29 Nov, 2022

How Much Should You Settle for After Getting Hit by a Car?

Author Todd A. Strong

One way to approximate the potential settlement amount is by looking at the national average settlement for personal injury claims. However, average claim settlement statistics are not foolproof and may not apply in your case. It would be advisable to contact car lawyers for a car accident settlement case.

Rearview mirror with a man hit by a car
Rearview mirror with a man hit by a car

How Much Should You Settle for After Getting Hit by a Car?

There is no sure way to tell how much to settle for after getting hit by a car. Simply because someone was awarded a reasonable amount doesn’t mean you will get the same.

One way to approximate the potential settlement amount is by looking at the national average settlement for personal injury claims. However, average claim settlement statistics are not foolproof and may not apply in your case. It would be advisable to contact car lawyers for a car accident settlement case.

Your compensation is determined by liability, what transpired during the accident, and the damages accumulated from the incident. A total of the mentioned factors should give you a rough estimate. A personal injury attorney may help you review the losses you have incurred, such as medical bills and lost income, to estimate a fair compensation for your claim.

Factors that Affect Car Accident Settlements

If you aren’t sure how much to settle for after getting hit by a car, know that the following factors will affect your car accident settlement:

Severity of Injuries

More severe injuries often attract higher settlement amounts compared to minor injuries. This is because catastrophic and traumatic injuries require expensive medical procedures. Major injuries also take longer to heal, and multiple treatment sessions, and years of rehabilitative therapy.

People who suffer severe injuries may need extended time away from work to recover, or victims may never be able to return to their pre-accident working status, potentially costing them substantial wages. Additionally, major accidents can lead to disabilities or impairment and significant future medical expenses. All this will be factored in when the insurance company or the jury calculates the value of your claims.

Insurance Coverage Limits

The upper limits of the insurance policy the other driver holds can also affect the value of your claim. In Peoria and Chicago, Illinois, each driver must have a minimum liability insurance coverage of $25,000 for bodily harm per person or $50,000 per accident. Depending on your medical needs, the allowed policy payouts may not cover your associated expenses.

Lawsuit Jurisdiction

The value of a claim can sometimes depend on the average settlement amounts for similar accidents in certain areas. If, for example, the average personal injury settlement amount for that area is $30,000, your claim may be valued around that amount. Insurance companies keep a record of jury verdicts for certain areas.

Do some research on jury verdicts, and use that information to negotiate a fair amount. Better still, a car accident attorney with experience in car accident settlements can review your case and offer relevant legal advice.

Your Age

Some age groups tend to receive significant compensation compared to others. Younger persons who belong to the working class get the most money from a car accident. While younger persons recover faster than older injured people, their ability to work is greatly affected.

Furthermore, younger people have many working years ahead of them before retirement. Those years should be compensated for as lost wages in case the youth suffered a permanent disability.

How much does a Chicago car accident lawyer cost? The answer to that question also affects car accident settlement because lawyer fees are also included in the award.

Types of Auto Accident Damages

How much to settle for after getting hit by a car is determined by the following types of damages:

Medical Expenses

Most damages after a car accident are related to bodily harm and injuries, which translates to the hefty cost of medical treatment. Medical expense is composed of the initial cost of treatment after the accident, including bills, prescriptions, and other costs. The following are the largest contributors to medical expenses:

  • Hospital stays
  • Medical prescription
  • Cost of surgery
  • Physical rehabilitation therapies
  • Prosthetic limbs
  • Mental therapy costs

When calculating the total medical expenses, you also need to consider the cost of future medical visits. Some injuries require several sessions, which can be spread over several years. How much you settle for should be enough to cover any future treatment if the need arises.

Pain and Suffering

In legal terms, pain and suffering are any physical or mental distress from being hit by a car or getting involved in an auto accident. The pain and suffering damages are largely influenced by the extent of injuries, the amount of pain, and any future pain the victim will likely suffer due to the accident.

Any mental or emotional harm from the accident is also categorized under pain and suffering. This includes stress, anxiety, insomnia, and any related mental disturbance. While some juries automatically award pain and suffering as separate damages, others tend to pair them with bodily injuries.

Punitive Damages

You can be awarded punitive damages depending on your state of residence. Punitive damages arise from the conduct of the defendant during the accident. In other words, the at-fault driver must have been grossly negligent or shown the intention of knowingly causing the accident.

Gross negligence can include intentionally breaking traffic rules. An example would be using a cell phone or taking alcohol when an accident occurs. Punitive damages are meant to punish the guilty party and are awarded on top of regular damages, therefore, you may not include them when considering how much to settle for after getting hit by a car.

Remember to include an intention investigation in your list of what to do after a car accident in Illinois, which could help you recover additional damages.

About The Author

Photo of Todd A. Strong
Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.