When you are injured or when your vehicle is damaged in a car accident, unexpected expenses can result. The more significant the accident, the greater the costs associated will be. You have a right to seek compensation for these costs from those responsible for the accident or, more likely, their insurance provider. A California car accident attorney can help you attempt to maximize the money that you receive in your settlement.

Average Car Accident Settlements in Los Angeles

Looking at the average car accident settlement may not be valuable when estimating the extent of your potential settlement. One reason for this is that it is difficult to gather representative research. When settlements are negotiated outside of court, there isn’t necessarily a public record. Instead, most of the findings regarding the value of settlements come from surveys, which will only reflect the findings among those asked and willing to participate.

Generally, average settlements tend to fall somewhere between $20,000-$25,000. However, averages don’t necessarily reflect the most likely outcome. In fact, most surveys show that the majority of settlements don’t reach the tens of thousands range, which means that the average is being increased by a relatively small number of very high-value settlements.

Most settlements are smaller because the injuries that result from most car accidents are minor. The largest settlements often involve catastrophic injuries that result in lifelong costs for the victim.

What Car Accident Costs Should Be Compensated?

When estimating the compensation that you might receive in your car accident claim, it’s important to consider what a car accident claim is required to cover under personal injury law. When you look at your accident in these terms, you may have a better idea of what you may receive.

One category of compensation is economic damages. These are meant to address the costs associated with your accident and injuries that have a direct financial component. In a car accident, there is almost always vehicle damage, and the cost to repair or replace the car is addressed with these damages.

If you have physical injuries, the costs associated with those are also covered. This includes both medical bills and any lost wages if your injuries were severe enough to require that you miss work for a period of time. This compensation may also extend forward to include future medical bills and lost earning capacity if you are expected to continue to miss work.

In addition to economic damages, there are also non-economic damages, which are designed to address the costs of the accident that lack a clear financial component. These largely consist of psychological and emotional costs, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment in life. The value placed on these can vary depending on the nature of the accident, and a lawyer should be able to give you a better idea of what you may be looking at for your situation.

When looking at these potential costs, it’s important to recognize that only those that can be proven to directly result from the accident will be compensated.


Q: Should I Take a Claim to Court or Settle it Outside of Court?

A: Whether you should take your claim to court or settle outside of court will depend on the specifics of your situation. The majority of claims are settled outside of court, as it is often possible to get fair compensation while avoiding the risks of a court ruling against your interest and the time involved. However, if the offered settlement is not sufficient or fair, then it may be necessary to seek compensation in court.

Q: When Does a Settlement Need to Be Reached?

A: There is technically no deadline for when a settlement needs to be reached; however, your leverage in negotiations would take a significant hit if the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim with the civil courts were to pass. In most situations, this deadline will be two years from the date of the accident. While you may continue negotiating until the process concludes, this two-year mark serves as an important deadline along the way.

Q: Should I Let a Lawyer Negotiate My Settlement?

A: While it is possible to try to negotiate your own settlement, there are risks involved with that process. For instance, if you are speaking for yourself, there is a chance that you may inadvertently say something that could be misconstrued as taking the blame for the accident, which could be used to lower your compensation.

Additionally, given that there are likely experienced negotiators on the other side, having an experienced negotiator can encourage a more serious approach from the other party.

Q: Is It Quicker to Settle Than to Go to Court?

A: It can often be a quicker process to negotiate a settlement than go to court. However, some negotiations can extend to occur simultaneously with the court process. Generally, if both sides are motivated to try to reach an agreement quickly, then it’s possible that the settlement may be done in a matter of weeks. For those who need funds quickly, a negotiated settlement will typically get them the money they need sooner.

We Can Help You Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement

It’s important that the victims of car accidents get the compensation that they need. Civil justice requires that the at-fault parties pay compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, damage to a vehicle, and the psychological impact of the injuries that were suffered as a result of the accident. While fair compensation can sometimes be reached through negotiation, it’s important to realize that in some cases, it may be necessary to file a claim in civil court to get what you’re owed.

The team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has extensive experience working with clients to get the compensation that they deserve. We understand what it takes to pursue fair compensation for you, whether it can be negotiated in a settlement or achieved by going to court. Contact us if you’ve been injured in a car accident and are ready to seek compensation.