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What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
“How much am I entitled to recover?” This is the one question that every car accident victim wants answered. But, we will be upfront with you: We can’t answer this question. No lawyer can.
Your personal circumstances determine the amount of your losses. Until we get to know you and learn about your case, we simply have no way of knowing how much you may be entitled to receive.
What about on average? What is the average amount that car accident victims receive in settlements with the insurance companies? Once again, we can’t quote you an exact number.
We know what our car accident lawyers achieve for our clients on average, but the insurance companies generally don’t publicize this information. And, even if they did, the most recent data would likely be at least a couple of years behind.
More importantly, however, the averages just don’t matter. There are simply too many factors for one single average to be relevant. For example, consider the following:
New York’s no-fault insurance law limits the amount of compensation available to car accident victims in many cases
Unrepresented car accident victims (those who do not hire lawyers) generally receive far less than those who do hire a lawyer
Different drivers have different amounts of insurance coverage
Coverage limits often determine the amount that accident victims can collect for their injuries
Many car accident cases involve claims and settlements outside of the standard auto insurance claims process
Your proportion of fault (if any), the nature and extent of your injuries, your age, what you do for work, and where you live are all factors that will impact the amount you are entitled to recover.
So, instead of discussing average settlement amounts, when car accident victims come to us with questions, we prefer to focus instead on information that really matters. This includes:
The types of financial compensation that are available to car accident victims in New York
Types of Compensation Available to Car Accident Victims in New York
In car accident cases, there are two main types of financial compensation available to victims who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries: (i) compensation for economic losses and (ii) compensation for non-economic losses.
1. Compensation for Economic Losses
Economic losses are the direct financial costs that result from serious vehicle collisions. This includes property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and other costs:
Property Damage – Generally speaking, car accident victims are entitled to have their vehicles repaired or replaced depending on the extent of the damage caused.
Medical Expenses – If you are entitled to fault-based compensation for your car accident, you can recover compensation for all of your current and future medical expenses.
Lost Income – Accident victims who suffer debilitating injuries can also recover compensation for their lost income and their loss of future earning capacity.
Other Costs – Other damages that car accident victims in New York can recover include prescription costs, travel expenses, the cost to modify their vehicle or home if necessary to accommodate their injuries, and the cost to hire cleaners and other service providers if they are no longer able to perform certain types of tasks independently.
2. Compensation for Non-Economic Losses
In addition to economic (or financial) losses, car accident victims in New York can also recover compensation for their non-economic (or non-financial) losses. In a typical case, these will include:
Pain and Suffering – “Pain and suffering” damages provide compensation for the immediate and long-term strain that car accident victims endure as a result of their injuries.
Scarring and Disfigurement – If you were scarred or permanently disfigured due to your injuries or the surgery to correct them, you may be able to recover additional compensation for the emotional effects of your scarring or disfigurement.
Emotional Distress – Suffering serious traumatic injuries can cause severe emotional distress. This too is a form of non-economic loss for which financial compensation can be recovered in New York.
Loss of Companionship, Consortium, and Society – The impact of your injuries on your relationship with your spouse, children, other family members, and friends can be significant. This is also considered a form of non-economic loss in New York.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life – The physical and psychological effects of traumatic injuries can make it difficult or impossible to enjoy life; when this happens, accident victims deserve to be compensated to the full extent permitted under New York law.
Our Results in New York Car Accident Cases
As we said above, when it comes to understanding the value of your car accident claim, the averages really don’t matter. And, while it’s important not to assume that prior victories by a law firm guarantee a similar outcome in your case, past results can be relevant to the extent that the factual circumstances involved were similar to those in your case.
Say you’re looking for a lawyer. If one law firm prevailed in a case where the victim suffered injuries similar to yours in a crash involving the same factors, it is worth considering the value such experience could bring to your situation.
That said, there are still various factors that will almost certainly be different, including:
Your occupation and salary
The extent of your pain and physical limitations
Your family circumstances
As a result, neither the attorney nor the client should make assumptions about what a case might be worth before reviewing the facts. Understanding the details of your case is the key to maximizing your financial recovery.
Find Out How Much You May Be Entitled to Recover for Your Car Accident
If you would like to learn how much compensation may be available for your car accident injuries, contact Dreyer Boyajian LLP to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. One of our New York car accident attorneys will be happy to go over the details of your case one-on-one.
Call (518) 463-7784 or complete the form on our website to schedule your consultation at our office in Albany or Saratoga Springs. You pay nothing unless we win.