Car accidents. They can cause serious physical trauma, lasting emotional injuries, and significant financial losses. If you’ve been injured, you’re probably wondering what your case might be worth, and what the “typical” car accident settlement may be.
A single car crash could cause anywhere from one or two hundred dollars in property damage all the way to millions of dollars in financial losses. Because traffic accidents are so frequent, the total economic cost is astounding. According to a 2014 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the economic cost of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. totaled $242 billion. Also according to the NHTSA, the cost of medical care and productivity losses from people who were injured or killed in traffic accidents exceeded $75 billion in 2017 alone.
But how does a car accident affect you, personally, and what might your individual case be worth? We can begin by looking at the average car accident settlement amount in the United States.
Average Auto Insurance Claim Values in the U.S.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average value of a bodily injury auto insurance claim was $22,734 in 2021. The average value of a property damage claim was $5,314.
If you are beginning to think that your claim is probably worth about $20,000, think again. The truth is that there is no “average” when it comes to car accidents and the injuries people experience. At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, we realize just how different every accident is, and we know what it takes to help a victim rebuild. We often work with economists, medical professionals, and other experts who help us determine the full and fair value of a claim, based on the circumstances at hand.
We consider every part of a car accident, and every type of damage it may cause:
- Lost earnings from missed work while you’re injured
- Loss of future earnings if you’re unable to return to work
- Medical expenses, including the cost of physical therapy or other ongoing care
- Medical supplies, medication, and even travel costs to and from appointments
- Emotional trauma, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life
- Damage to your vehicle and personal property
The full and fair value of a car accident claim will depend upon all these factors.
Calculating the Economic Impact of a Pennsylvania Car Accident
The National Safety Council (NSC) offers helpful insight into the actual economic cost of motor vehicle accidents in its Guide to Calculating Costs, which is based on wage and productivity loss, medical expenses, the administrative costs associated with insurance claims, vehicle damage, and even uninsured costs that employers must cover for workers who have been injured in car accidents.
As of 2020, the NSC estimates the average economic cost of a traffic accident to be:
- $1.75 million per fatality
- $101,000 per disabling injury
- $29,200 per evident or visible injury
- $23,900 per possible injury
- $12,800 per person when no injury was observed
- $4,700 per vehicle (property damage only)
While an injured driver or passenger may not be able to recoup losses related to their employer’s coverage of their job duties while they cannot work, the NSC’s estimate offers a better view of the economic impact that a car accident can have.
Non-Economic Damages, Cost of Future Care & More
We must then take this a step further by considering non-economic damages and the cost of future care. In cases where a person has been severely injured in a Pennsylvania car accident, they may be able to seek non-economic damages. These would cover emotional trauma, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible (but very real) losses that can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. They may also be able to seek coverage for future expenses or losses. A person who cannot return to work for several months after a car accident may be able to seek compensation for the wages they would have earned. A person who requires ongoing physical therapy after a crash should have this covered by their car accident claim.
What Is Your Pennsylvania Car Accident Case Worth?
Each of the points above should be carefully considered. This will help us assign a fair value to your claim, and although no one wants to think about money or taking legal action in the aftermath of a serious accident, this is when medical bills will start to pile up. This is when you’ll be worried about how to make ends meet while you’re injured and can’t work. A fair settlement for your car accident claim can make all the difference as you start to pick up the pieces and put them back together again.
We offer a free consultation to talk about your accident, so you can get an idea of how to proceed and what your settlement may be worth. Our trial attorneys have been fighting for the injured since 1922, and we’re ready to fight for you. Contact us online or at (888) 498-3023 to get started.