A car accident can leave you with substantial medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and significant injuries. You may feel overwhelmed by the financial stresses you may face after you’ve recovered from your injuries. Fortunately, you have a right to recover compensation from the party that caused your harm. Compensation can help you and your family return to some sense of normality after this traumatic experience.
You might be eager to learn about the average car accident settlement in CA. Trying to find information about an average car accident settlement may seem instructive. However, every car accident case presents unique circumstances and factors. Plus, not all car accident settlements are publicly available. Thus, you and your attorney should focus on the factors that affect a California car accident settlement and how they impact your potential settlement amount.
Is There a Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount?
Those injured in a car accident may wonder whether there is a typical car accident settlement amount. However, any good lawyer will tell you that a generalized average settlement amount for car accidents is impossible to estimate. Each case has distinct facts and circumstances which significantly impact potential compensation values. This makes it highly difficult to determine an average car accident settlement amount that would be useful to your claim.
Instead, your attorney must carefully evaluate the details surrounding your accident and injuries to determine your case’s value. They’ll ask you numerous questions, gather evidence, and calculate an individualized potential compensation amount based on your individual circumstances.
Factors That Affect an Average Car Accident Settlement Amount
An extensive range of factors can impact a California car accident settlement. Each factor is unique to each case. Thus, rather than focusing on a general average car accident settlement in CA, you and your attorney should discuss the factors impacting a potential settlement in your case. Below are some factors that commonly impact car accident settlement amounts.
Severity of Injuries
Car accidents involving severe injuries typically result in larger damages. This is because more severe injuries require more medical treatment and rehabilitation, and thus, more medical bills and pain and suffering. Examples of severe injuries with significant expenses include:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Disfigurement, and
- Limb amputations.
Some injuries may require lengthy physical therapy regimens and significantly interfere with a victim’s quality of life. In turn, the victim may have significant financial and emotional harm.
Generally, you are entitled to recover medical costs and expenses from the at-fault party in a car accident. The more severe and catastrophic injuries a victim suffers, the greater the medical expenses. Some victims may require ongoing medical care for the duration of their life. The cost of these medical treatments can be astronomical and settlement values increase.
A clear determination of liability may also increase your settlement value. If there’s significant evidence that an individual caused your accident and injuries, they may be more eager to settle for the amount you demand. Many insurance companies may try to shift blame or fault onto an injured victim to reduce their financial obligation. However, if there is no evidence that you are partially at fault, your attorney will push back against these assertions.
Circumstances of Accident
The circumstances of an accident may also impact potential settlement values. For example, if a driver drove under the influence of alcohol and caused catastrophic injuries, your attorney may push for punitive damages. In California, a victim may receive punitive damages when the defendant exhibited negligence and exercised “oppression, fraud, or malice” against the victim. Punitive damages are meant to punish the actor rather than compensate the victim.
Punitive damages can exceed other damages awarded in a case and, as a result, significantly increase the claim’s value. However, getting another party to agree to settle for an amount that includes punitive damages may be difficult without first going to court.
The degree to which a victim’s injuries prevented them from working also significantly impacts settlement values. Suppose an accident results in a coma for months or spinal injuries resulting in months of rehabilitation. In that case, a victim cannot work while they are receiving this medical treatment. The calculation of this loss increases the value of a victim’s case.
Non-economic losses greatly impact a victim’s life but are subjective to each person. Your potential settlement values increase when there is more substantial evidence of non-economic losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Evidence Supporting the Claim
One of the most important ways to maximize your settlement is to document your losses. Getting the compensation you deserve is less challenging if you can substantiate your demand with documentation and other evidence. Examples of documentation typically used as evidence include the following:
- Medical records,
- Vehicle repair costs,
- Dash cams,
- Accident reports, and
- Vehicle wreckage.
If your claim includes non-economic damages, helpful evidence may include daily written documentation of your injury, including pain and suffering you experience, medical treatments, and chronic pain levels.
The stronger the evidence gathered in your case, the higher your potential settlement value. Strong evidence conveys to the defendant that they are unlikely to prevail against you if the case goes to trial.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in California
Car accidents happen every day and for any number of reasons. However, understanding the causes of many car accidents can help minimize your risks of getting involved in one. The most common causes of car accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Failing to obey traffic laws,
- Inexperienced drivers,
- Manufacturer issues, and
- Poor road conditions.
Obtaining copies of accident reports, reviewing photos taken at the accident scene, and speaking with witnesses help assist in determining the cause of an accident. An attorney can help you investigate the cause of your car accident.
Common Injuries Suffered By Victims In Car Accidents
Car accidents involve sudden movements, great force, and broken glass and metal. While the injuries suffered by drivers and passengers vary greatly depending on the circumstances, the most common injuries resulting from car accidents include the following:
- Head and brain injuries,
- Back and spine injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Soft tissue injuries,
- Ligament damage, and
- Chest injuries.
It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident to reduce the possibility of injuries becoming more severe over time. Any injury, even minor, can lead to missed time at work. More severe injuries may have a lifelong impact.
If you would like help estimating the value of your car accident settlement, Frederick Law Firm is here for you. Our attorneys are skilled in various legal fields, such as personal injury, real estate, criminal law, wrongful death, and agricultural law. We fight to ensure that insurance companies or adversaries do not exploit you. We bring a superior knowledge of courtroom procedures and trial experience to give our clients the upper hand in achieving the best possible results for their cases. With an impeccable reputation as committed advocates for our clients, we have fiercely fought for the rights of anyone involved in a personal injury claim. Contact us today to learn how the Frederick Law Firm can help you!