Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2023)

Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2023)

Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2023). Every year, about 38,000 people are killed and many more are injured in auto accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the cost of medical care and lost wages associated with traffic fatalities alone is $55 billion annually. This is a significant amount of money.

When car accidents happen, accident victims need to be aware of their legal rights. When a collision occurs, knowing the truth about typical auto accident settlement amounts can help the victims make wise decisions.

How to Calculate Car Accident Settlements

First things first: Because each car accident settlement is determined based on the particulars of the collision, victims won’t find much value in knowing the average car accident settlement amount.

For instance, an insurer would offer much less money to settle a claim from a crash victim who only suffers minor property damage than those who suffer permanent injuries or lose loved ones in the crash.

Settlements from car accidents are meant to compensate crash victims for their losses. Average settlement amounts for auto accidents are determined by:

  • medical expenses
  • lost income
  • Distress and suffering
  • Painful emotions Damage to property
  • The average settlement for a car accident will also depend on the insurance coverage that is available and the determination of fault.
Settlements: The Personal Injury Claims’ Most Popular Result

Before looking for car accident settlement examples, it’s important to understand exactly what settlement means.

When a crash happens, in most states, the person who is responsible for causing the accident is expected to cover a victim’s damages. Or, more specifically, that person’s liability auto insurance will pay out for medical bills, property damages, lost wages and other losses.

The insurer who represents the person who caused the crash will generally make a settlement offer to collision victims. This would be a lump sum payment, in exchange for which the victim gives up all rights to further claims. If the victim accepts the settlement, the case is resolved. But if the victim doesn’t believe the offered compensation is fair, a car accident lawsuit can result.

Although lawsuits do happen after motor vehicle accidents, most cases settle outside of court. In fact, a Martindale-Nolo survey of readers who had received car accident compensation found that 98% obtained their funds through a settlement rather than a court case.

Most claims settle both because insurers generally want to avoid the cost of a trial and because victims often want to avoid the time and uncertainty of a trial.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Car Accident Settlement?

Car accident settlements typically occur fairly quickly, which is one advantage of settling a claim versus pursuing a lawsuit.

According to Martindale-Nolo, it took an average of 10.7 months for collision victims to receive a car accident settlement. More than half of victims were able to resolve their claims within six months.

How Much Can I Get for My Car Accident Claim?

The extent of the damage sustained and other criteria determine how much compensation is available for a vehicle accident claim.

The sources of information on average vehicle accident compensation amounts differ. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average bodily injury claim following a collision in 2020 was $20,235, while the average claim for property damage was $4,711. The average payout, according to a Martindale-Nolo poll of readers who filed auto accident claims between 2015 and 2020, was $23,900. Many recipients earned less than $10,000.

Factors Affecting Car Accident Settlement Amounts

Insurance Protection

The majority of states require drivers to carry liability insurance. When the policyholder is at fault, insurance pays out damages to victims. However, the insurance only pays up to the policy limitations. The insurer will not reimburse the excess if damages are greater than the amount of insurance coverage.

For losses not covered by insurance, accident victims may file a claim directly against the at-fault motorist. But even if the court were to award extra damages, many people lack the resources to cover them.

Therefore, it might not be worthwhile to pursue a legal case in order to try to gain further compensation if an insurance company makes a settlement offer at the policy limit.


In collisions when fault is obvious, the settlement amount may increase. In order to prevent a lawsuit, the insurer for the driver who caused the accident will likely admit responsibility and make a fair settlement offer.

If culpability is unclear, a settlement offer might not come through or it might be for a smaller amount. Additionally, the division of blame between the drivers may have a significant effect on the amount of money awarded for car accidents. What happens when both drivers are at least somewhat to blame for the collision?

In some areas, referred to as contributory negligence states, a driver cannot seek compensation from the other driver who was primarily at fault if he is even 1% at fault for an accident.
On the other hand, in jurisdictions with pure comparative negligence, a driver may seek damages from another driver for injuries even if the driver was mostly to blame.

As long as he is not 50% or 51% at fault for the collision, a driver may pursue a claim for compensation in states with modified comparative negligence. Once more, compensation would be lessened in accordance with the driver’s percentage of fault.

Strength of Damages

A significant aspect in establishing average car accident settlement amounts is the severity of the injuries. According to the Martindale-Nolo poll, the average payout for vehicle accident victims who did not sustain injuries was $16,700, compared to a $29,700 average payout for those who did.

Local laws

Drivers must first turn to their own insurance coverage in some areas, known as no-fault states, in order to cover their own medical bills or those of their passengers. They might seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance after their own coverage has run out.

Personal injury protection, which normally pays up to $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages, is a requirement for drivers. Additional damages, such as payment for pain and suffering, are typically not attainable for relatively mild injuries.

On the other hand, in blame states, the driver who started the collision will always be liable for damages. In many states, even relatively small accidents might lead to settlement offers from the insurance company of the at-fault driver, which might give more extensive compensation.

monetary loss

Finally, average vehicle accident compensation amounts are influenced by the magnitude of financial damage. The settlement is often intended to compensate a crash victim for all damages brought on by the event. Losses from injuries, such as lost pay, as well as losses from property damage are also included in this.

The payment should also account for any significant losses the driver incurred as a result of missed employment, expensive medical care, and significant property damage.

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