How Car Accident Settlements are Calculated

An estimated 38,000 people are killed in car crashes each year and even more are injured, resulting in a substantial amount of monetary damages. If you’re a victim of a car crash, the person responsible is expected to cover damages, which can mean a number of things, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. The at-fault driver’s liability coverage also can impact the amount, since that’s used to compensate victims.

What can you expect from the process determining your compensation?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average claim for bodily injury in 2020 was $20,235 and the average property damage claim was $4,711. The average car accident settlement between 2015-2020 was $23,900, according to Martindale-Nolo. Compensation for victims who were not injured was on average $16,700, while those who were injured received $29,700. Missed work, medical bills, and extensive property damage can bring that amount much higher.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company generally makes the first settlement offer. This is a lump sum payment given in exchange for not being able to make future claims for the accident. If you do not accept the offer, then a lawsuit can result. However, most car accident cases, 98% of them in fact, are settled out of court. That’s because insurers and victims generally want to avoid the cost of a trial and the uncertainty of the result. When liability is clear, there could be a large settlement offer. Additionally, settling a claim out of court means that you’ll likely get your money faster. It takes an average of 10.7 months to receive payment, but more than half of victims got their claims within six months.

While the process may seem simple, it’s important to have one of the best car accident attorneys in Pennsylvania on your side to help get the best results possible. Please reach out to us to discuss your case and see if we can help.