If you were injured in a car accident in New Jersey or New York, one of the first questions that will come to mind is how much you can recover through a settlement agreement. You have medical costs to treat your injuries, bills to pay, as well as considerable pain and suffering, so this is a valid inquiry.
The truth is that it’s very difficult to estimate the average car accident settlement, as every injury claim is different. Plus, settlements out of court are usually confidential and not part of the public record.
Still, there are ways to calculate a ballpark figure on what you may be able to obtain through a settlement. It’s important to trust a skilled NJ and NY auto accident lawyer to ensure you get the highest amount possible by law, but a summary may be useful.
Types of Damages
In a personal injury case, including a claim for auto crash injuries, the key is reviewing your losses and how monetary damages can compensate you for them. There are two categories of damages available in a motor vehicle collision claim:
1. Economic Damages: This type refers to the defined losses you suffer, such as expenses related to your medical treatment and out-of-pocket costs directly related to the accident. If your injuries prevented you from working, you may also be able to recover for your lost wages.
2. Non-Economic Damages: You also endure subjective losses as the victim of a car crash, such as:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Losses that impact your personal relationships;
- Diminished quality of life;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and,
- Many others.
Though you can’t prove these through invoices and receipts, the average auto accident settlement will usually include amounts for non-economic damages. Medical records, input from medical experts, and other forms of evidence provide support for your claim. Often, insurance companies use a formula when determining a settlement amount: They take the dollar value of your economic losses and multiply it by 1.5 or more, depending on the nature and severity of your injuries.
Your Own Negligence: You should note that one’s own negligence affects auto accident personal injury settlements. For example, under New Jersey’s statute on contributory negligence, your compensation amount is reduced if your own careless acts contributed to the collision in which you were injured. An example might be that you were speeding, while the other driver ran a red light.
If you were partly to blame, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, in New Jersey that number cannot be 50 percent or more. In the event that you were 51 percent at fault, you cannot recover any monetary damages for your losses. The law differs in this respect in New York as you may recover for the percentage of which you were not at fault, even if you were more than 50 percent at fault for your accident.
Set Up a Free Consultation with an Experienced NJ and NY Car Accident Attorney
While this overview on the average car accident settlement may be helpful, there are many other factors to consider with respect to your specific situation.
Call us toll-free 1‑(800)-4-JUSTICE® –1-(800)-458-7842 to begin evaluating your case.
A knowledgeable lawyer can provide additional information, so please contact the Kreizer Law Firm to schedule a no-cost case evaluation.
We can explain how these cases work and assist with the settlement process.