Average Settlements in My Personal Injury Car Accident Case

The average settlement value of a personal injury car accident case in the United States is approximately $19,000.  

The average car accident settlement tells you nothing about how much money you will get in a car accident settlement.  What you want know is the expected compensation payout in YOUR personal injury case.  The value of your case begins with your injuries. How do you figure out how much your injuries are worth?   The starting point to determine what your settlement payout might be looking at statistics and similar cases. Your case likely falls under one of these categories:  

Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

Herniated Disc and Other Disc Injuries

Below the Waist Personal Injury Settlements

Above the Waist Personal Injury Settlements

Car and Motorcycle Accident Cases

Malpractice and Product Liability Cases

After type of injury, jurisdiction is the next thing that deserves your attention. Our practice is 85% in Maryland or Washington, D.C. but we have statistics on other states as well.

Settlement Values in Maryland

Note: Take these statistics with a grain of salt. These do not reflect the value of your case or any individual case. To get a better idea of the value of YOUR claim, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney who can address all of the relevant facts in your case.  Why?  Because personal injury settlement amounts are, as we have been saying all along, unbelievably specific to the unique facts and circumstances in your case. 

Remember one other thing, too. You can always ask your lawyer how much he or she thinks your case is worth.  

The Search for a Settlement Formula

There is absolutely a settlement formula for personal injury car accident claims:

Past Medical Bills
+
Future Medical Bills
+
Past Lost Wages
+
Future Lost Wages
+
Pain and Suffering Damages

This is the formula to calculate your settlement in a car crash case.

Pain and Suffering Calculator
Total Estimated Damages
Lost Wages
Future
Lost Wages
Medical Expenses
Future
Medical Expenses
Pain / Suffering
Estimation

car accidentA formula is easy. You just input the numbers and make a calculation. But in the vast majority of our cases, the greatest harm in the case is pain, usually physical pain. How do you measure the pain and suffering that goes with physical and emotional damage?

The answer to how much money you get for pain and suffering is worth depends on the car accident case. In some types of car and truck accident cases, insurance companies will try to use a computer program to compute a blueprint of a settlement formula. The insurance adjuster puts all of the details of the medical records into a computer. The computer spits out a settlement range for the insurance payout.

Computer-generated settlement calculators produce payouts that are very different from what our personal injury lawyers believe to be full justice in the case. In severe injury cases, a computer system trying to number crunch a dollar amount is an abomination of justice. (You can get a complete look at how insurance companies value cases here. Above, you can research the settlement value of your particular injury.)

Miller & Zois Personal Injury Trial Verdicts & Settlements
  • $10,000,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $8,000,000 Car Crash Verdict
  • $5,500,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $5,200,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $3,800,000 Malpractice Settlement
  • $3,250,000 Million Malpractice Settlement
  • $2,500,000 Surgical Error Verdict
  • $2,500,000 Malpractice Settlement
  • $2,100,000 Product Defect Settlement
  • $1,500,000 Malpractice Verdict
  • $1,350,000 Truck Accident Settlement
  • $1,300,000 Truck Crash Settlement
  • $1,200,000 Truck Crash Settlement
  • $1,100,000 Truck Crash Settlement
  • $1,100,000 Surgical Error Verdict
  • $1,000,050 Truck Crash Verdict
  • $1,000,000 Car Crash Settlement
  • $1,000,000 Truck Accident Settlement
  • $1,000,000 Truck Crash Settlement

Talk to a Lawyer at 800-553-8082 or Get an On-Line Consultation.

In the typical car accident case we handling in Maryland, who is at fault is not an issue.  But if there is a serious dispute about liability, the lawsuit will more likely go to trial. If auto insurance companies think their driver is not responsible, they are more willing to take the personal injury claim to trial. 

To determine the settlement value, you must multiply the likelihood of success by the expected payout if you win. 

So the formula is your case is worth $2 million, but you have an 80% chance of winning the case, your "settlement formula" calculation would be $1.6 million (2,000,000 x .8). 

HOW MUCH OF MY SETTLEMENT WILL I GET?

This is the real question, right? How much money will you get from your settlement?  You want to know how much of your settlement you will get. Make no mistake. Personal injury cases are about money.  Our lawyers never forget that justice is about money. 

No doubt, there is more to life than money. You know this if you have suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one. But a civil tort case is about money. Does not mean you would not rather have your pain go away or your loved one come back? Of course not. But, unfortunately, money is all the justice you can get when making a personal injury claim.

Let's go back to that $2 million case that settled for $1.6 million because of the risk of a defense verdict at trial. Two things cut into that $1.6 million payout: (1) attorneys' fees and expenses and, (2) and health insurance liens. Let's look at both of those. 

How Much Are Attorneys' Fees in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

How much money do the lawyers take from your settlement in a personal injury lawsuit? It is an important question because it is often a lot of money. Attorneys' fees are easy to figure out. They should be carefully spelled out in the retainer agreement. For our clients, the fees are the same in every single case we have: 33% of the recovery if the case settles before a lawsuit is filed. (That contingency fee goes to 40% if a lawsuit is filed.) 

