A car accident can be a life-altering event, leaving individuals grappling with physical, emotional, and financial repercussions. When it comes to resolving the financial aspects of such incidents, car accident settlements play a crucial role.
A car accident settlement is an agreement between parties to address financial claims and disputes stemming from the accident. These settlements are typically forged through negotiations involving insurance companies or legal representatives.
In this post, we will delve into the intricacies of car accident settlements, providing insights into what they entail, how they are obtained, and what factors influence their amounts. We will also discuss the key players in the settlement process and offer tips on securing a fair settlement.
Whether navigating the aftermath of a car accident or simply looking to understand the process better, this article is your go-to resource for understanding how car accident settlements work.
What Is a Car Accident Settlement and How Is It Reached?
A car accident settlement is an agreement between two or more parties involved in a car accident to resolve any financial claims or disputes. The settlement is typically reached through negotiations between the parties or their representatives, such as insurance companies or lawyers.
There are two main ways to obtain a settlement in a car accident:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company: If you have collision coverage on your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurance company to cover the damage to your vehicle. In some cases, you may also be able to file a claim with your own insurance company for other damages, such as medical expenses or lost wages, if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured.
- Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver: If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them to recover damages. Typically, this is done through a personal injury lawyer, who will negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf.
When Are Car Accident Settlements Offered?
Car accident settlements can be offered anytime after the accident, but they are most common during the negotiation process between the parties or their representatives.
Insurance companies will often make an initial settlement offer to the injured party. However, this offer is typically much lower than the damages the injured party is entitled to. This is considered a lowball offer from the insurance company.
The injured party can then negotiate with the insurance company for a higher settlement amount.
Who Offers Car Accident Settlements?
Car accident settlements can be offered by either party involved in the accident or by their representatives. In most cases, car accident settlements are offered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, the injured party may also offer to settle with the at-fault driver directly, especially if the driver does not have insurance.
Typical Compensation in Car Accident Settlements
The dollar amount of a car accident settlement will vary depending on the specific facts of the case, including the severity of the injuries, the amount of medical expenses incurred, and the amount of lost wages. However, the average car accident settlement in the United States is around $25,000.
Factors that affect the amount of a car accident settlement include:
- The severity of injuries: The more serious the injuries, the higher the settlement amount will likely be.
- The amount of medical expenses incurred: The higher the medical costs, the higher the settlement amount is likely to be.
- The amount of lost wages: The more lost wages suffered by the injured party, the higher the settlement amount is likely to be.
- The liability of the at-fault driver: If the other driver was clearly at fault for the accident, the settlement amount will likely be higher.
- The insurance coverage of the at-fault driver: If the at-fault driver has high insurance coverage, the settlement amount may be higher.
- The negotiation skills of the injured party’s lawyer: The better the negotiation skills of the injured party’s lawyer, the better chance they have at obtaining a higher settlement amount.
How To Get A Fair Car Accident Settlement
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to understand your rights and options. You should also consult an experienced car accident lawyer to discuss your case and get help negotiating a fair settlement.
Here are some tips for getting a fair car accident settlement:
- Gather your evidence: This includes medical records, police reports, and other documentation of your injuries and losses.
- Be honest with your lawyer: Your lawyer needs to know all of the facts of your case to offer the best representation possible.
- Be patient: Negotiating a fair settlement can take time. Don’t be pressured into accepting the first offer you receive.
- Be prepared to walk away: If you are not offered a fair settlement, be ready to walk away from the negotiations. You may need to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
At Thistle Law, our experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyers can help you understand your rights and options and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 215-525-6824 or filling out our contact form.