Home Vehicle Accidents Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2022) – Forbes Advisor

Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2022) – Forbes Advisor

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First things first: Knowing the average car accident settlement amount isn’t very useful to victims, because every car accident settlement is calculated based on the unique circumstances of the collision.

Crash victims who sustain only minor property damage, for example, would be offered far less money from an insurer to settle a claim than those who lose loved ones to an accident or who sustain permanent injuries.

Car accident settlements are intended to cover the losses a crash victim experienced. Typical car accident settlement amounts are based on:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage

The coverage of insurance available and a determination of who is at fault will also affect the average car accident settlement.

Settlements: The Most Common Outcome in Personal Injury Claims

Before looking for car accident settlement examples, it’s important to understand exactly what settlement means.

When a crash happens, in most states, the person who is responsible for causing the accident is expected to cover a victim’s damages. Or, more specifically, that person’s liability auto insurance will pay out for medical bills, property damages, lost wages and other losses.

The insurer who represents the person who caused the crash will generally make a settlement offer to collision victims. This would be a lump sum payment, in exchange for which the victim gives up all rights to further claims. If the victim accepts the settlement, the case is resolved. But if the victim doesn’t believe the offered compensation is fair, a car accident lawsuit can result.

Although lawsuits do happen after motor vehicle accidents, most cases settle outside of court. In fact, a Martindale-Nolo survey of readers who had received car accident compensation found that 98% obtained their funds through a settlement rather than a court case.

Most claims settle both because insurers generally want to avoid the cost of a trial and because victims often want to avoid the time and uncertainty of a trial.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Car Accident Settlement?

Car accident settlements typically occur fairly quickly, which is one advantage of settling a claim versus pursuing a lawsuit.

According to Martindale-Nolo, it took an average of 10.7 months for collision victims to receive a car accident settlement. More than half of victims were able to resolve their claims within six months.

How Much Can I Get for My Car Accident Claim?

The amount of compensation available for a car accident claim depends on the extent of damage suffered and other factors.

Data on average car accident settlement amounts varies by source. The Insurance Information Institute reports the average claim for bodily injury after a collision was $20,235 in 2020, while the average property damage claim was $4,711. However, a Martindale-Nolo survey of readers who made car accident claims between 2015 and 2020 reported an average settlement of $23,900. Most received less than $10,000.

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