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What Is The Average Settlement For A Car Accident?

What Is The Average Settlement For A Car Accident?

Asking what is the average settlement for a car accident is a bit like asking what the average price is for a car.  While there is certainly an answer, it isn’t very helpful in trying to find out what your case may be worth.  For that, you have to focus in on the things that make your case unique.  While many things may make your case different, this article will focus on venue, economic loss, and punitive damages.

What Is The Average Settlement For A Car Accident In My Venue?

To understand what the average settlement for a car accident is in your venue we must first talk about venue.  Venue, in its most basic sense, is the county where your case will take place.  This is not always where the accident happened.  In order for the venue to be proper, the court in that venue must have proper jurisdiction.  Jurisdiction essentially means does that court have the right to decide your case.  For example, if you are injured in New York City, by someone in New York City, and you live in New York City, it would not make any sense to file the case in Albany.  In that case, the court in Albany would not have proper jurisdiction.

In most cases there are three important things that decide where your case will take place.  Those factors are your address, the defendant’s address, and where the accident happened.  In New York, your attorney may choose to the court where the defendant lives, where you live, or where the accident happens. Now, you might be thinking, why would I want the case where the defendant lives?  The reason goes to the basic heart of choosing where you want your case venued. Generally, the best venues are the ones where the verdicts are higher. 

Does This Mean I Need to Go To Trial?

Now, this does not mean that you necessarily have to go to trial to get the proper value in your case.  As long as your case is in the proper court, then you get the benefit of the verdicts in that county. That is because insurance companies evaluate their case based on their possible risk.  The more likely a jury is to give you a better verdict, the more likely an insurance company will give you a better number. In essence, the average settlement for a car accident goes up.

How Does Economic Loss Effect The Average Settlement For A Car Accident?

Economic loss is a significant factor in determining the value of your case.  Finding out what is the average settlement for a car accident depends heavily on economic damages.  Economic damages are made up of anything that you lost or had to pay for in the past as well as your losses in the future. Typically, this is made up of medical expenses and lost wages.  It is important for you to consider lost benefits as well.  This includes paid vacation time, retirement accounts, health care and any other benefit provided by employers in your field. Your lawyer must hire the proper experts to find out what those benefits would be for the rest of your life.  That is the only way to make sure that you get truly compensated.

Punitive Damages

In figuring out what the average settlement for a car accident is, punitive damages are not always considered.  This is because awarding punitive damages in car accidents is rare. Punitive damages are meant to punish defendants for their bad behavior.  Car accident lawsuits take place in the civil system.  The civil system is designed to compensate a victim for loss, not punish them.  That is what the criminal system is for.  However, when the defendant’s actions are grossly negligent, then the jury may award for punitive damages.  In car accident’s this generally takes place when then defendant drives under the influence.  In that case, you will likely receive a separate amount for the punitive aspect of your case.

Many other things go into the average settlement for a car accident.  These include pain and suffering, how the accident happened and the extent of your medical treatment.  However, your attorney must consider venue, economics and punitive damages if you are ever going to be truly compensated for your injuries. Before anything moves forward, you must first contact the right attorney for your accident.