Average Car Accident Settlement in California 2023 – How Much to Expect?

Christian J. Amendt

Car accidents happen every day in California. While some drivers can resolve these incidents through insurance claims, others are left with damages that far exceed any available auto insurance coverage. Additionally, there are multiple factors that can easily influence the final outcome of a serious car accident claim. It is vital to know what to expect when you are struggling in the aftermath of an accident someone else caused and are unsure how you can recover your losses.

As they assess the damage the other driver caused, one of the most common questions a person in this situation is likely to have is how much compensation they could secure through an insurance claim. They are also likely to wonder about additional or alternative recovery options when insurance is not an option. Unfortunately, California has one of the highest uninsured driver rates in the country. There is no guarantee that the driver who caused the accident will have adequate insurance coverage to fully compensate the victim’s losses.

Damages Reported From Car Accidents in California

If another party recently caused a motor vehicle accident and injured you, this is a personal injury, and every personal injury case in California will involve economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the direct financial effects of a personal injury, and the victim usually proves these damages with appropriate documentation. If another driver injured you in an accident, the economic damages they are likely to owe you include:

  • Vehicle repair costs. All California drivers are required to carry auto insurance that provides at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage. If another driver hits you and your vehicle repair costs exceed this amount, or if they completely destroy your vehicle and its total value exceeds the limit of their property damage liability coverage, any remaining compensation can be sought through a personal injury claim.
  • Medical expenses. California drivers’ auto insurance policies must also provide at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, which is extended to at least $30,000 in coverage when multiple persons are injured in a single accident. If the victim’s medical expenses after the accident exceed this amount, the rest of their immediate and long-term medical expenses are claimable through their personal injury action.
  • Lost income. Unfortunately, some car accident victims are left unable to work because of their injuries. If this applies to your case, you have the right to seek compensation for the income you lost immediately following the accident. You can also claim for your lost future earning capacity if you cannot resume your previous job because of your injuries.

Aside from these economic losses, plaintiffs in car accident claims can also recover noneconomic damages, namely pain and suffering. The defendant who caused your recent car accident is liable for the physical pain and emotional suffering they caused. The exact amount you can claim hinges on the severity of the injuries you suffered and the future complications they will cause.

Most claimants’ attorneys will multiply claimed economic damages by a factor of one to five to reflect the severity of their clients’ conditions. This could potentially form a significant portion of your final case award when you have the right attorney handling your case.

FAQs

Q: How Much Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in California?

A: California law allows the victim of any personal injury to seek full repayment of all the economic losses that they suffered from the incident. When it comes to car accidents, their recovery is likely to entail an insurance claim followed by a personal injury claim, and there are many factors that determine the total value of a car accident claim. On average, plaintiffs in these cases can secure roughly 1.5 times the total amount of their economic losses. Your attorney can provide an estimate of how much you could potentially recover if you succeed with your claim.

Q: How Much Pain and Suffering Compensation Can You Receive in a Car Accident Claim?

A: California law does not limit pain and suffering compensation in personal injury cases with the single exception of medical malpractice cases. This means that there is no limit on the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can seek from the defendant responsible for your accident. However, the amount you seek should be realistic and reflective of the severity of your experience. Your attorney can help you determine a suitable amount based on the severity of your damages and whether you face permanent harm of any kind from the incident.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in California?

A: Most personal injury attorneys in California accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no upfront cost to hire them for legal representation. The client does not pay any ongoing legal fees during the case, and they pay nothing at all if the attorney is unable to secure a settlement on their behalf. When the attorney wins their case, the client pays a percentage of their final case award as their legal fee. This ensures they receive the bulk of the total case award and that the cost of representation does not overshadow the final recovery they obtain.

Q: Is It Worth Hiring an Attorney for a Car Accident in California?

A: It is understandable for any car accident victim in California to wonder whether they really need to invest in legal counsel, especially considering the damages they sustained. However, hiring an attorney you can trust is a sound investment in your own future when you assess the immense positive impact their counsel can have on your recovery efforts. It is always worth having trustworthy legal representation to help you through any type of civil claim for damages in California.

Contact Amendt Law

Amendt Law has the experience necessary to handle the most complex personal injury claims in California, including those generated by motor vehicle accidents. We are not afraid to face down powerful insurance carriers on behalf of our clients, and our goal is maximum client recovery in every case we accept. If you are ready to learn more about your legal options for recovering from your recent car accident, contact Amendt Law today to schedule a consultation with our firm.