So, your attorneys' fees under this scenario would be $533,333. Your second deduction is expenses. Our firm fronts all of the client expenses (and our lawyers swallow those expenses if you lose) but we get those costs back from the recovery. Clients understandably do not like this practice. But we still have not heard of any of the best personal injury lawyers in serious injury cases doing it any differently.

We have earned tens of millions of dollars for victims by fighting every single case like it was our last case. Can we help you? Call 800-553-8082 or get an online consultation.

How much are client expenses? It varies from less than $100 to well over $100,000. If you settle a severe injury case before filing suit, the expenses will be a fraction of the cost of taking claim to trial. The average expenses in a car accident case that is settled before filing suit is usually a few hundred dollars.

But if that car accident case goes to trial, the average expenses are approximately $15,000. A lion's share of that cost is paying expert witnesses to testify at trial. You can't know the exact amount that your expenses will be. But you can have an open and transparent line of communication with your attorney about your expenses.

In one of our law firm's complex medical malpractice practices, the cost will often exceed $100,000 long before the case goes to trial.  Our birth injury lawyers might spend $200,000 to $300,000 on a labor and delivery malpractice case.

But with Miller & Zois, and most law firms, we front those expenses. The client is not obligated to pay them if we do not get a financial recovery that exceeds those costs. In other words, our law firm bears all of the out-of-pocket risks.

One other question victims often ask that we will shoehorn in here is the logistics of a settlement. How is the settlement paid out? The insurance company will send a check made out to the lawyers and the client. The lawyer will get the client's permission to sign the check and then deposit it into an escrow account. 

In Maryland, we have very specific rules on how disburse injury claim settlement amounts.  Our lawyers use an Iolta escrow account. The client, the law firm, and any medical bills are paid out of that account.

Medical Bills and Medical Liens

value of case The last significant line item is medical bills and medical liens. Medical bills are an easy one. You have to pay back the provider for your medical bills. On most medical bills, the client has an option as to whether they want to pay the outstanding bills out of their settlement.

To negotiate the bills and pay the claim out of the settlement or simply to leave the bills open. Some medical bills you may be legally required to pay out of a personal injury lawsuit settlement. Some health care providers who know they have a motor vehicle collision case will require the plaintiff to sign an "assignment and authorization."

This agreement requires counsel to reach a deal to pay back the health care providers. Hospitals can often put a lien on those funds requiring the lawyers to pay at least some portion of their bill.

Medical liens are a little more tricky. The rules are going to vary by state. Let's talk about Maryland because that is where we handle the vast majority of our non-birth injury cases.

In Maryland, the health insurance company has a contractual right in many cases to be repaid. If you don't pay them back, you risk breaching your contract and losing your health insurance.

Let's say you have $200,000 in medical bills and your health insurance pays the bills.

But they are not paying out $200,000. They are sending the providers $150,000 to extinguish those bills. In the majority of cases we handle, the patient is not obligated to pay the remaining $50,000.

Our Maryland accident lawyers fight like crazy so our client does not get charged for the difference. We almost always win. But the jurisdiction and the language of the health insurance policy are important.

Whether you have outstanding medical bills or medical liens, the best lawyers do not stop fighting for their clients when they get a verdict or settlement. They fight for their clients and work to get those medical bills and medical liens reduced.

There is no question that insurance companies consider the trial record of the lawyers before making a settlement offer. Do your lawyers have a history of success at trial? If they do, the settlement value of your case will go up.

So, in summary, there is no average personal injury settlement calculator. Artificial intelligence has not come that far. But if you do your research - see above - you have a chance of getting a pretty good understanding of what the injury claim settlement ranges for your case might be.

Many people ask if they can ask their lawyer how much their case is worth and how much money they can hope to put in their pocket?  The answer is of course.  It is unlikely your lawyer will give you a the exact compensation payout the lawyer expects.  But if you have completed treatment, you should be able to get a range of possible settlement values you might receive. 

Getting a Lawyer to Fight to Get You the Most Money Possible

Our law firm handles motor vehicle collision and other tort claims. Our firm has had multiple million dollar personal injury settlements and over $100 million in verdicts and settlements.  If you have been injured by a defective product, malpractice, or a motor vehicle collision, call us at 800-553-8082 or get an almost instant free no-obligation consultation.

How Do Lawyers Decide How Much to Sue for in a Lawsuit? 

In Maryland, lawyers in personal injury cases sue for either
  1. $15,000
  2. $30,000
  3. More than $30,000
If you sue for more than $30,000, you do not specify an amount under Maryland law.  Why, then, are you always reading in the paper about a lawyer suing for $100 million or something similarly crazy?  Because those personal injury lawyers are trying to get attention... and it worked.  But it not how Maryland law works. Lawyers in Maryland and in most states should not be asking for a specific amount of money when they file a lawsuit.  

Related Articles
  • Handling Your Accident Claim Without a Personal Injury Lawyer: This article looks at whether you really need a personal injury lawyer to maximize the value of your claim. The short answer: it depends on the case. 
  • Is There a Formula or Calculator to Get the Value of My Case?  Everyone is looking for a pain and suffering settlement calculator.  Is there one out there?  The short answer is no, but there are many ways to better estimate your personal injury settlement.  
Client Reviews
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They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
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Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
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Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
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The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
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The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa