Average Settlement for Non-injury Car Accident - What to Know
Updated: Feb 23
Many people wonder if they can sue the at-fault driver for a car accident, even if they aren't hurt. While most auto accident situations have minor injuries, there may be no injured person. Therefore, it's crucial to understand what a typical car accident settlement value might be in that situation.
When no injured victims are present, they have no medical bills or physical pain. This is a good thing, and the victim should feel lucky that they made it through unscathed.
The person is likely to file a property damage suit because the vehicle might have been severely damaged, even if the victim wasn't hurt. Overall, the cost of repairing the damage can be extensive.
Whether the car is beyond repair and a new vehicle is needed, or the repairs are likely to be overwhelmingly expensive, the victim has a right to pursue legal action.
They don't have to suffer physical injuries from the accident caused by another driver's negligence and can recover property damages. They should file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the lost property. However, the negligent party might have health insurance liens against them if they've been in more serious accidents.
If the insurance company refuses to replace or repair the car after it suffers heavy damage, it might take the court system to have it fixed. Overall, it's best to speak with a lawyer. The costs for accident-related injuries are estimated to be about $150 billion. Since the victim wasn't injured, they don't have to worry about gathering medical records, a herniated disc injury, and all the rest. Still, they aren't likely to get a higher settlement because there are no injuries.
That doesn't mean financial recovery of the property damage isn't possible. The at-fault party is still responsible for paying an adequate settlement amount.
Hire a Lawyer to Discuss the Average Car Accident Settlement
The best way to make sure the victim recovers financial losses and compensation from the responsible party or car insurance companies is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer. The Keating Law Firm has personal injury lawyers with many years of experience and a high track record of success, even for a car accident with no physical damages or medical bills to pay.
The emotional distress and trauma, property damage, and financial loss are enough for a car accident attorney to help the victim receive the compensation they deserve.
Since the at-fault driver was responsible and damaged the vehicle, a car accident settlement isn't out of the question. It's crucial to have legal representation, and there's an entire team at the Keating Law Firm ready to assist.
Though it's hard to judge the final settlement amount, the lawyer can go through insurance policies, calculate pain and suffering, and offers a free consultation and an accurate estimate.
File a Claim with the Insurance Company
When a person files a property damage claim, they must go through the negligent party's insurance company. The issue is often resolved, and there's no need to escalate to a lawsuit.
However, insurance adjusters determine the amount owed, and average settlements are often lower than what it takes to fix the vehicle. Generally speaking, victims have the right to get compensation for emotional trauma resulting from the accident, too.
If the insurance adjuster doesn't offer the average payout or it seems too low, it's best to speak with a legal professional. No-fault states often require each person to go through the insurance company, but Illinois is a fault state. Therefore, if the other driver caused the accident, they're responsible for the payment, regardless of whether they have an insurance policy or not.
Sometimes, the other party has no insurance or doesn't have enough. If that's the case, suing might be the only way to be compensated.
Proving Non-material Damages
Along with property damages, people in car accidents might experience emotional, mental, and psychological damage because of the collision.
Most people only consider physical harm, but that's not all to consider. Treating emotional injuries can be time-consuming and costly. Examples of injuries outside of property damages can include:
Pain and suffering
Expenses related to those treatments
Pain and suffering is the general legal term to describe someone's emotional suffering after the accident. Most car accident cases use this aspect when no bodily injury came to the victim. While they weren't physically hurt and didn't require physical therapy, they may become depressed or anxious.
Therefore, a car accident injury settlement should include these things. A lawyer can determine what that means for the victim and can even explain the average amount given for such situations.
Building a Property Damage Claim
If a lawsuit is the right choice, there are things to consider before building an insurance claim or case. The insurance company's role is to avoid paying large amounts for property damages. Therefore, many insurance claims are settled for lower amounts.
It's crucial to have everything necessary to prove the case. That means proving:
The property damage was caused by negligence - The victim must prove that their vehicle damage occurred because of the other driver's direct actions.
The other driver didn't use a reasonable amount of care - Accidents are bound to happen, but the victim must prove that there was some sort of negligence on the at-fault person's part. That includes them using a smartphone, being a drunk driver, or being distracted while driving.
Their actions created a financial loss - This can include property damages.
Overall, an average settlement is based on various factors. It's often challenging to determine what those are without calling an attorney.
Types of Compensation for Property Damage Cases
The compensation a victim hopes to receive from the insurance companies for a property damage case include:
Price of replacing/repairing the vehicle
Price of replacing what was destroyed or damaged during the accident
The cost of public transportation and rental vehicles
However, that's not all the compensation available, and the car accident settlement should reflect mental distress, general damages, and all the rest.
