What is the Average Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Posted in Car accidents on November 27, 2023
If you or a loved one sustains an injury or property damage as a result of a vehicle accident caused by another driver, you deserve compensation. However, how much compensation is the average car accident settlement worth in Tennessee?
Car accident claims can be incredibly challenging, particularly when going up against aggressive insurance carriers. Here, we want to delve into the different variables that can influence how much a car accident claim is worth.
An Exact Dollar Figure is Impossible to Know Upfront
If your car accident claim is just beginning, there is likely no way to know upfront how much the entire case will be worth. Coming up with an estimate will be easier for relatively minor incidents, but for an accident that results in an injury or extensive property damage, estimating the final settlement or jury verdict is nearly impossible. There are so many factors that go into the final settlement or jury verdict amount, and many of these factors are not even known upfront.
However, we encourage you to have a frank conversation with your car accident attorney about what to expect. An experienced personal injury lawyer will likely be able to give you a ballpark estimate, but please know that any estimate could change depending on the facts of the case and new evidence discovered.
The Factors That Influence Car Accident Settlement Amounts
As your claim moves forward, there are many factors that can influence the settlement or jury verdict amount. Some of these factors include:
- The severity of the injuries. Medical bills are one of the main expenses after a vehicle accident occurs if there are injuries. Those who sustain relatively severe injuries will almost certainly receive more compensation than those who sustain minor injuries. However, long-term medical costs should also be taken into account, many of which are not known upfront.
- The extent of the property damage. Most vehicle accidents result in some sort of property damage, and the extent of the damage will certainly play a role in the final car accident settlement amount. If the damage is severe enough, the insurance carrier may deem the vehicle a total loss and pay the car’s value at the time the incident occurred, up to the limits of the insurance policy.
- How long it takes a victim to recover. The length of time it takes a car accident victim to recover will also play a role in the settlement or verdict amount. Individuals who will have longer recovery time frames will likely need more compensation for their medical treatment.
- Whether or not there was a disability. Individuals who are disabled as a result of their car accident injury may be entitled to more compensation to account for any lifestyle changes and pain and suffering.
- Shared fault implications. If there was any shared fault for the vehicle accident, this will be taken into account. Individuals can still recover compensation so long as they are less than 50% responsible for causing the incident, but the total amount of compensation they receive will be reduced depending on their level of fault.
- Insurance policy limitations. Insurance carriers will only pay out compensation up to the limits in force within the policy at the time the incident occurred. Unfortunately, insurance policies often do not pay for all of a victim’s injuries or property damage. In this situation, a car accident victim may have to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the driver in order to recover additional compensation.
Common Types of Compensation Available
Individuals harmed due to a car accident in Tennessee may be able to recover a range of compensation types. This includes both economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical bills associated with the incident
- Any household out-of-pocket arising due to the injuries
- Coverage of physical therapy, medical devices, and prescription medications
- Lost income if a victim is unable to work
- Vehicle property damage expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
File Your Claim Promptly
In Tennessee, car accident claims need to be filed as soon as possible. This state has a personal injury statute of limitations of only one year from the date an injury occurs, which means a car accident victim must file their claim within this one-year time frame, or the case will be dismissed.
Additionally, insurance carriers will have their own reporting guidelines. Claims must be filed promptly with an insurance carrier to avoid a claim delay or denial. We encourage individuals to file a report with their insurance carrier the day the incident occurs, but the initial report should not include much detail. The insurance carrier only needs to know basic details about the incident, such as the names of those involved and where it occurred. Let the insurance carrier know that you are seeking medical treatment, and do not go into much more detail. Let a car accident lawyer handle the rest of the claims process on your behalf.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Tennessee for Help
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. A car accident lawyer in Tennessee will be your advocate throughout the entire claims process. An attorney will not only conduct an investigation into the incident to determine liability, but they will handle all communication with the insurance carriers.
Communication with insurance carriers is incredibly important. Insurance carriers are notorious for offering low settlements or even denying claims altogether. When you have an attorney by your side, you will have an advocate ready to negotiate with the insurance carriers so you can receive fair compensation. In the event the insurance carriers refuse to offer a fair settlement, your lawyer can prepare the case for trial and file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court on your behalf.
Personal injury lawsuits must be filed within one year from the date an injury occurs, per the Tennessee personal injury statute of limitations.