How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?

How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?

During the past decades, traffic accidents have increased dramatically. Often, they come with unfortunate fatalities and seriously injured victims.

Road infrastructure in the United States is also experiencing a steady decline, with insufficient funds to meet drivers’ road safety needs.

According to a statistical report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2020, it is estimated that around 2,282,015 people were injured due to road accidents.

This number shows that despite limited vehicle movement caused by the pandemic, the roads were still just as dangerous.

Suppose you were involved in a car accident. In that case, you might have questions regarding your medical bills, what damages are compensated, and what your insurance company should do about it.

This article provides insight into these questions. It also offers comprehensive information regarding settlement amounts, state laws, car accident liabilities, and other essential factors.

Car accident victims are entitled to some payment. In a negligence lawsuit, the victim is still eligible to ask for punitive damages, even though they are seldom granted.

In such cases, working with your attorney to devise the most optimal plan for your accident settlement is always ideal. is your go-to resource for seeking legal help concerning injury cases. Browse our website and learn the benefits of working with a personal injury lawyer, especially in cases involving penalties, fines, and possible incarceration.

What Determines How Much You Can Sue for?

One of the significant factors that must be considered when determining the value of your case is your share of the fault itself.

While no formula is available to determine the exact value, the facts of the case can provide the necessary information to help a personal injury lawyer decide how much compensation to seek.

The Extent and Impact of Your Injuries

Your injuries’ severity plays a significant role in determining your compensation amount. As a rule of thumb, the more severe your injuries, the higher your case value will be.

Consider the following factors when calculating the extent of your injuries: 

  • Are your injuries permanent?
  • If your injuries are temporary, how long will they compromise your daily life?
  • How does the injury impact your ability to generate day-to-day income?
  • How does the injury affect your quality of life?
  • How much is the projected lifetime cost of your treatment?

Financial Costs

Your economic losses are determined by the expenses you have incurred or will incur following an accident injury on top of the total income lost. Some examples are:

  • Number of hours you missed at work
  • Amount that you earned from work before and after the accident
  • Amount of time you spent not working
  • Amount of time you need to return to work at full earning capacity
  • If applicable, the value of the domestic services you will be unable to provide
  • Property damages
  • Medical expenses

Who Is Liable?

Driver errors commonly cause car accidents. However, some accidents are instigated by other factors not within a driver’s control. This includes road conditions or a defective vehicle component. For such cases, the following parties may be held responsible:

  • Owner of premises
  • An entity of the government
  • An auto mechanic
  • Vehicle manufacturer
  • Vehicle parts manufacturer

The insurance policy may provide coverage limits of $750,000 to $1,000,000 for company or commercial vehicle accidents. Frequently, multiple insurance companies are involved in such.

Trucking companies must adhere to federal rules. These rules include limits on the trucker’s allowable daily and weekly work hours. Companies that violate these rules may also be held responsible for any accident that may occur.

The Behavior of the At-Fault Party

You may be eligible to receive compensation for punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior was deliberate or if they show disregard for others’ safety.

Car Accident Lawyer Qualifications and Experience

One of the critical factors in determining how much compensation you can recover is the law firm you choose to help you handle your case.

In such cases, offers a comprehensive database of personal injury lawyers to help you navigate the complex legal system.

Who Is Liable for a Car Accident?

The liable party for a car accident is determined by the circumstances of the crash and what events led to the collision. For example, suppose you can prove that the opposing party’s negligence caused your accident. In that case, the opposing party may be held liable for damages.

At-fault Driver

Every driver must adhere to the rules of the road and operate their automobiles avoiding hurting anyone. If drivers do not exercise reasonable care and cause an accident while driving, they may be responsible for any damages.

At-fault Driver’s Insurance Company

In some cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may be held liable. For example, under Florida’s no-fault law, you must first file a claim with your insurance company if you sustained injuries during a car accident.

However, suppose the injuries are severe, and your insurance fails to cover everything. In that case, you may seek damages from the driver at fault’s insurance company.

