What is a Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount? Well, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, in 2013 the average bodily injury car accident settlement was $15,443. Unfortunately, this figure doesn’t tell us much. Since car accident injury settlements are so fact intensive, an average doesn’t provide much help in regards to what a particular case is worth. As discussed below, there are several factors that go into valuing a car accident injury settlement case. Only through experience can someone know how to value a car accident injury case properly. If you feel that the insurance company is undervaluing your case, it’s best to consult an experienced car accident attorney. Don’t Trust “Magic” Formulas or Online Settlement Calculators Many car accident injury victims will Google what a typical or average car accident settlement amount would be for their specific situation. This search will yield many results with websites claiming to give an exact calculation or formula to determine a typical settlement amount for a car accident injury case. Most common is the calculation of taking the dollar amount of the medical bills and lost wages of the injured victim and multiplying it by some arbitrary number (1-5) to arrive at a pain and suffering dollar amount, then adding the total amount of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering together. However, this is almost always inaccurate. Neither insurance adjusters nor Texas juries are instructed to use this method to calculate the value of any car accident injury settlement or award. This practice arose from personal injury attorneys “guesstimating” an amount of what to demand within their demand letters to initiate settlement negotiations. This demanded amount provides sufficient room for several rounds of negotiations between the insurance company and the personal injury attorney. The reality is there is no formula or calculator that can provide an actual car accident settlement amount. There are simply too many variables involved in each case to accurately calculate an average or typical car accident settlement amount. However, there are factors that you should know that can affect the value of your case, such as the amount of your “damages,” the calculation of pain and suffering, and other relevant factors. An overview of these points are discussed below, as well as real car accident injury case settlement examples from several different counties in Texas. Before delving further into the discussion of typical or average car accident settlement amounts, it’s important to know what exactly a “settlement” is. What is a Settlement? A settlement is an agreement between parties of a legal dispute which resolves the dispute prior to either filing a lawsuit or proceeding further after a lawsuit is filed. The parties usually agree to settle the underlying dispute for a dollar amount in exchange for releasing the liable party from any further liability. In the car accident context, the liable party’s insurance company would agree to pay the injured party a sum of money in order to release their insured from any further liability. The settlement amount will be an amount both parties feel is fair to settle without proceeding further in the dispute and avoiding further litigation expenses. Keep in mind, insurance companies are businesses with a main goal of maximizing profits. This means they will do their best to pay out as little as possible in settling claims. Depending on the facts of your case, accepting a settlement may make sense. However, there are situations where filing a lawsuit and going all the way to trial is necessary to achieve top dollar for your case. Most Important Factor in Determining Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts One of the most important factors in determining a typical car accident settlement amount is knowing what your “damages” are. Damages are a term of art in the law meaning the calculation of losses realized in a personal injury case. You must be able to prove damages in order to receive fair value for your car accident injury case. There are two main types of damages, including Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages, in addition to other sub-categories of Compensatory Damages which are broken down below. Compensatory Damages Compensatory Damages, also known as “actual damages,” are the monetary compensation that are awarded to an injured victim as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Compensatory damages are intended to put the injured party back to where they were before the accident and make them “whole.” Special Damages Special Damages or “Specials” are a type of compensatory damages that are quantifiable, such as past and future medical expenses, past lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses. You prove these damages by presenting evidence such as medical bills, paycheck stubs, W-2s, or simply a letter from your employer detailing the amount of lost time, your salary, your position at the company, and how many hours you usually work. Lost wages include the time you missed from work and weren’t paid, as well as sick time and vacation time used as a result of the accident. General Damages General Damages, also known as non-economic damages, are another type of compensatory damages that are difficult to quantify. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.001(12), non-economic damages include: Physical pain and suffering; Mental or emotional pain or anguish; Loss of consortium; Disfigurement; Physical impairment; Loss of companionship and society; Inconvenience; Loss of enjoyment of life; Injury to reputation; and All other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages. Due to the difficulty in calculating General Damages such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment, insurance adjusters use software such as Colossus and Claims IQ to place a value on each car accident injury claim. Adjusters enter in injury codes, medical billing codes, and other “soft” factors such as loss of enjoyment and a settlement range is spit out. The adjusters are usually bound to this range unless you can provide them with any new information. Most...Read More
Calm • Dedicated • Persistent.
We understand the ins and outs of personal injury, and our team approaches each client’s case with the same determination to get the best result possible. We’re up front with clients, communication is simple and easy. Each member of our team focuses on what’s best for the client and how we can achieve that result. Through consistent hard-work and outstanding results, we’re able to earn client’s loyalty.
Small Firm Service • Big Results.
We connect with our clients on an individual basis. Each case we take gets the same focus, the same attention to detail, and the same dedication to a successful result. Our team of personal injury lawyers is equipped and qualified to handle a wide variety of injury cases. Finally, we believe that every injury case is important – if you were hurt, we want to help.
Meet the Team
Milano Legal Group PLLC was founded by Anthony J. Milano. Anthony is a dedicated personal injury attorney that handles auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, wrongful death cases, and other personal injury cases. Anthony provides a hands-on approach to each case that comes through the door and is intimately involved in each and every case, no matter the size or seriousness of injury. From engagement to handling the property damage to settlement or verdict, Anthony personally manages each case to the finish line. Anthony obtained a bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management. He went on to attend South Texas College of Law in Houston, where he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence. Anthony is licensed to practice law in Texas.
- South Texas College of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence
- University of Arizona, B.S.B.A. (Business Economics)
- State Bar of Texas
Elif Dag-Milano, LL.M.
Elif is an Attorney at Milano Legal Group. Elif provides clients with passionate, results-driven representation in auto accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, 18-wheeler/commercial vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, product defect accidents, slip & falls/premises liability, and wrongful death cases. Elif has extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies and she ensures that her clients gets the maximum recovery arising out of their personal injury and property damage claims. Elif is closely involved in each case from pre-litigation to appeal.
Prior to joining Milano Legal Group, Elif has several years of litigation experience working as an In-House Legal Counsel for the leading consumer electronics retailer in Europe with 65K employees, 22B € in revenue, and operations in 15 countries. She oversaw multinational-national judicial transactions and advised executive managers on legal and strategic solutions to drive business objectives forward through risk mitigation, regulatory, and statutory compliance and process improvements.
- University of Houston Law Center, Master of Laws
- University of Istanbul Faculty of Law, Master of Laws
- South Texas College of Law, Exchange Student
- University of Istanbul Faculty of Law, Bachelor of Laws
- State Bar of Texas
- Istanbul Bar Association
- Union of Turkish Bars
David Wilkison is an Arizona-based attorney specializing in personal injury and criminal defense. David is Of Counsel and supports litigation within the State of Arizona. Mr. Wilkison has years of experience working on high level felony cases. From DUI to First Degree Murder, Mr. Wilkison has dealt with prosecutors and law enforcement to get the best possible outcome for his clients. Mr. Wilkison has litigated criminal matters ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, with the emphasis on each case being client satisfaction. He has represented clients in misdemeanor and superior courts, MVD Executive Hearings, Rule 11 competency hearings, Simpson hearings and appellate courts. He has handled over 1,000 criminal cases and has argued in front of the Arizona Court Appeals for Special Actions. Mr. Wilkison prides himself on being part of the 5% of all attorneys in the nation that take the legal battle to the courtroom and litigate. He is passionate about his career and it shows.
- Phoenix School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence
- University of Arizona, Psychology
- State Bar of Arizona