Types of Compensation in a Car Accident Settlement
Since your car accident is unique, it is crucial to consider exactly how your accident impacted you. All of the ways you were impacted physically, emotionally, and financially will affect your claim’s value. Calculating the ways your car accident has impacted you will help you estimate your car accident settlement amount.
Courts split car accident damages into three main categories:
- Special Damages
- General Damages
- Punitive Damages
Special damages are the monetary losses that directly result from a collision.
These amounts are based on bills, records, and other documentation and include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Cost of surgeries or other related medical treatment
- Value of lost wages
- Cost of repairs for property damage
General damages are based on the pain and trauma that car accident victims typically experience. These damages can be difficult to predict and largely depend upon the victim’s ability to communicate personal losses to a jury.
General damages can include:
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship
- Psychological effects
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental distress
- Physical pain
In some states, punitive damages are an additional type of compensation that a judge may decide to award if he or she feels general compensation is insufficient.
Punitive damages are rare, but when they occur, it is typically a response to gross negligence such as drunk driving or intent to harm.
Now that you have a better understanding of the inner workings of a car accident case take a look at average settlement amounts for car accident cases.
Average Settlement Amounts for a Car Accident
Auto accident claim data shows that on average, victims can expect a successful car accident settlement to total between $14,000 and $28,000. Much more serious car accidents can total as much as $31,000 or more.
Car accidents that result in paralysis or a spinal cord injury can be worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars due to the victim's lifelong costs and physical limitations.
Generally, a personal injury trial will yield a higher settlement outcome than an insurance settlement that does not go to trial.
It is impossible to determine the exact value of your case based on averages because car accident claims are versatile and unpredictable. These average amounts may be far from the total you receive in the end.
The best way to determine the worth of your car accident case is to schedule a free case evaluation with a skilled, experienced attorney.