Your Auto Insurance Company

There are cases where all parties may be held liable. For example, in Florida, all drivers must have a PIP (personal injury protection) policy that partially covers damage expenses – regardless of who is at fault for the auto accident.

If you’re the aggrieved party, you must file a claim with your insurance provider to pay for the losses caused by the crash.

Depending on the situation, you may also be qualified to claim motorist coverage. Moreover, you can file a lawsuit to claim compensation for damages the accident has caused.

Proving Fault in a Car Accident

Determining who is at fault for an auto accident and filing a lawsuit afterward can be daunting. You must be able to prove negligence to identify the responsible party for the accident. Listed below are the elements of negligence that must be established.

  • Duty of care – You must prove that the responsible party had a duty to you.

  • Breach of duty – An excellent example of a breach of duty is a driver trying to beat a red light. In this instance, the driver was acting carelessly, thus failing in their duty to drive safely.

  • Causation – To move forward with your claim, the breach of duty should have been the source of the accident that led to your injuries.

  • Damages – You must prove that the injuries you sustained were from the accident.

A car accident lawyer will perform a thorough investigation of the accident to retrieve pieces of evidence that will support your claim. Some examples of crucial evidence include:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Witness statements
  • Photos or video footage from the crash site

Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Damages

A statute of limitations states the maximum amount of time that the parties involved in a car accident have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense.

In Florida, the statute of limitation for a personal injury settlement claim is four years from the accident date. This means that victims of car accidents should claim damage compensation before the deadline expires.

Once they go beyond the deadline, the victim forfeits the right to recover damages caused by the car crash.

What if You Were Partially at Fault?

The rules for shared fault in a car accident differ from state to state. In most states, the share of compensation might be diminished based on the percentage of fault. 

For some states, you may even be barred from recovering any compensation if you were at fault for more than half of the damages.

A shared fault occurs when you are partially to blame for a vehicular accident. States have different solutions for shared fault incidents, but all require a juror to hear the case at trial.

Listed in the subsequent topics are the general answers of different states regarding shared fault.

Pure Comparative Negligence

For states that practice pure comparative negligence, your compensation is reduced depending on your percentage of fault. Many states, including Florida and California, practice pure comparative negligence.

Below is an example of pure comparative negligence:

Jasmine was hurt in a car accident. At trial, the jury stated that Jasmine had suffered $100,000 in legal damages, but she was also 55% responsible. In that case, Jasmine’s compensation will be dropped to $45,000, 55% less than the original.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Similar to pure comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence reduces compensation depending on your share of fault. 

However, under modified comparative negligence, you can’t get compensation if you’re more than 50% responsible for the accident. This rule is observed in several states, including Texas.

Below is an excellent example of modified comparative negligence:

Jasmine suffered $100,000 in legal damages but was also 55% at fault. Jasmine will recover nothing under a modified comparative negligence rule in that case. 

If she were at least 30% at fault, her award would have been calculated accordingly to $70,000.

Contributory Negligence

In states that observe the contributory negligence rule, you are barred from recovering any amount if you contributed in any way to the crash. Very few states practice this, although Virginia still does.

Below is an example of contributory negligence:

Jasmine suffered $100,000 in legal damages, but the jury deemed that she was 3% at fault because she was driving 5 miles per hour past the limit. In that case, Jasmine will

recover nothing.

Types of Damages

There are various types of damages you can sue for. Damages are compensation you may seek for losses caused by an accident.

Listed in the subsequent sections are the several types of damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are tangible financial losses that can be proven with bills, receipts, and other forms of documentation. Some examples are the following:

  • Medical costs
  • The value of services
  • Lost wages

Medical Costs

This expense includes all costs associated with your injury’s care up until the present time and the care that is still anticipated. Some examples are:

  • Hospital bills
  • Doctor bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Medical and assistive device costs
  • Personal care costs
  • Therapy and maintenance costs related to the injury
  • Mental health services

The Value of Services

Even if you didn’t have a job before the accident, the incident might have caused you to be unable to offer the domestic services you used to provide. Such could entail a need to pay for external services to handle these tasks. The following costs can be estimated for your lifetime:

  • Childcare
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping

Loss Of Earnings

Loss of earnings covers the potential earnings lost and the work time missed due to an accident. You’re entitled to compensation for any decrease in your capacity to earn, regardless of whether you can or cannot continue to earn income after the accident.

