Many factors determine the value of a car accident settlement, including the severity of injuries, the amount of damage, and the availability of insurance. Understanding these factors can help give you an idea of what your own settlement may look like.
It is in the insurance company’s interest to offer a lowball settlement, so you need an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
How Are Settlement Amounts Calculated?
The compensation amount you receive will depend on various factors and will be calculated based on the damages you have sustained. A settlement amount is usually reached through negotiations between the other driver’s insurance company and your lawyer.
According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, the average settlement for bodily injuries in car accidents is around $18,417, while property damage in car accidents averages about $4,525. However, these figures can greatly fluctuate based on the specifics of your case and whether you enlist the help of a professional.
If the at-fault party has a high insurance coverage limit, the compensation amount could be higher. Georgia’s car insurance laws mandate that drivers have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering settlement amounts are typically calculated using one of two methods: the multiplier method or the per diem method.
The Multiplier Method involves adding up all the special damages (the easily calculable economic losses) and multiplying those by a number between 1.5 on the low end, and 4 or 5 on the high end. The “multiplier” will depend on the seriousness of your injuries, your prospect of complete recovery, and the impact of your injuries on your day-to-day life.
The Per Diem Method involves assigning a daily rate to your pain and suffering. The insurance company will, based on expert opinion, determine how many days you are expected to be in ongoing pain or discomfort. They then apply your daily rate of pay to the equation and multiply the days of pain by your rate of pay per day.
Economic damages consist of provable expenses incurred as a result of the car accident. This will include damages such as car repair costs, property damage, or other out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts must be supported by evidence, bills, or payment receipts.
What Affects Your Car Accident Settlement?
The amount of compensation you receive from a car accident settlement depends on several key factors.
Type and Severity of Injuries
More serious injuries requiring long-lasting treatment will require a higher settlement as more care is needed to treat these injuries. Permanent disabilities or loss of mobility can result in much higher settlements than minor soft tissue injuries.
Liability and Fault
Georgia is an at-fault state. This means that you recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In accidents where the driver was found to be under the influence or driving recklessly and as such clearly at fault, you will have a stronger case.
Insurance companies often try to minimize settlement amounts by arguing an accident victim shares some of the blame. Your settlement will be higher if you can prove the other party was fully liable through police reports, witness statements, or traffic camera footage.
Loss of Income
If your injuries prevented you from working for an extended time, you may receive compensation for your lost wages. Provide pay stubs, tax returns, profit and loss statements, or letters from your employer to verify your average income and time off work.
You are entitled to compensation for the cost of all reasonable medical care required to treat your injuries. Keep records of hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, and any equipment needed for recovery.
Economic and Non-economic Damages
The damage you suffered will have an impact on the settlement amount. Economic damages refer to the actual costs accrued due to the car accident, including medical bills, future medical costs, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering that accident victims experience, including loss of quality of life, loss of companionship in the event of wrongful death, physical pain and suffering damages, and emotional trauma.
Call Our Atlanta Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review
Our attorneys know how to negotiate with insurance companies so you get the compensation you deserve. At the Weinstein Firm, we have successfully recovered over $30,000,000.00 for our clients. We will fight for the maximum car accident settlement possible.
New clients can take advantage of a free consultation, so contact us at 770-HELP-NOW today.