Being the victim of a car accident can result in incredible amounts of personal stress, vehicular property damage and physical pain. Some traffic accidents can be resolved privately between the relevant parties. Still, if you have experienced a traffic accident that resulted in personal injury or damage to your vehicle, you may have cause to file for settlement.
Below, we’ll discuss the laws and factors that influence the answer to “What is the average settlement for a car accident?”
Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts
When a traffic accident results from driver negligence, the victim of the accident may be eligible for damages. Driver negligence can be constituted in many ways, from general lack of attention to the reckless use of “a personal electronic device while driving,” according to the Revised Code of Washington, Section 46.61.672.
While it might seem intuitive to find the average amount for car accident settlements, there is no single predetermined amount of money that will comprise the “standard” settlement for a traffic accident. This is because each car accident is a unique event that involves specific factors that will influence the appropriate settlement amount.
For this reason, finding an approximate car accident settlement amount average is not as helpful as knowing which variables should be considered for your specific circumstance.
If you have been the victim of a car accident, many factors will influence the settlement’s size that you might be entitled to. While some of these factors are easily quantifiable in monetary compensation, there are often intangible effects that are less financially clear-cut.
Relevant factors will include:
- Did the accident cause you to accrue medical bills?
- Did losing work in the wake of the accident result in lost wages?
- What was the extent of the property damage from the car accident?
- Who was responsible for the accident?
Because Washington abides by contributory fault laws, you can claim damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident. The amount of responsibility you hold for the accident will affect the damages you’re able to recover.
Let’s explore common car accident situations and how the factors above impact the settlements.
Average Settlement for a Rear-End Car Accident
If a car accident’s primary outcome is vehicular property damage, then the extent of the property damage will be the primary factor in determining an appropriate settlement amount. Any repair or replacement costs will be highly relevant.
However, even when the primary issue is property damage, there may still be non-economic losses to consider. For instance, vehicles often have sentimental meaning for the families that own them, and any emotional distress experienced also represents an element of the losses incurred from the accident.
To sum it up, damage to the vehicle and emotional distress plays a role in the average settlement for a rear-end car accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence to demonstrate the negative impact a car accident had on your life.
Average Settlement for a Car Accident Causing Whiplash or Back Injury
Some car accidents result in injuries beyond just property damage. In rear-end accidents, common personal injuries include whiplash, back injuries and even nerve damage. When these accidents are severe, medical treatment bills often reach or exceed $100,000. Whether your medical bills are large or small, you have the right to sue for personal injury that came about due to the accident.
A car accident settlement including pain and suffering as a factor will compensate for losses wrought by things like “pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish,” and other intangible consequences (Revised Code of Washington, Section 4.56.250).
While there is no average settlement for a car accident resulting in back injury, whiplash, or other injuries, non-economic losses become increasingly relevant when bodily injuries are involved. For instance, if you have suffered whiplash, back injury or nerve damage from a car accident, settlement evaluations will need to account for your pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering damages are typically calculated by weighing several relevant factors. These include the severity of the pain and the extent to which the pain affects your ability to participate in activities you enjoy.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
Because each car accident is a unique event, car accident settlements can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to resolve. Settlements involving severe injuries may take especially long to adjudicate, which is a good reason to acquire legal professionals’ services.
Additionally, according to the Revised Code of Washington, Section 4.16.080, any legal claims regarding personal injury or personal property damage must be initiated within three years of the initial incident. This is known as the statute of limitations and should be considered if you hope to seek a settlement.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered losses due to a car accident and believe that you are eligible for damages, obtaining an experienced legal team’s guidance is vital. The skilled attorneys at Will & Will boast 35 years of combined legal experience, focusing on ensuring the best possible outcome for all of their clients.
For expert legal assistance in recovering the compensation you are owed, contact Will & Will today.