How Much Money Do You Get From a Car Accident Settlement?

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers

How Much Money Do You Get From a Car Accident Settlement? If you've been injured in a car accident because of someone else's negligence, you probably have a lot of questions. Chief among them being, How much can I expect in a car accident settlement? and What's the average car settlement amount? The amount of compensation you receive will depend on a variety of factors. The car accident lawyers of Halvorsen Klote are here to answer any questions you have and discuss your case with you for free. Call us today at 877-51-HKLAW or contact us online.

Read on to see the average car accident settlement, and how your car accident settlement will be calculated.

What is the Average Car Accident Settlement?

In a 2005 study, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 96 percent of personal injury claims are settled before going to trial. So, most likely your car accident lawyer will be able to get you a pre-trial settlement offer that is fair.

According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, in 2020 a total of $160,428,519 was paid out in auto insurance settlements in the United States. The average auto accident claim that resulted in bodily injury settled for $20,235. This is a sharp increase from the beginning of the previous decade, when the average was less than $15,000.

It's not necessarily the best idea to rely on average settlement amounts to predict how much compensation you may receive. Each case is unique, and there may be factors that make your case worth less or more - sometimes substantially more - than the average settlement.

Will I Get a Higher Settlement if I Hire a Lawyer?

Compensation is usually significantly higher for people who hire an attorney. One survey found that 91 percent of personal injury claimants with a lawyer received a payout, compared to only 51 percent without a lawyer. The average compensation with a lawyer was $77,600, compared to $17,600 without one. The fact that people with more severe injuries are more likely to hire a lawyer is likely one reason for the disparity, but there’s no question that having an attorney in your corner can usually add value to your claim.

Talking to us is free, and we’re always honest about how much we can help our potential clients in St. Louis and Southern Illinois. Our car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means we take a percentage of your compensation as our fees and only get paid if we win your case. There’s no reason for us to take on your claim if we don’t think we can substantially increase your settlement offer.

How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?

Typically, in personal injury cases the total compensation you receive will be a combination of your economic and noneconomic losses.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are fairly easy to calculate. They account for the money you lost or had to spend because of your injuries. Examples of economic damages are:

  • Property damage, like damage to your car
  • Lost wages from time spent off work
  • Lost earning capacity if your injury results in disability
  • Medical expenses, including anything ranging from medication, to surgery, to in-home care to wheelchairs and home modifications
  • Transportation costs to and from the hospital

If your injuries require ongoing, long-term or permanent medical expenses, your car accident lawyers will likely consult medical and economic professionals to calculate those costs, including adjusting for inflation.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are less tangible, and seek to make you whole again after the emotional and physical hardships of your injuries. Noneconomic damages can include compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, loss of ability to enjoy life or loss of consortium.

There are typically two methods used to calculate noneconomic damages:

The Multiplier Method

In the multiplier method, your economic damages will be multiplied by a number, usually between 1.5 and 5, to determine the total compensation you receive. Three is the most common multiplier used, and 4 and 5 are usually saved for catastrophic injuries and permanent disability.

So, let's say your economic damages are $10,000, and your car accident attorney and the insurance company agree to a multiplier of 3:

10,000 x 3 = 30,000

Your total settlement amount would be $30,000.

Obviously, the more significant your injuries, the higher your settlement will be. Not only will your multiplier number be higher, but it will be multiplying a much greater amount of economic losses due to lost earning capacity and future medical expenses.

The Per Diem Method

Per diem simply means "per day," in Latin. In this method, your pain and suffering is assigned a daily amount, and is multiplied by the number of days the injury affected you. Typically, the daily amount is equal to your daily wage, the idea being that a day of suffering is at least equal to a day's work.

So, say you were in a car accident that caused a whiplash injury, and the injury caused you neck pain for six months. If you make $50,000 dollars a year, divided by 250 working days a year, that amounts to $200 a day.

200 x 180 days (6 months) = 36,000

Your pain and suffering compensation would be $36,000, on top of whatever you receive in economic damages. The per diem method is not used for injuries that require long-term care or result in permanent disability, as there is no way of knowing how many days your pain and suffering will last.

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers | Halvorsen Klote

Obviously, your settlement will partially be determined by the skill and dedication of your car accident attorney. At Harlvosen Klote, our car accident lawyers believe in giving injured individuals in St. Louis and Southern Illinois the same quality of legal representation that large insurance corporations have. If you have been injured in a car accident that wasn't your fault, call us today at 877-51-HKLAW or contact us online for a free case evaluation.