How Much to Expect From a Car Accident Settlement

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

June 19, 2022

Colorado Springs Car Accident Settlement Value

A victim’s first worry after an car accident is money. Even if their injuries were minimal, they still have medical fees to pay, car repairs to make, and a major disturbance in their personal and professional lives.

If you’ve never hired a lawyer or filed an insurance claim before, you may not know what to anticipate or how much money you are entitled to.

The insurance company may approach you with a settlement offer, but where did that figure originate? They didn’t simply conjure it up!

You’re left wondering, “How much can I anticipate from a car accident settlement?” while the costs keep piling up and your family suffers. Is it a good idea to accept the insurer’s offer? What happens if it isn’t sufficient?

The amount of money you may receive from a car accident settlement is determined by the specifics of your accident. We’ll offer you an estimate of how much a wounded person may receive in a settlement on this page. You’ll know how to improve your chances of collecting the amount you deserve after understanding how car accident settlements are calculated.

Let’s start with a definition of the phrases and legal jargon we’ll use: A settlement is an agreement to compensate someone who has been injured or injured due to a car accident or other personal injury incident. Because it resolves or closes the lawsuit, it is termed a settlement.

The injured individual must file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist or submit a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to negotiate a settlement. This is referred to as a third-party claim, as opposed to a first-party claim, which is filed with the victim’s insurance carrier.

A motorist must have been responsible for causing the collision to be held to blame. In some sense, their acts had to be careless. There are many possibly irresponsible behaviors, but they all have one thing in common: they exceeded a reasonable, safe driving standard.

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CAUSES OF A CAR ACCIDENT: HOW THEY HAPPEN

Drivers must follow the law, be aware of traffic patterns, behave responsibly, and ensure that their vehicles are in safe working order. Isn’t it easy to understand?

Failure to perform one or more of these things is considered negligence, and it is because of this carelessness that so many of our neighbors are gravely hurt or killed every day on our roadways.

Fender benders are one of the most prevalent accidents, and one of the simplest instances of carelessness happens during them.

In driver’s ed, we’re all taught that drivers must allow adequate space in front of them to safely stop if the car ahead of them comes to a stop. It makes no difference if the car comes to a halt because a dog runs in front of it, another car switches lanes unexpectedly, the car rounds a corner and encounters traffic congestion, or the driver suffers a heart attack. The car in the rear should stop in time if the driver has observed traffic regulations and allowed appropriate space.

However, as most of us know, other drivers often tailgate and fail to allow adequate room. This is why rear-end crashes are so prevalent.

Even if the other driver slams on their brakes for no apparent reason, it’s almost always the driver’s responsibility who impacted the rear of the other car. Because the motorist in the rear broke the law, he was judged to be at blame and accountable for any injuries sustained due to the collision.

We deal with a variety of situations regularly, including rear-end incidents. The following are some examples of other sorts of car collisions:

  • Accidents caused by drunk driving
  • Car accidents due to distracted driving
  • Accidents caused by speeding
  • Collisions that are head-on or T-bone
  • Accidents involving tractor-trailers
  • Accidents involving rollover
  • Accidents involving bicycles.
  • Accidents involving motorcycles
  • Collisions involving pedestrians
  • Accidents caused by defective car components as a result of a manufacturer’s deficiency

WHO IS LIABLE IN DETERMINING FAULT?

Someone might be held accountable for any form of an car accident you were involved in. There are various methods for identifying who is to blame in an accident, but here are three that you may use to get started and defend your rights.

DIAL 911 FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE

After a car collision, contact 911 even if you don’t believe you’re wounded. Law enforcement will come to inspect the cars and talk with all those involved. The officers will then write a police report. A police accident report contains critical information that may be utilized to back up your insurance claim and future personal injury litigation.

USE YOUR CAMERA

Take pictures of the accident site as soon as possible if you’re able. Get the license plate number of the opposing car. Close-ups and broad images of the surrounding locations, as well as any debris, are recommended. Even little clues, such as tire impressions in the road or paint scratches on a car, might reveal the vehicles’ route, point of contact, and speed. All of these may aid in determining who is responsible.

SPEAK WITH A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN AN CAR ACCIDENT

A car accident lawyer can assist you in gathering and preserving crucial evidence to establish who was at blame in your collision. They may also engage the assistance of accident reconstruction experts to determine the actual cause of your collision.

The stronger your argument that the other motorist was at fault, the more likely you will get a reasonable payment.

A court trial is not necessary in the case of a settlement. Car accident cases seldom go to trial, even if they are brought in civil court for personal injury. Why? Because the proof of who is to blame in the early stages of a case is frequently adequate.

The opposite side (the defendant) and the defendant’s lawyer are well aware that a court argument is pointless since a judge and jury are unlikely to rule in favor of the defense.

Defendants are frequently prepared to settle at that stage, which means you’re coming closer to receiving the money you deserve!

WHAT DOES A SETTLEMENT CONSIST OF?

When you’re hurt in an car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to compensation.

Economic, non-economic, and punitive damages are the three types available. Let’s have a look at what’s included in the package.

ECONOMIC DAMAGES

Economic damages are defined as any accident-related expenditure or loss that can be measured and verified through invoices, receipts, or other evidence. This covers hospital expenses and missed workdays due to medical treatment or recovery. Costs of:

CURRENT MEDICAL BILLS

If you were injured in a car accident, you probably need an ambulance trip, emergency treatment, surgery, hospitalization, doctor’s visits, therapy, medicine, and other services. If you consult with a car accident lawyer right away, they will be able to link you with the medical treatment you need at no cost to you. Your lawyer assures the medical providers will be paid later once a settlement is made using a legal document known as a “letter of protection.” Provided you’ve previously paid for medical treatment out of pocket; you may still be reimbursed if you include the invoices in your case.

MEDICAL COSTS IN THE FUTURE

Future medical expenses might be projected and included in your claim if you need future operations, treatment, or in-home care.

DAMAGE TO YOUR CAR OR OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY

Keep in mind that you have the freedom to choose your car repair facility. Allowing an insurance adjuster or a towing firm to choose one for you. If your car is totaled due to the accident, you will be compensated for its current market value. You may be paid for the cost of replacing any other personal things you lost in the incident, such as a phone or digital camera.

EARNINGS LOST

You are unlikely to return to work if you are seriously wounded. To make a wage loss claim, you will need to provide your car accident attorney with your pay stubs, timesheets, and letters from your employer may be used to substantiate your regular income and the number of hours or days of work you lost due to the injury.

WAGES AND EARNINGS POTENTIAL LOST IN THE FUTURE

You might seek compensation for lost earning potential if your injuries force you to change your job duties or prevent you from working in the same capacity. Expert witnesses, such as economists, might be called in by your car accident lawyer to quantify your damages.

DAMAGES THAT AREN’T PURELY ECONOMIC

On the other hand, your sorrow and suffering do not have a paper trail of evidence. It’s tough to place a monetary value on the emotional pain you and your family endure following a car accident, but it doesn’t make it any less real.

Non-economic damages exist to compensate for the emotional impact of an accident and injuries, but they are only accessible if you can show you were injured first.

The following expenses are often included in non-economic damages:

  • Suffering and pain
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Companionship loss (physical affection from a spouse or partner)
  • Loss of pleasure in life

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Punitive damages may be applied in certain situations of indecent negligence, but not always. These damages, also known as exemplary damages, are not intended to compensate victims directly. Rather, they are intended to penalize the careless offender who struck you. If the at-fault party was committing a crime at the time of the accident, you are more likely to receive punitive damages.

WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE THE SETTLEMENT AMOUNT?

We can now discuss how the amount of a settlement in a car accident is calculated now that we’ve covered the background information.

When it comes to car accident settlements, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all. To put it another way, a specific injury does not equal a specific amount. Numerous factors are at play, and each accident victim will have a unique experience.

Even if two persons get the same sort of injury in a car accident, they will likely vary in the following ways:

Amount of time spent in the hospital

Impairments in cognitive, physical, and behavioral functions

Recovery time is required

Disruption of their capacity to work

The many necessary types of rehabilitative treatment

Incapacity or scars for the rest of one’s life

Emotional toll

Aside from how your body reacts to an injury, the amount of a settlement is determined by a variety of factors, including the total amount of your bills, your salary, expert testimony on whether you can return to work, expert testimony on expected future medical expenses, and the amount of pain and suffering you’ve experienced and may experience in the future.

Other considerations could include the injury’s impact on your daily life, both now and in the future.

Punitive damages may be added to the total settlement amount if the other driver was egregiously negligent or committed a crime such as drunk driving; as previously stated, this is sometimes the case if the other driver was egregiously negligent or committed a crime such as drunk driving.

More factors that influence the average car accident settlement amount are listed below:

THE NUMBER OF GUILTY PARTIES

If you are hit on an empty street by another driver, you will most likely only seek compensation from their insurance company. If you were hit by a commercial car or were in a multi-car pile-up, however, you may have several options for compensation. Your car accident attorney will meticulously research all options and identify any parties who may be responsible.

LIMITS TO POLICY

It’s important to remember that the other driver’s insurance coverage limits apply to third-party injury claims. The minimum car insurance requirements in Colorado, for example, are 30/60/25, or:

For each individual injured, $30,000

Each accident costs $60,000 overall.

Property damage: $25,000

You can be out of luck if your losses surpass the coverage limitations.

Call us right now at 719-300-1100 to learn more about your state’s auto insurance requirements and policy restrictions. Our attorneys have handled car accident claims across the United States!

INJURY SERIOUSNESS

A broken leg is worth more money than a sprained ankle. Some traumas, such as spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, might impair one’s ability to move freely again, affecting daily activities and employment prospects.

These injuries are sometimes called catastrophic injuries because of their wide-ranging effects. Accident victims may need ongoing medical treatment for the rest of their lives.

More serious or disabling injuries will result in a greater settlement sum. Settlements for severe brain damage and paralysis may be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars.

TREATMENT GAPS

Following a car accident injury, it’s critical to demonstrate a fast and regular medical treatment history. Insurance adjusters will use your delay or missed appointments against you, claiming that you aren’t “really” injured!

TREATMENT PERIOD

A lawsuit cannot usually be concluded until the victim has finished therapy. If you’ve been seriously hurt, you may need many procedures, but even small injuries may take months to heal. This is why it’s crucial to adhere to your doctor’s instructions in the letter. Never hurry through your treatment plan to collect your settlement cheque sooner since this is a guaranteed method to jeopardize your case!

THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IS A LEGAL TERM THAT REFERS TO THE TIME LIMIT.

Statutes of limitations are time constraints and deadlines that apply to car accident claims. If you miss this deadline, your lawsuit may be dismissed, and you will be unable to recover any damages.

Car accident statutes of limitations differ dramatically depending on which state the accident occurred in. The statute of limitations may range from one to six years.

An car accident in Colorado, for example, has a two-year statute of limitations from the day of the event. Act fast; the sooner you do, the sooner your car accident lawyer can start putting together your case!

FEES FOR LEGAL REPRESENTATION

Attorneys that specialize in personal injuries practice on a contingency basis. This implies that their remuneration is conditional on your success, and they are not paid until you are. Their legal costs will be deducted from the final settlement sum after your lawsuit. When you hire your attorney, this sum will be addressed at the outset of your case.

EXPENSES CALCULATOR

You’ve read thus far and are still wondering, “OK, but how much would a car accident settlement pay me?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic formula or algorithm for calculating the typical car accident payout. Each case will have its result, just as each victim will be different. A car accident lawyer’s experience, on the other hand, might assist you in determining the worth of your case.

The first step is to figure out how much money you’ve lost because of your accident. This is accomplished by putting all medical bills, predicted medical expenses, and property damage bills together.

Then we include your current and projected missed earnings from employment. These figures vary depending on how much money you earn, how long you’ve been unemployed, and how long you’re projected to remain out of work.

The second stage is to assess and compute these damages using the parameters as mentioned earlier. These computations may be quite complicated, and they differ from one county to the next.

Here’s a hint: Insurance companies will minimize your suffering regardless of how severe it is!

If we take a look at an example, it becomes clearer. Assume you broke your left arm in an car accident caused by someone else. The entire cost of your medical care is $5,000. When an insurance adjuster examines the breakdown of economic expenses, they will see just a few occurrences.

According to them, all you need is an ambulance ride to the hospital, treatment for your arm, pain medication, and perhaps one or two days off work.

On the other hand, you had a severe injury as a result of the collision. You’ve got a bad case of depression on your hands. You can’t pick up your children or play your favorite instrument. We understand this. However, the insurance companies believe that, in comparison to the severity of certain other injuries sustained in car accidents, the pain and suffering you experienced was fairly little.

The insurance company will treat you as if you were a case number, providing you the least sum possible in the hopes that you would sign away your rights. This is why you need the services of a car accident lawyer who will treat you with the dignity and care you deserve during this trying time.

MEDICAL CARE AND OTHER FACTORS

Can other factors influence the amount of the settlement? Yes, numerous things may influence the settlement amount, even if the method is critical, as outlined above.

Insurance companies often investigate the location of the accident and the people involved. Insurance companies might occasionally undervalue claims based on the demographics of the parties involved, which is neither right nor fair.

Your accident occurred at a certain time and in a specific area. Was it pouring or dark? Is there a street sign or a traffic signal that is damaged or obscured? All of these elements, as well as others, have a role.

Your best choice is to hire a knowledgeable and experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident so that they can help you through the process and advise you on how to maximize your recovery.

If you’ve been in an car accident, see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor should properly examine you. Some hazardous injuries, such as punctured lungs or concussions, have no visible symptoms at first. Many individuals are unaware that the discomfort or soreness they experience after a car collision is a significant injury with long-term consequences.

While seeing a doctor right away is important for your health and safety, you also don’t want an insurance company to mistakenly interpret your delay of medical treatment as a hint that you weren’t seriously hurt.

They’ll go to any length to minimize, reject, and invalidate your suffering. Getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your injuries as soon as possible is frequently the key to getting everything you’re entitled to! Patience does pay off, believe us.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE INSURANCE COMPANY REFUSES TO MAKE A REASONABLE OFFER?

You may get an insultingly low offer from your insurance company after you’ve gone through the trauma of a car accident and spoken with them.

Never accept less than what you are entitled to.

Depending on your lawyer’s negotiation abilities, the amount of your settlement may rise. Instead of settling right away, a professional car accident lawyer will continue to negotiate until a reasonable offer is made.

Why? Because the amount of a car accident settlement is calculated by averaging comparable settlements and decisions for similar accidents with similar injuries in the same venue.

A car accident lawyer can help you get a far better deal on your settlement. We operate on a contingency basis, which is the best part. We don’t charge you anything up ahead; we only get paid if you do!

NOW IS THE TIME TO GET A LAWYER FOR A CAR ACCIDENT

See what we can accomplish for you by looking at our testimonials. Should you need any further information, please contact us.

Please contact us if you need help or guidance.

Warrior Personal Injury Lawyers
1902 W. Colorado Ave., Ste. 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
719-300-1100

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