlement offers.
  6. You have two choices: accepting a settlement offer or taking the route of a car accident lawsuit if an agreement cannot be reached. A settlement offer outlines the specific amount of compensation you would receive in exchange for giving up your right to sue. On the contrary, a lawsuit involves the initiation of formal legal action, which may entail court proceedings, mediation, arbitration, or even a trial.
  7. Receive the settlement car accident payouts or await a jury verdict. Settlement payments are typically received within weeks or months after reaching an agreement, while a jury verdict is a decision made by a jury based on the evidence presented. The verdict may differ from a settlement offer depending on the case’s specifics and the jury’s assessment.

The time it takes to complete this process can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, the cooperation of the insurance company, and the availability of evidence. In Colorado, it typically takes anywhere from a few weeks to several years to settle an auto accident claim.

How car accident settlements are calculated

How car accident settlements are calculated

Settlement amounts for car accident claims are determined based on the following factors:

Economic damage

Medical bills

This includes expenses for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, physical therapy, diagnostic tests, doctor’s visits, and any other necessary medical services. These bills are an important part of the car accident injury settlement because they aim to reimburse the injured party for the actual costs associated with their medical treatment and recovery.

Lost wages

Lost wages refer to the income or earnings that an individual was unable to earn due to their injuries from the car accident. This may include salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions, and other employment-related benefits that the injured person would have received during their recovery period.

Property damage

This includes the costs of repairs, replacement parts, or, in severe cases, the fair market value of the vehicle if it is considered a total loss. To support a property damage claim, it is important to gather evidence such as repair estimates, photographs of the damage, and any other relevant documentation to substantiate the costs associated with repairing or replacing the damaged property.

Replacement services and rental car costs

Replacement services refer to the expenses incurred to hire assistance or services that the injured person would have performed themselves if not for their injuries. This may include costs for hiring someone to clean the house, mow the lawn, care for dependents, or perform other daily tasks that the injured person is unable to do due to their injuries.

Rental car costs pertain to the expenses incurred to rent a replacement vehicle while the damaged vehicle is being repaired or replaced. These costs are typically covered by the insurance company of the at-fault party, allowing the injured party to have transportation during the repair period.

Non-economic damage

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain and mental distress that a victim experiences as a result of the accident, such as chronic pain, scarring, disability, depression, anxiety, fear, PTSD, and so on. Pain and suffering are usually compensable only if they are related to physical injuries or illness caused by the accident.

Emotional distress

It is the psychological impact that a victim experiences due to a traumatic event, such as witnessing the death of a loved one, being threatened with bodily harm, or experiencing extreme shock or outrage. Emotional distress can be compensable even if there is no physical injury, but only if the defendant’s conduct was intentional or reckless and caused severe emotional distress.

Factors that affect the amount of car accident settlements

Several factors can influence the amount of car accident insurance payout. Here are the main ones.

  1. Insurance Coverage. The available insurance coverage plays a significant role. Liability insurance compensates victims but is limited by the policy’s maximum coverage. If damages exceed this limit, the insurer won’t pay the excess. Pursuing additional damages from the at-fault driver personally may be fruitless if they lack sufficient assets to pay.
  2. Liability. When liability is clear, the chances of a larger settlement increase. Insurers representing the at-fault driver often accept responsibility and offer a reasonable settlement to avoid a lawsuit. Uncertainty regarding fault can result in no settlement or lower settlement offers. If fault is shared, it can significantly impact the compensation amount based on state laws.
  3. Severity of Injuries. The severity of injuries is a major factor in determining settlement amounts. Generally, more serious injuries lead to higher compensation. A study revealed that injured victims received an average payout of $29,700, while those without injuries received an average of $16,700.
  4. State Laws. State laws can affect car accident settlements. In no-fault states, individuals rely on their own insurance coverage initially, and additional damages like pain and suffering may be limited. In fault states, the at-fault driver is responsible for losses, potentially resulting in more comprehensive compensation offers.
  5. Financial Loss. The extent of financial loss, including missed work, medical expenses, and property damage, is considered in the settlement. The goal is to compensate the victim for various losses incurred as a result of the accident and make them whole again.

These factors interact and vary depending on the specifics of each case.

How much can you get for car accident claim

How much can you get for car accident claim

The average car accident settlement in Colorado is typically around 1.5 times the total financial loss, which includes medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and other expenses. Additionally, you may be eligible for non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, which can amount to several hundred thousand dollars. Insurance companies often use a multiplier method to determine the compensation for pain and suffering. They multiply the total medical expenses by a number ranging from 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of the injuries.

However, this typical car accident settlement is just an estimate and not a guarantee. To get a more accurate evaluation of the value of your specific car accident claim, it is recommended to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can assess your case and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can still receive a settlement if you are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Colorado follows a modified comparative fault rule, which reduces your compensation based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 10 percent at fault as a car accident victim and had $10,000 in damages, you would receive $9,000 in compensation.

No, it is not advisable to accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer without consulting a personal injury lawyer. Their goal is to minimize insurance payouts for car accidents, and the first offer may not fully cover your injuries and damages. A lawyer can evaluate your case and negotiate for a fair settlement that takes into account medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

If your claim is denied or the settlement offered is insufficient, you have the right to challenge the decision and take legal action. You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years of the accident or injury discovery. This allows you to pursue a jury verdict that awards you the proper compensation you deserve.

While it is not mandatory, it is recommended to hire an attorney for a car accident settlement in Colorado. An attorney will protect your rights, advocate for your interests, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. With their knowledge and experience, they can assist you through the legal process and handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.

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