What Are Examples of Economic Damages?

Economic damages include property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. They are easy to establish using documents such as receipts and estimates.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more subjective and non-pecuniary harms related to your quality of life.

These damages are nonquantifiable, meaning the case value will be determined by the length of time you had the disability and the severity of its impact on your quality of life.

What Are Examples of Non-economic Damages?

Some examples of non-economic damages include the following:

  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of society
  • Loss of normal activities
  • Loss of capacity to enjoy life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of bodily functions

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are different from other damage types since they are not compensatory. In simpler terms, punitive damages, unlike economic and non-economic damages,  are not awarded for compensating a victim.

Instead, these damages serve to punish and deter the defendant who caused the injuries through deliberate or flagrant conduct.

Some states have strict caps on punitive damages, but the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that such limits infringe on the right to a jury trial.

Missouri does have one restriction on punitive damages. They are not available if a government entity is at fault.

Amount of Damages

The financial compensation for your legal damages depends on the crash. In a minor fender-bender with no bodily harm and just minimal car damage, you may only be entitled to a small sum, perhaps a few hundred dollars, for vehicle repairs.

The family of a victim of a fatal vehicular accident is most likely entitled to much more in a wrongful death case.

Settlements: The Most Common Outcome in Personal Injury Claims

Before exploring car accident settlement samples, it’s essential to grasp what a settlement means.

In most states in the U.S., the person responsible for a car crash should cover the victim’s damages.

The insurer representing the party responsible for the crash will make a settlement offer to the victims. The settlement will be a lump sum payment in exchange for which the aggrieved party gives up all of their rights to further claims.

If the aggrieved party believes the offered compensation is unjust, the situation can result in a car accident lawsuit.

Although sometimes lawsuits can happen after the accident, the cases are usually settled outside court.

Most claims are settled since insurance companies often try to avoid trial costs, and victims usually prefer to steer clear of the exhaustive process of a court trial.

How Long Will It Take To Get A Car Accident Settlement?

Settlements for car accidents typically occur at a reasonably quick pace. This is an advantage of settling a claim instead of pursuing a lawsuit.

According to Martindale-Nolo, it took about 10.7 months for car crash victims to receive a settlement for their accident. Also, more than half of the victims resolved their claims within six months.

Why Is Your Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?

Determining the length of time a car accident settlement will require can be a tricky process. It’s best to speak to your attorney for the specifics.

There are many possible reasons why your personal injury or car accident settlement is taking extensive time to process. These reasons can be:

  • Insurance company negotiations
  • Crash investigation
  • Determining the fault
  • Reaching maximum medical improvement

How Much Can You Get For Your Car Accident Claim?

The compensation you can get for a car accident claim relies on the extent of damage suffered, among other factors. Data collected on average car accident settlement amounts differ per source.

According to a report by the Insurance Information Institute in 2020, the average claim for bodily injuries after a car accident was $20,235. On the other hand, the average property damage claim was reported to be at $4,711.

A survey also found that between 2015 and 2020, the average settlement of those who made car accident claims was $23,900. Most of the respondents claimed that they received $10,000 or less.

Other Factors That Affect The Amount Of Car Accident Settlements

The amount of your car accident settlement is affected by different factors, to be discussed in the below subtopics.

Insurance Coverage

In most states in America, it is the driver’s responsibility to secure liability insurance. Insurance will cover the compensation to victims in case the policyholder is at fault.

Remember that the insurer can only pay up to its policy limits. If damages are beyond the insurance amount that can be covered, the insurer will not pay the excess.

Accident victims can pursue an accident claim against the driver at fault for losses not covered by their insurance. However, most people don’t have enough assets to pay additional damages even if the court awards them.

As a result, the insurance company will make a settlement offer within the policy limit.


