Lawyers hesitate to name a generic settlement amount for any car crash because too many variables can affect each individual’s case. In other words, there is no average settlement amount.
Instead, damages are based on what you need to treat your injuries, replace lost income, and compensate you for future expenses. Even for so-called “minor” accidents, the true cost will vary.
Minor Crashes May Not Be as Minor as You Think
Serious injuries from major crashes can have clinical definitions in some states. For instance, in Louisiana, serious injuries are ones that cause unconsciousness, extreme pain, disfigurement, or loss or impairment of a body part’s or organ’s function, per RS §14:102.12. However, minor injuries can be harder to define. It doesn’t help that insurance companies are eager to classify most injuries as minor in order to pay less.
Yet minor crashes that cause minor injuries are still crashes that cause injury, and you would not have experienced that crash or injury if it weren’t for negligence. Those injuries could also significantly impact your life. For instance:
- Sprains and strains may restrict mobility and require prescriptions, therapy, and follow-ups
- Bruises can indicate internal injuries, and the swelling and pain could interfere with daily life
- Lacerations can become infected or scar and may require stitches
- Whiplash can require painkillers, neck braces, and chiropractic care, with more consequences later in life
Depending on how these injuries affect you, your “minor” crash may make you miss work or deal with pain that lasts weeks or months. Don’t let an insurance company offer you a lowball settlement. Your unique expenses should be reimbursed with appropriate compensation.
Whiplash Injuries Can Require Future Medical Treatment
One collision scenario often treated as minor is a rear-end collision. Whether you were hit from behind at a stop sign or struck while slowing down to turn, you may find that your car didn’t sustain much damage. Unfortunately, that can mean your body absorbed the damage instead.
The classic consequence of rear-ending is whiplash, caused by a sudden jerking that snaps the head forward and back. Even low-speed rear-end collisions with no visible vehicle damage can cause whiplash; in fact, the human head can accelerate 2.5 times more than the vehicle when struck.
Whiplash can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for recovery; pain can last even longer. This is because whiplash injuries involve:
Every whiplash case will be different, depending on how hard you were struck, whether you were fully stopped when you were hit, and even how you were sitting in your vehicle. You may need months of chiropractic adjustment or therapeutic massage to return to normal, bills that pile up quickly. Moreover, if your pain interferes with your job, you could also lose income.
The distinctive nature of just one possible injury illustrates that no two settlements are the same because no two injuries are the same.
Variables That Can Affect a Settlement Amount
In addition to your medical needs dictating what you may need in your settlement, your personal circumstances also play a role in how much our team pursues on your behalf. Some factors we consider are:
- Medical history
- Pre-existing conditions
- Financial situation
- Job type
- Future losses
For example, if you work in a desk job and the accident severely sprained your knee, your ability to work may not be affected. By contrast, if you work in a warehouse and need to be on the move, that sprained ankle represents weeks of lost income. Even if the accident scene is identical, these two examples represent very different minor car accident settlements.
We also take into account your health when you were in the accident. An elderly car collision victim will take longer to recover from minor injuries than someone young and fit. As a result, compensation may be different. Likewise, a minor accident may aggravate an existing condition, prompting different damages for that person.
Your Family and Dependents
Keep in mind that accidents don’t just affect you. If you are a parent or a primary wage-earner in your household, any injury could impact the financial stability of an entire family. Let us know if you are caring for:
- Incapacitated family members
- Elderly parents or grandparents
- Other dependents
You take these people into account when you make financial decisions. We want to do the same when we pursue your car accident settlement.
Call Our Attorneys Today to Learn How Much You Could Expect to Receive in a Settlement
Rather than seeking the average settlement for a minor car accident, at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can help you pursue a personalized settlement relevant to what you experienced. An insurance company will downplay your injuries and may even try to convince you that its offers are typical for your case. The insurance company does not have your best interests at heart.
Call us today for a free case review to learn what you may be eligible to receive.