Mental Distress (Type of Medical Bills)
If the victim suffered from severe mental stress because of the accident, they could claim various compensation forms. This includes the medical bills to see a doctor for medication and other medical expenses.
Sometimes, the victim experiences nightmares, PTSD, anxiety, new phobias or fears, depression, and severe mood swings. They must seek medical treatment to deal with those problems.
Though the health insurance company should handle the necessary medical treatment, the victim should be reimbursed for that.
Remember, car accidents are traumatizing. Therefore, the symptoms could show up afterward. It's best to watch for signs of mental distress. A mental health professional can determine what course of action is best.
However, the victim must document their mental health treatments to ensure that those costs are included in the case.
An experienced attorney can get the compensation their client deserves.
What to Do Immediately After the Accident
It's crucial to file a crash report to successfully receive the compensation listed above. The first thing to do is call local law enforcement to the scene of the accident and give them appropriate information.
The police report is the official story of what happened, which can help in court. They also gather photographic evidence and witness statements, but the victim should do so themselves.
Generally, it's best to ensure that there is no head injury before talking to others and documenting the events. Check on the negligent driver, as well.
Once the reports are made, it's best to call a lawyer to find out how to file a personal injury lawsuit. They can assist and determine if there are unique circumstances that should be considered. Overall, a car accident lawsuit is the best way to get the most money possible.
Other Compensation to Consider for the Personal Injury Claim
Even if there are no hospital bills after the car accident, there is still a personal injury case if there were damages to the vehicle. Once that is set up, other compensation includes:
Though most attorneys offer a free consultation, there are attorney's fees once the case settles. The settlement information contains how much these attorneys' fees are, and the victim can sue the at-fault party for reimbursement.
This gets added to the personal injury settlement value for the special damages and general damages.
If no bodily injury occurred to the victim, there is unlikely to be much lost income. However, people can't go about their day immediately after a car accident.
When the victim is heading to work and gets rear-ended, they usually miss that workday. Those lost wages are considered special damages and should be sought by the lawyer.
Vehicle Repair or Replacement
The at-fault driver is responsible for the accident and should cover car repairs or replacements. Even if the victim wasn't injured, they are likely to have vehicle damages to contend with. Most insurance companies go by the Kelley Blue Book value for the settlement amount. However, they may try to say that the damage was caused by something else and not the accident.
It's best to speak to a lawyer to ensure that the total settlement is high enough to cover all expenses related to the repair or replacement.
Many personal injury cases neglect punitive damages, but this could be a mistake. In most cases, this is a fine awarded to the victim to punish the negligent driver. If they acted outrageously or have had other accidents in the past, the attorney might request that they pay extra. The court/judge has the final say here.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering is hard to calculate because there is no fixed price attached to them. For example, vehicle damages are easy to assess; have a mechanic look at it and provide an estimate.
However, pain and suffering is different. Most states use the multiplier method to determine pain and suffering. Therefore, if there was no physical harm done, it's likely to have a smaller number attached to it. Still, many factors come into play. The damage to the vehicle might have been so severe that it takes a few months to fix, which puts more stress on the victim because they must now use public transportation to get to/from work.
How Non-economic Damages Are Calculated
Insurance adjusters typically determine general damages, called non-economic damages or pain and suffering, by using a computer algorithm. The claim is entered, and it tells them what they should offer. It's an ineffective method because those formulas don't consider how severe the damages truly are.
However, that's what the insurance companies want, so they can lowball the offer and use average car accident settlement amounts.
Attorneys use a formula, too. However, it's much different because they consider the circumstances of the victim and what they went through. That's why it's so important not to accept the first offer received from the insurance adjuster. They're trying to get the victim to settle for less than they deserve.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
How much compensation can a person get for a non-injury car accident claim? It all depends!
Even if there are no medical bills from a serious injury, such as a herniated disc or brain stem injury caused by the car accident, there could still be emotional trauma after the car accident.
However, it's often hard to determine the average settlement amount because there are various factors. Therefore, it's best to speak with a personal injury lawyer like the ones at the Keating Law Firm. They make sure that the victim gets a fair settlement offer that includes restitution for the damaged vehicle, pain and suffering, and all the rest. For example, if you are suffering due to broken ribs from a car accident, a lawyer can help you get the right compensation.
Average car accident settlement amounts range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. It's best to speak to the car accident lawyers in Nashville TN at the Keating Law Firm about the car accident case to see what car accident injury settlement might be available.
Call for a free case evaluation today. Once the victim agrees to move forward, they can grow their attorney-client relationship and get a better idea of the average amount for their settlement.