How Much To Expect From A Car Accident Settlement

Being involved in a car accident lawsuit can be stressful for both parties involved, but especially the individual who has acquired the injuries and damages.

No two car accidents are the same, and many different factors will influence a claim and the eventual settlement, however, in this article, we’ll give you a general overview of the amount you can expect for various damages. 

When an accident takes place, not only will you need compensation for any damage to your vehicle, but you may also acquire bodily injuries that need to be accounted for.

how much to expect from a car accident settlement

Data from the ICO suggests that in the US alone the average liability claim is over $3,231 in property damage. Bodily damages are likely to generate a lot more in compensation, approximately $17,024

These figures can be used as “ballpark” figures to help you understand roughly how much to expect from a car accident settlement. However these figures are not set in stone, and as we said above, many factors need to be taken into consideration before a case can be settled.

In this article, we’ll outline some of the general factors that can influence your claim and settlement. 

Understanding where the settlement comes from 

If you’re involved in an accident, either your insurance or the insurance company of the other party will cover the expenses of any damage to your property or self.

 This depends on who is liable for the damage: if the accident was your fault and you have collision coverage for your car, then your insurance company will pay a specific price to fix the damage. 

Some states have two types of auto insurance covers: comprehensive and third-party coverage. A comprehensive cover means your insurance company pays for both the repairs of your vehicle and that of the person you hit.

A third party insurance cover caters for the damages to the other person's car and any bodily injuries.

If you’re injured in an accident caused by the other driver’s negligence or reckless driving, then their insurer will compensate for damages to your property and any bodily harm, as well as pain and suffering inflicted as a result of these injuries. 

Due to the competitive nature of insurance companies, the amount you receive might be a little bit lower than you expect, so you should always be prepared to be flexible, without settling for an unreasonably low offer, of course. 

If your vehicle has been ‘written-off’ or completely ruined, your insurance company will give you a lump sum based on how much the car was worth.

Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, it is advisable to get an attorney after an accident, as they are best equipped with the knowledge to assist your claim and help you with any additional legal procedures. 

Your insurance policy 

In most countries worldwide you are required to be legally insured in order to drive. However, insurance companies are different, and so are their policies and the amount of coverage they offer. All insurance companies have a maximum payable amount they can provide in the case of an accident. 

However, as we said previously, insurance companies are competitive, and they are looking out for themselves more than they are looking out for you. Insurance companies will always try to cut the amount they can pay you to the lowest possible figure in order to save money.

This means that their maximum payout amount may not cover all of your damages, even if the other driver is responsible for the accident. 

If this is the case, it will mean that your insurance company will be forced to top-up on the remaining losses incurred. This is why it’s a good idea for you or your attorney to seek to find out the maximum payouts from both insurance companies before you file for claims. 

The two types of covers by auto insurers:

  • Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)
  • Property Damage Liability

Bodily Injury Liability (BIL)

BIL covers the medical expenses required after your accident, such as hospital stays, treatment, and prescriptions. It also caters to the occupants of the vehicle.

This is usually split one of two ways, either 20/50, or 100/300. If split 100/300, this would mean that the insurer will pay a maximum of $100k for one person’s injuries and $300k for the occupants of the two vehicles.

Property Damage Liability

This type of insurance covers the property and car damages incurred as a result of the accident.

As with BIL, there are different types of covers for property damage liability.

If your insurance cover is 100/300/50, the company will pay up to $50k in terms of damages to the car and other properties.

Final Verdict 

As we said at the beginning of the article, while those injured in car accidents claim on average $3,231 in property damage and $17,024 in bodily damage, there are still many factors that will influence your claim which could amount to figures higher or lower than those listed above. 

It also depends on the nature of the accident, and where the blame lies, as this will influence which party is expected to pay for the damages incurred.

It also depends on the type of insurance you have, and what insurance policy the other driver is covered by, as if theirs is insufficient to cover the damages you've incurred, your insurance company may be expected to top-up the amount. 

Another thing to consider is the type of damages incurred and which type of insurance they're covered by - Bodily Injury Liability or Property Damage Liability. 

Ultimately, no case is the same, and the success of your settlement will depend on the insurance policies, the evidence you have of the damages incurred, and the cooperation of the defendant.

We also advise that you seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible after your accident and that you or your attorney find out the insurance policies of both yours and the opposing party's cover. 


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