When liability is identified in a car crash, this can translate to a more significant settlement sum. The insurer representing the driver at fault will take responsibility and likely give a reasonable settlement offer to avoid a lawsuit.

If the fault is uncertain, the settlement amount may be reduced, or there might not even be a settlement. Moreover, if the fault is shared between the parties, the car accident compensation will be significantly affected.

Severity Of Injuries

The severity of your sustained injuries is one of the major factors when determining the amount of a car accident settlement claim.

According to a survey, the average compensation for injured crash victims was $29,700. In comparison, those who were not injured received an average of $16,700.

State Laws

In no-fault states, drivers must initially rely on their insurance coverage to pay for their injuries or the injuries inflicted on their passengers.

Once the initial personal coverage has been exhausted, the driver who was not at fault can seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance.

Drivers must get personal injury protection, which typically has a limit of up to $10,000 in lost wages and medical bills. For minor injuries, additional damages are generally unavailable.

In at-fault states, contrastingly, the driver at fault will always be held responsible for the losses.

When an accident occurs in these states, even relatively minor crashes can translate to settlement offers from the at-fault driver’s insurer, which may provide more comprehensive protection.

Financial Loss

The extent of a financial loss affects the settlement amount of a car accident. Generally, the settlement is designed to make a crash victim whole for the losses caused by the accident. This includes injury-related losses and property damage losses.

Suppose a driver sustained losses due to medical bills, extensive damage to their property, and missed work. In that case, the settlement should also reflect such.

How to Maximize the Value of a Car Accident Case

To be liable for compensation, you must provide proof of your damages. This process requires thorough documentation. Your statements and conduct can also be used for or against you. 

Below are some measures that will help you recover a significant amount of compensation:

  • Record the personal information of the witnesses
  • Do not discuss the fault with the insurance company or the other driver
  • Do not post or discuss your accident on any social media platform
  • Do not sign documents or agree to give a recorded statement for the insurance company without initially talking to your lawyer
  • Document the accident by taking photos from multiple angles (record video footage if possible)
  • Accomplish all recommended medical treatments and keep physical documentation of your bills
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident
  • Do not assume the insurance company has your best interests
  • Document and seek treatment for any psychological repercussions

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering refer to the emotional and physical trauma a person experiences after a car accident.

To determine an offer for pain and suffering, some insurance companies compute the sum of property damage and medical bills and multiply that by a number between 1.5 and 4 based on the case’s severity.

Pain and suffering are personal and highly subjective factors. Remember that a skilled lawyer can present a convincing case for a higher compensation.

Explanation of Settlement Amounts

Settlement amounts will differ depending on various factors. The subsequent topics will discuss settlement amounts based on the severity of the sustained injuries.

Low Settlement

For accidents that caused little to no injuries, the settlement amount could be within a few thousand dollars to cover any medical bills or property damage.

Moderate Settlement

The settlement amount might be in the tens of thousands range for car crashes that resulted in moderate injuries and more significant damage to properties.

These cases usually involve medical treatment, missed work hours, and potentially, more extensive recovery periods.

High Settlement

In cases of fatalities, permanent disabilities, long-term medical treatments, and severe injuries, the settlement amount can be substantial, reaching hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in some instances.

Factors like lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and negligence’s extent significantly determine high settlement amounts.

Remember that the above examples are simplified overviews and that every case is unique. The circumstances of each accident, the severity of the injury, and other factors will affect the final settlement amount.

It is always best to seek an experienced attorney’s assistance to navigate the legal system’s complexities concerning accident settlement issues.

Settlement Ranges for Different Types of Car Accidents

The settlement ranges differ depending on the type of car accident that transpired. The below subtopics will uncover more details about different types of car accidents.

Rear-end Collisions

Liability is often clearly determined in cases of rear-end collisions. Settlement amounts for moderate injuries caused by rear-end collisions may range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands.

Severe injuries could translate to higher settlement amounts, often in the six- or seven-figure range.

Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions result in high settlement rates due to the severity of the injuries sustained. Depending on the circumstances, the settlement amount should range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands and beyond.

