People often ask me what is an average car accident settlement amount and specifically for back injuries. I’m Todd Peterson and I have been handling back injury and car accident injury cases from our Portland offices for many years now. I’ve settled or argued thousands of personal injury cases, achieving millions of dollars for our clients.
How Much Have I Gotten For Back Injury Settlements?
At Peterson Law Offices, we have had back injury settlements for pain and suffering between ranging from $900 to $115,000 as of 2017 when this was written. These amounts are tied to the various factors and their interplay and are for the states of Oregon and Washington, which may be higher or lower than your state. Of course all cases are different and there is no guarantee of these amounts. I negotiated much higher settlements for my clients for other types of injuries, but because of client confidentiality and other ethical reasons, I prefer not to list them here.
The highest injury jury verdict I have ever heard of was for $23.8 million for an accident involving a victim who was paralyzed. At the upper limits of monetary compensation for injuries, awards are tied to the insurance available on the claim.
The average car accident settlement amount is around $16,500. That’s the mean from high to low. This in no way is saying that is what your claim is worth. The amount the claim is worth is based on many factors
How are average car accident settlement amounts determined?
I can tell you that there is no one amount you can get for a certain type of case and that you can not use a simple formula to find out how much your claim is worth, as some sites will tell you.
How much the case is worth is most often determined when the insurance company adjuster and the attorney try to predict what an imaginary jury would award the client. The attorney and the adjuster do this after all the evidence is in and they have determined what kind of witness the client might make in court.
The two then come to some agreement, with the permission of the client, as to what the settlement amount will be. Without an attorney, the insurance company will try to convince the accident victim that their claim isn’t worth much and will often give a “take it or leave it” offer. A personal injury attorney knows from a lot of experience how much a case is worth.
How can an attorney maximize claim amounts?
An attorney also has negotiating skills and the threat of a lawsuit. The lawyer has it in their interest to get the highest amount since they will earn more if they get more for you.
For example, we have had many people call us after settling a case with the insurance company on their own for a low amount of $500 for pain and suffering. This amount is a common initial low ball amount offered by the insurance companies.
Even though I charge a one third contingency fee I still would most likely get that person more. Say, for example, I estimated that I would have gotten a low total settlement of $5,000 for pain and suffering for the same claim.
I would have gotten a third for fees or $1666 and an amount for costs, but the client would have gotten $3209 or $2709 more than what they got handling the case themselves for that low $500 offer.
What factors affect accident injury settlement amounts?
How much a client will receive for a back injury settlement depends upon many factors such as the
- severity of the injury
- how bad the impact of the car crash was
- the length of treatment for the injury
- the amount of permanent tissue damage done
- how much work was missed
- how much pay was lost
- how it affected the lifestyle and the ability to work of the individual
- and what kind of job they had if it was permanently lost due to the injuries.
What Else Matters In Determining Monetary Awards?
Other factors such as who was at fault in the accident can be important in determining the settlement amount sometimes. For example: a person who was not wearing a seat belt is considered partly negligent in some states even if they get rear ended by another car.
Other kinds of settlements can be much larger, and I have had car accident insurance and homeowners insurance injury settlements overall that settled for much higher than the back injury settlements mentioned above, including a number of wrongful death cases. Due to the confidential nature of these settlements, I will not write about them.
Other kinds of car accident insurance settlements depend on the same factors that apply to back injury settlements, but other things may be considered. Sometimes issues such as how a person’s appearance is affected, if there is scarring or disfigurement, can affect the final pain and suffering settlement or judgment received. These settlement amounts may also be reliant on whether or not future surgery is recommended by the victim’s doctor.
What else can I help you with?
- Read my 9 page guide to osteoarthritis and car accident injuries
- Read what I’ve written about diminished value?
- My thoughts on PIP – Personal Injury Protection
- Whiplash Settlement Amounts
I want to help you get all the money you deserve for your accident, so call me at 503-280-0888 now or please fill out this short form.
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