When another person’s negligence behind the wheel causes you injuries, it’s understandable you want to hold them accountable.
You might be researching whether to hire a California car accident lawyer and how much your case is worth.
If you find an online California car accident settlement calculator, you should not use that to reference what your claim is actually worth. Every personal injury case, including a car accident claim, is unique.
If you have questions about your potential settlement value and whether you have a strong case, speak with a skilled California car accident lawyer at Saeedian Law Group.
We have over a decade of experience representing injured victims like you and have a proven record of success in recovering compensation for our clients.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in California?
We understand that you want to know how much to expect from a car accident settlement in California, but there is no average amount or range.
No two people have the exact same circumstances in a car accident, which is why you should not rely on averages or settlement calculators. Instead, you want to maximize your own potential case value and discuss how much your case is potentially worth.
When you retain the Saeedian Law Group to represent you, we will sit down and discuss your case together. We want you to understand why we estimate your case to be worth a particular amount. Various factors impact the value of your claim, which is why we recommend scheduling a meeting with an experienced California auto attorney as soon as possible.
Factors That Impact Your California Car Accident Claim Value
Before you can begin calculating your potential car accident settlement, you need to look at what factors impact your claim. Some of the most significant ones include injury type and severity, liability, the total amount of damages, and available insurance coverage.
Injury Type and Severity
To start, we look at what injuries you sustained in the accident and how severe they are. The worse your injuries are, the higher your claim value will likely be. For example, consider a victim who sustained minor whiplash in a rear-end collision.
This person sought treatment from a chiropractor for eight weeks and was back to their pre-accident condition. Compare that person with someone who sustained multiple fractures and a significant brain injury that left them in a coma for a week. The first claim likely has a much lower value than the second example.
Liability can significantly impact your case value, even when you have two people with similar injuries. California is a pure comparative negligence state.
That means that you can still collect a portion of your damages, even if you are primarily at fault for the collision. If your case goes to trial and a jury determines you are 20% at fault, you could collect 80% of your damages. If the jury feels you are 90% at fault, you will still receive 10%.
That is why we point out that even two cases with similar injuries could resolve for vastly different amounts depending on the percentage of liability. These variables are why online settlement calculators don’t work. They cannot take these subjective and complex variables into effect.
Total Amount of Damages
The defendant’s insurance company will want a formal demand package consisting of your total calculated damages. We reach a demand amount by totaling your financial losses. Damages can be broken down into several broad categories, including special and general damages.
Your general damages are more subjective in value. They include items such as your physical pain and suffering, loss of consortium, mental anguish, and more. Someone with more severe injuries will likely have a significantly higher total for general damages.
In very limited cases, you might be eligible to receive a punitive damages award, which could alter your case value. California law reserves punitive damages for cases involving intentional acts and gross negligence, such as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Punitive damages are not meant to compensate you per se but are intended to “punish” the defendant and deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Available Insurance Coverage
Your settlement is possibly dependent on how much liability coverage is available in your case. If the other driver carries low liability limits, it might not be enough to cover your special damages, let alone your general damages.
Your case could be worth more than $100,000, but if there’s only $15,000 in coverage, you aren’t likely to recover the total value unless you have underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage under your own policy.
How Do I Calculate My Car Accident Settlement?
Hopefully, now you understand why we do not believe online California car accident settlement calculators work. However, you might still be wondering how to calculate a car accident settlement. If you retain an attorney, you won’t need to worry about calculating a value on your own. We will handle all the complicated legal aspects for you, including negotiating with the other side.
What’s important is taking the proper steps to maximize your claim value. Before retaining an attorney, your actions can impact your case and potentially reduce the overall value.
For example, avoid giving a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company without attorney representation. They are looking for you to say something that hurts your case, which will allow the insurance adjuster to conclude your case is worthless.
We look at your special damages and injuries to reach a potential value for your general damages when calculating your case value. If you are eligible to receive a punitive damages award, we will include that in our auto accident settlement calculations.
Contact a California Car Accident Lawyer
If you sustained injuries in a California car accident, let our skilled attorneys help you recover the compensation you’re entitled to receive. We are not afraid to stand up to insurance companies or take your case to trial if necessary.
We have conveniently located offices in Beverly Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, Newport Beach, San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles. We offer free, no-obligation initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a meeting.
Let us review the facts of your case and help you determine how much compensation you could be entitled to receive.