T-bone (Side-impact) Collisions

Settlement amounts for side-impact collisions differ based on the situation. Minor injuries might translate to settlements in the lower thousands range. In contrast, more severe injuries could result in tens of thousands or more.

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Accidents

Suppose a driver involved in an accident was found to be under the influence. In that case, the settlement range should be significantly higher. In such cases, the settlement range should be in the six-figure range.

Like the cases mentioned above, the settlement range will depend on the level of negligence, property damages, and the severity of injuries caused.

Herniated Disc and Other Disc Injuries

There are many variables involved when determining settlement figures for herniated discs and other disc injuries.

The median jury verdict for a herniated disc is $75,000, with an average of $350,000.

If you don’t consider liability an issue, most disc herniation cases involving surgery settle between $50,000 and $100,000.

These statistics show that only a fraction of herniated disc cases are given high jury verdicts, but the rest are under $100,000. Only 5% of herniated disc cases involve a settlement amount of over 1 million dollars.

Note that these figures are only averages. There isn’t a single formula available to calculate the exact value of a herniated disc injury case. It’s always best to consult your personal injury attorney on these matters.

Below-the-Waist Personal Injury Settlements

Typically, below-the-waist personal injuries are those sustained in the following body parts:

  • Feet
  • Ankles
  • Legs
  • Knees
  • Toes

The settlement amount for these cases varies depending on many factors. It’s best to consult your personal injury lawyer on these matters.

Above-the-Waist Personal Injury Settlements

Above-the-waist personal injuries are injuries sustained in the following:

  • Shoulders (includes rotator cuff)
  • Hands
  • Wrists
  • Fingers
  • Face
  • Hip
  • Ribs
  • Head
  • Chest

Again, the settlement amount for these cases is broad and will vary depending on many factors. Consulting these matters with an experienced personal injury lawyer is always best.

Malpractice and Product Liability Cases

Plaintiffs, in cases of product liability, will often resort to any available theories to obtain recovery. If a product somehow injures you, your lawyer may allege strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.

In some cases, the manufacturer of the car or its components may bear responsibility for an accident.

For instance, a defective tire or a flaw in the steering mechanism of an SUV (sport utility vehicle) may cause a rollover. A defective brake can also be the culprit in a rear-end collision.

A personal injury claim against a driver is based on proving their negligence. However, claims against a product manufacturer are often based on liability alone.

If someone injured in the crash is suing you, you may be able to avoid liability if you can prove that a defect in one of the vehicles involved was the cause rather than your reckless driving.

Remember that each insurance claim is different. While information publicly available on the internet can help you gauge average compensation payouts similar to yours, it cannot help you calculate your case’s exact jury payout and settlement amount.

It’s always best to consult your personal injury lawyer for these instances.

Settlement Formula to Calculate Settlement Amounts

For personal injury car crash claims, the settlement formula is:

Past medical bills + future medical bills + past lost wages + future lost wages + pain and suffering damages

Although using a formula is as easy as inputting numbers and calculating, the most significant harm in an accident is pain and suffering.

The amount you will get for pain and suffering will depend on the car accident case. In some cases, the insurance company uses a computer program to analyze and compute a blueprint of a settlement formula.

Details of the medical records will be processed on a computer. Afterward, the computer will provide a suggested settlement range for the insurance payout.

Settlement calculators produce payouts that differ significantly from what personal injury attorneys believe to be full justice for the case.

Is the Car Insurance Company the One to Pay for the Settlement or Verdict?

Yes. The car insurance company does pay the verdict or the settlement. However, the driver at fault’s insurance coverage will also play a big role in your recovery.

The insurance company will cover the settlement or verdict if the responsible party was insured within an appropriate amount. However, if the driver at fault was not insured with liability insurance, they must pay using their money.

In a personal injury case resulting from a vehicular accident, the most optimal outcome for you is if the driver at fault’s insurance coverage is worth higher than the total legal damages.

This means that the responsible party is fully insured, and the insurer will cover all settlement and verdict costs.

Underinsured Drivers

If the responsible party’s insurance policy has a considerably lower ceiling than the accrued legal damages, they are considered underinsured.

