Settlements for Car Accidents
Every car accident is unique even though many of them are quite similar, so it is hard to determine an “average” without a more detailed and specific question.
Insurance adjustors and the companies they work for have their own tools they use to put a value onto an injury claim. One tool that is frequently used is to multiply the special damages by a certain factor. Special damages, often called economic damages, and general damages which are often called non-economic damages, are the two main categories of compensable loss that are typically factored into a settlement amount. The factor is the number that is multiplied by an insurance adjuster uses to figure out a rough estimate of what your total claim may be worth. There is no one set multiplier that is applied to car accident cases but it is common for insurance adjusters to use either a two or a three to determine an estimated value for a claim.
A simple example of this is, if an accident victim’s total medical expenses and lost wages is $100,000, and the insurance adjuster is using a factor of two, then the victim’s claim would be worth approximately $200,000.
Insurance companies will pay for a car accident victim’s pain and suffering but it is often hard to get them to do this. Many people recommend enlisting the help of a lawyer who is experienced with successfully battling powerful insurance companies to protect the rights of their clients’, to help you do this.
When someone suffers from injuries and/or has their property damaged in an accident that was not their fault, there is a good chance that they may be able to get monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. The settlement offers insurance companies make car accident victims are typically based on what they are willing to pay for the damages that encompass the victim’s financial loss but they do not pay for damages such as, pain and suffering, unless the victim or the victim’s family enlists the help of a lawyer. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to pay as little as they can even if the person is entitled to and needs much more than what they wish to pay out.
Settlement offers from insurance companies are limited by the at-fault driver’s policy maximum. If your medical bills and lost wages total up to $100,000 and the at-fault driver’s policy maximum is $30,000, there is a good chance you will need to sue them (or at least threaten to sue them) to reclaim $70,000 that the insurance company wouldn’t pay for. If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, there is a good chance that you are entitled to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, depression, anxiety, or grief, etc.
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