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Car Accident Settlements: The Truth About What To Expect

car accident settlements

Unless the accident was caused by a commercial vehicle or due to a vehicle defect or other source, typically, the amount of your car accident settlement will be dependent on the amount of available personal automobile insurance coverage or the value of your injuries, whichever is less. Therefore, the key to maximizing your recovery is to retain the services of an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney so the attorney can thoroughly investigate all available means of recovery.

Auto Insurance Liability & Limits

Most states only require a minimum of $25,000 in personal automobile liability coverage per person for any single crash and $50,000 combined total coverage for any single crash. Unfortunately, that means you may not even be able to recover $25,000 if three or more people are injured in the crash. 

There are reports that the cost of an ambulance ride to the Emergency Room following a motor vehicle crash averages $900. The average cost for an Emergency Room visit is $3,300, and the average inpatient hospitalization following a motor vehicle crash is $57,000.

Additional Car Accident Settlement Sources

Assuming you sustained a serious injury in the crash, it is essential to identify all of the potential recovery sources. The first insurance coverage that comes into play in a motor vehicle accident is the defendant’s liability coverage. Medical payments coverage, a type of no-fault insurance, will typically reimburse the vehicle occupants for related medical bills up to the limit purchased. Uninsured motorist coverage is another potential source of recovery. Uninsured coverage is triggered if the at-fault party fails to carry any liability insurance. Conversely, if the at-fault party has liability insurance, underinsured motorist coverage, if available, may pay out up to the amount of coverage purchased if the injuries justify it.

Vehicle Manufacturer Product Liability Action

We investigate crashes to determine if any of the vehicles’ collision mitigation systems contributed to cause the crash for the vehicles involved. For example, we look at the automatic braking system, emergency lane detection systems, passive restraint systems, and any other product failures. If the vehicles’ systems caused or contributed to the cause of the accident or your injuries, it is possible to bring a product liability action against the vehicle manufacturer to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage

It is recommended that you purchase uninsured motorist coverage to protect you if an uninsured motorist injures you. While most states only require you to purchase $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage, you can and should purchase more coverage. This insurance coverage protects you and your vehicle’s occupants, which most likely will be your family. 

You should also purchase underinsured motorist coverage to protect you if you are injured by a motorist who does not carry enough liability coverage to compensate you for your injuries. Again, this coverage is used to protect you if you are injured. You should consider purchasing at a minimum of $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, but higher limits are available.

Additional Coverage For Medical Payments

Additionally, it is recommended that you purchase medical payments coverage to offset any medical bills not covered by your health insurance, such as deductibles or co-pays. The cost of medical payments coverage is very low and is a type of no-fault insurance in that it is paid even if you are responsible for the crash. Typically, it covers you and anyone else in your vehicle at the time of the crash. 

As you can see, the average settlement of a car accident is typically dependent on the amount of available insurance unless there is some other cause of the crash. Therefore, it is crucial to retain an experienced motor vehicle injury attorney who can explore all possible recoveries to maximize your recovery.

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