For such cases, the insurer will compensate you up to their policy limit. The remaining settlement amount will have to come from other sources. These sources can be:

  • Your underinsured motorist policy (if you have one)
  • The at-fault driver’s personal assets
  • Some other party

Uninsured Drivers

An uninsured driver doesn’t have liability coverage to pay for a settlement or verdict against them.

If you were involved in a crash and the driver at fault is uninsured, you will most likely struggle to find financial compensation. For such cases, you may have to turn to:

  • Any assets that the driver at fault has
  • An insurance claim against your uninsured motorist coverage (if you have one)
  • Some other party

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver

In accident cases where the responsible party doesn’t have insurance or has insufficient coverage, filing a lawsuit against the driver at fault is always an option.

Should the judgment be in your favor, collecting the amount could be daunting if the responsible party doesn’t have the means to compensate you.

Pursuing Compensation Through an Insurance Company of Your Choice

Besides underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, some insurance policies offer uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage.

UMPD can aid with vehicle repair costs if the opposing party is uninsured. However, you must remember that UMPD coverage usually goes hand-in-hand with a deductible.

What Is the Difference Between an Accident Claim and a Lawsuit?

While “lawsuit” and “claim” are often used interchangeably, they are different terms.

 A lawsuit includes a personal injury claim for damages that shows what damages you are specifically looking for and why you are entitled to the compensation.

On the other hand, a claim is a request that comes from an accident victim for payment for their losses.

An injured person can ask the party responsible for the accident to compensate for their damages without initiating a lawsuit. This is typically done by claiming insurance.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Law

To discuss the details of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance law, we’ll use the state of Florida as an example.

As of 2023, Florida drivers are required to get PIP insurance. Based on a statement by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), the PIP insurance must be enough to cover 80% of medical bills up to $10,000 – regardless of who is at fault.

FLHSMV outlines the requirements for all registered vehicles in Florida as follows:

  • Must have PIP insurance upon registration of the vehicle
  • Must have a minimum PIP coverage of $10,000
  • Must maintain coverage even if the car is not operational
  • Must purchase the PIP from a licensed insurance carrier in Florida
  • Must have active PIP coverage regardless of current location

Are You Only Entitled to Your Medical Bills in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Contrary to what most insurance companies will make you believe, you are qualified to make a claim for all your legal damages. Medical bills are only one type of legal damages you are entitled to.

In a car crash case, the medical expenses that can be recovered are the following:

  • Emergency room care
  • Anesthesiology
  • Ambulance fees
  • Surgical care
  • Post-operative care
  • Testing and diagnostic care (includes X-rays and MRI or magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Occupational therapy 
  • Physical therapy
  • Any other medical expenses caused by the accident

What if Your Family Member Was Killed in a Car Accident?

To discuss this topic further, we’ll use the state of Missouri as an example.

If a loved one unfortunately dies from a car crash, the state of Missouri permits the remaining family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover some damages potentially. The following damages can be recovered:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills of the deceased
  • Pecuniary damages
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased

Note that Missouri Statute 537.090 restricts families from recovering damages for grief caused by the death.


Wages are determined based on the earnings of a deceased person in a motor vehicle accident. 

If the deceased was caring for disabled persons or minors at least half the time when they died and if they were not employed on a full-time scale, the state gives a presumption that the provided care’s value is 110% of the state’s average weekly wage.

For minors, the annual pecuniary losses are determined based on the total yearly income of the mother and father or the earning parent if only one has a source of income.

What Are Medical Liens Associated with Car Crashes?

While medical bills can quickly pile up after a car accident, the victims can seek relief in the form of a medical lien. In essence, medical liens are agreements between personal injury victims and healthcare providers.

For car crash scenarios, a medical lien allows healthcare providers to recover the cost of treatment using the judgment or settlement rewarded to the victim.

In simpler words, the car crash victim won’t have to pay the medical bills upfront, and the healthcare provider won’t have to wait for the payment until settling the case.

Once a medical lien is filed, it becomes a legal claim on the awarded judgment or settlement.

