How Much Is Your Car Accident Settlement Worth? Free Settlement Estimate

If you or your loved one recently got rear-ended in an accident, your first priority is recovery. Unfortunately, recovery can be expensive, and you may not be able to work while recovering. Soon, you may find yourself doing a search for, “I got rear ended how much money will I get.”

Many people mistake auto accident claims for greed. Most car accident claims are brought about by people who are genuinely injured or their families. Money can never replace a life and rarely undoes a disability, but it does help to prevent things from spiraling out of control.

How Much Is Your Rear End Car Accident Settlement Worth?

No matter how strong a case is and how well you have documented all the property damage and injuries, there is no way to guess exactly how much money you will get. This is because the insurance company may try to pay less than you request.

The court may also surprise you by denying portions of your claim or awarding you far more than you ask for in non-economic damages. Big payments for pain and suffering are often used to make an example out of the responsible party when there is evidence of gross negligence, such as road rage or driving while intoxicated.

Car Accident Settlement

Economic Damages

The easiest aspect of your claim to calculate is the economic damages. As the name implies, these are the things that have a direct financial impact on you and your family. Common examples include the following:

• Deductibles and other health insurance payments
• Cost of damages to your vehicle or other personal property
• Loss of income from missed days of work
• Late penalties and fees for missed bills
• Funeral expenses (obviously only applicable in car accident wrongful death settlements)
• Estimates of future expenses related to injuries

Your attorney can work with your doctor to ensure you get all the documentation you need. If you do not yet have a lawyer, then be sure to save and safely store all receipts, invoices, medical records and other documentation related to the crash and its aftereffects.

Non-Economic Damages

Also known as “pain and suffering,” non-economic damages are a lot more difficult to estimate. One of the most common ways to calculate this amount is to add up all the economic damages and multiply the amount by a number ranging from one to five. The more severe the damages caused by the crash, the higher the multiplier used. Here are a few other factors that may lead to increased non-economic payments:

• Gross negligence on the part of the driver, the company that hired them, the manufacturer or the insurance company
• Loss of a loved one
• Development of permanent, life-changing disabilities
Development of PTSD after the car crash or other psychological problems
• Presence of dependents who relied on the support of the injured or deceased person
• Dash cam footage or consistent witness statements that make determining fault easy

Car Accident Settlement

What Is the General Range?

Now that you know what impacts the rear end car accident settlement amount, you can use this to decide where you might fall on a spectrum from a few thousand dollars to more than a million dollars. Many cases settle for less than $10,000. Generally, if a case is worth only a few hundred dollars, it’s not worth going to court.

One of the highest rear-end collision settlements was a $150 million verdict levied at Chrysler. It occurred after a 2012 Grand Jeep Cherokee burst into flames when a pickup truck struck it from behind. A young boy died in the fire. The court found that Chrysler’s faulty design and manufacturing should shoulder 99% of the blame, while the driver received only 1% of the blame.

Should You Hire an Attorney For a Rear End Car Accident Settlement?

Whether or not you should hire an attorney for a car accident is usually a question of damages (i.e. amount of your potential car accident settlement). If your injuries are minor, you didn’t miss work (or missed a very short period of time), and you’re expecting to make a full recovery, it’s probably not something you need to hire an attorney for, you should be able to file a car accident claim with the insurance company yourself. However when medical visits, missed work for long stretches, or long rehab processes are involved, the complexity and size of the potential settlement are enough that you should probably have professional help with the situation. In most of these situations, the car accident lawyer will be able to add more value than their contingency fees take, because they know what to ask for and how to negotiate with the insurance company.

Because of the fact that most car accident lawyers charge contingency fees as opposed to hourly, most will offer a free consultation where they will ask you questions about the facts of the case and make an assessment of it’s value and chances of success. If the lawyer earnestly thinks it’s not winnable or the damages are too small to merit their time, they’ll let you know this in the free legal consultation. While they cannot give you an exact dollar value for the amount of your rear end car accident settlement, they can tell you its potential value.

Car Accident Lawsuit
About Graham Bersche, JD
A graduate of Trinity Law School in Southern California, Graham Bersche has experience as a paralegal, negotiator, and legal writer. He lives in Los Angeles and is passionate about helping people who’ve been injured in car accidents to understand the laws governing their situations and learn how to maximize their car accident settlements.