Remember that medical liens are always subject to negotiation. It’s best to seek advice from personal injury lawyers as they can also help negotiate lower lien amounts on their client’s behalf.

Hiring an Attorney

Some types of damages aren’t easy to translate into a dollar amount. Often, the best way to recover compensation for such is to seek the expert legal advice of an attorney.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer from a reputable firm can also lead to an increased settlement in a car accident claim. A personal injury lawyer can also help when insurance companies make lowball offers to settle a case.

When you hire an attorney, insurance companies often treat that as a sign that they will have to offer a fair settlement for your case. is your go-to resource when searching for an experienced lawyer specializing in injury cases. You can filter your search by state or practice area and find a lawyer that fits your legal needs.

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help With Your Claim?

Attorneys can determine the value of your case, negotiate a reasonable settlement amount, and help you not to commit mistakes that can compromise your compensation.

How Much Are Lawyer Fees for a Car Accident Settlement?

Personal injury attorneys charge for their services in a fairly unique way from one another. The typical car accident attorney will charge a contingency fee for an inquiry case.

A contingency fee means the firm will only receive attorney fees if you recover money from your case. The attorney or the law firm will be compensated by a fraction of the amount you receive in a court or settlement award, should the case proceed to the trial phase.

Although the percentage that a lawyer can receive via contingency fee agreement differs on a case-to-case basis, rates of 25%, 33%, or 40% are somewhat common.

Moreover, the contingency fee percentage may change if the lawsuit has to be filed against the defendant. The percentage can be reduced if the case is settled before it progresses to a court hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can an at-fault driver sue?

Sometimes, the driver at fault can sue the other party in an accident.

For example, in states like Missouri, where a pure comparative doctrine is being observed, there’s a reasonable chance that you can recover compensation if you did not bear 100% of the fault.

2. How is a settlement paid out?

The insurance company must pay after you settle your case. Typically, the insurer compensates your settlement via check. The settlement check can be addressed to a health insurance company or you and your lawyer’s firm.

3. How much is the average cost for a severe injury in a collision?

According to a report by the National Safety Council, the average amount for a fatal injury in a car accident is 1.5 million dollars. For non-fatal injuries, the average amount is $80,700.

4. How do you respond to a low settlement offer?

If you receive an unfairly low settlement offer, it doesn’t mean you have no other options for a rebuttal. After receiving the offer, you can take the following steps:

  • Remain calm and analyze the offer
  • Formulate a counteroffer
  • Provide a written response
  • Only settle until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement from your injuries

The abovementioned steps are only suggestions. It’s always best to seek a personal injury lawyer’s expert advice before responding to a settlement offer.

5. What is a good car accident settlement offer?

A good car crash settlement offer comprehensively covers your property damage, medical bills, and time off from work.

6. Is there a comparative negligence state?

As stated in this article, many states use the comparative negligence rule. This includes Florida, Texas, California, and many others.

7. How much can you sue an insurance company for a car crash case?

The amount you can sue an insurance company for depends on many factors. These include property damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages from the accident.

It’s best to talk to your personal injury attorney for a precise estimate for your car accident lawsuit.

8. Can you sue if you weren’t injured?

Yes. Even if you weren’t physically hurt in the accident, you can file a lawsuit for damaged property or emotional distress.

9. How do lawyers determine the amount to sue for in a lawsuit?

An average car accident settlement amount is calculated based on many factors. Here are a few things that may potentially affect your compensation in a lawsuit:

  • Insurance coverage
  • State laws
  • The severity of your injuries
  • Liability
  • Financial losses

Remember that the damages a person can claim vary depending on the situation. A lawyer can advise you to sue for any amount, but it does not mean you will get it.

10. What is a typical car accident settlement amount with no injury?

The settlement amount will likely be zero if no injury was sustained in an accident. However, suppose you did sustain minor injuries but did not undergo medical care. In that case, you are looking at a possible settlement compensation of around $500.


  1. Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2023)
  2. Property damage cases
  3. Filing an Auto Claim with the Other Party’s Insurance Company
  4. Non-Injury Vehicle Collisions

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