How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?

How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?

Written by Dennis Grossman

Attorney Dennis Grossman has managed thousands of cases, obtaining millions of dollars in settlements and jury awards for his clients.

Unfortunately, traffic accidents have increased dramatically in the past decades, often with fatalities and seriously injured victims. In addition, road infrastructure in the USA is rapidly declining, with insufficient funds to ensure its drivers’ safety, not to mention that a single moment of distraction is enough to cause a tragedy. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that around 2,282,015 people were injured on U.S. roads in 2020. This number shows that despite restricted movement caused by the Covid pandemic, the streets were just as dangerous.

If you had an unfortunate car accident experience, you might have questions about your medical bills, what the insurance company will do, and if other damages are compensated. First, let us determine how much someone can sue for a car accident, the average settlement amount, and how the value is calculated.

Car Accident Settlements

If you were involved in a car crash, you could claim compensation from the at-fault party for any injuries. However, due to the high living cost in California, expensive medical bills, and strict work environment, it is natural that injured victims want to know if the legal procedures are worth the hassle. 

Overall, car accident settlements are calculated according to each personal injury claim and the details specific to each case. The compensation you will receive is more than worth fighting for, especially with a personal injury attorney by your side that can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. 

The Grossman Law Offices have achieved financial compensation for car accident victims by both settlement and trial, for over 50 years. Contact our Fresno personal injury attorneys for a free consultation on your case, and learn more about California’s average car accident settlement and what your case might be worth!

Average Car Accident Settlement 

Generally speaking, there is no specific limit to how much someone can sue for a car accident. However, the safest and most efficient way to file a car accident claim is with the help of a personal injury lawyer. This way, you have the highest chance of receiving a fair settlement covering all losses. 

Factors like insurance, the severity of injuries, disability, lost wages, and even emotional torment are valid claims that can drastically increase or decrease the amount of your settlement. Because each car accident case is unique, only a personal lawyer can accurately estimate your damages. Anything resulting in paralysis or severe brain injury can settle into the millions.

Insurance Company And Out-of-Pocket Expenses

California is an at-fault state regarding liability coverage. This means the court will assign guilt, and the person responsible for the damages must pay for them through insurance or personal funds. The only exception to the case is worker’s compensation, which ensures everyone is covered, regardless of the fault.

Some policies have limits, meaning they may not compensate you the total amount you are due. That being said, if your personal injury case costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, the insurance company may be unable to fund it. Since policies have limits, you may need to hire a car accident lawyer and sue the at-fault driver to claim your remaining compensation. 

Keep in mind insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They will try everything to deny or delay your claims, or offer you a lesser sum, so be very careful what statement you give them following the accident. Ideally, it would be best to communicate with them only through a law firm and only in the company of your personal injury lawyer.

How Much Can Someone Sue For A Car Accident?

Car accident victims are entitled to payment. Even in a negligence lawsuit, the victims can ask for punitive damages, but they are rarely given. Therefore, it is best to work with an attorney to obtain the best outcome for your car accident settlement. Our Fresno car accident attorneys have won over $200 million in settlements for their clients. We consider the emotional turmoil you go through, not to mention the physical damages. While you rest and heal, our attorneys will fight for your rights, so you receive fair compensation for all your troubles.Some additional damages victims can demand are pain and suffering, emotional costs, and others, depending on your case.  The numbers can vary significantly in each case, as pain and suffering are challenging estimates. 

Common Injuries in Car Accidents

An automobile collision can result in almost any injury. However, injuries might be mild, severe, or even fatal. They can typically be divided into impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Penetrating injuries happen when an object enters the victim’s body. In contrast, impact injuries occur when the victim’s body collides with a portion of the car. 

While some injuries may heal on their own or with only minimal treatment, others may necessitate expensive medical treatments that last the victim’s entire life. This has a significant impact on how much compensation a victim requires. Health insurance companies will also consider if the crash happened at the head or chest level to determine if you might need prolonged treatment. 

Factors That Affect How Much Your Car Accident Settlement Is Worth

To have a general view of how much someone can sue for a car accident in California, here are some factors that affect how much your settlement is worth:

Property Damage

In a personal injury settlement, property damages can be used to determine a part of the settlement amount. For example, in motor vehicle collision cases where the vehicle was damaged or deemed to be ruined, the injured person may receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. Car repairs or even complete motor replacement can factor in the final amount. A personal injury lawyer can assist you in pursuing an appropriate compensation claim to have your vehicle damage covered.

Medical Expenses

The cost of your medical care, if you were hurt in a car accident, may last the rest of your life. Every stage of receiving medical care can result in expenses, from the price of an ambulance ride to the cost of a spinal operation, and other out-of-pocket expenses. When you are hurt in a car accident, you not only have to worry about paying your medical bills and severe injuries, but also factor in any lost wages.

If you have a car accident injury settlement, it is crucial to hire an attorney. Personal injury cases cover a wide range of losses, including both physical and psychological harm. Body damage is explicitly referred to as bodily injury, so it will be covered by liability insurance. We understand exactly what car accident victims experience, especially when in their hindered state they also have to deal with medical expenses. 

The stress accumulated from having to deal with the trauma of the accident, and the stress of dealing with medical expenses can be overwhelming. However, our Fresno personal injury attorneys can aid in your financial recovery by presenting the true cost of your misfortunate accident.

Remember that insurance providers want to try to make a quick, small settlement offer before you understand the extent of your property damage and bodily injury. Your personal injury attorney can sue the insurance company if they fail to make an offer, deny your claims, or generally try to hinder the compensation for your medical bills. This is known as tort liability, in which the person found to be at fault has a legal duty to provide payment. Your personal injury lawyer will brief you if initiating a personal injury lawsuit is in your favor.

Your Ability To Work

Unless you are self-employed, suing for lost income is a standard legal procedure and is typically quite simple to prove. When you are self-employed, you can still file a claim for lost pay. However, it is more difficult to establish lost wages. 

The likelihood you may miss work after a car accident depends on how severe the accident was. Having suffered personal injuries, you could risk your employment by going to medical treatment, recovering, and so on. 

Also, some accident victims could sustain injuries that prevent them from ever working again. To arrive at the most advantageous settlement offer, your personal injury attorney will speak with you about these issues and negotiate with the at-fault party and the insurance company.

Impact On Your Life

It is easy to forget that car accident cases are not just about physical damages and physical pain. In personal injury claims, you are also entitled to compensation for pain and suffering damages, which includes emotional and mental damage. Victims may experience PTSD, fear of driving, depression, and other side effects. Mental health issues are complex, and establishing a monetary value on intangible factors is difficult. Even prolonged treatment can be considered pain and suffering damage.  

However, a Fresno personal injury attorney can help you achieve the proper compensation for all types of damages. Though it is difficult to talk about an auto accident, discuss with our lawyer exactly what you went through and how it affects you. This way, they can proceed to fight for your rights more fiercely and effectively.  

Auto Insurance Claim

Auto insurance is legally required in each state of the U.S. except for one. Despite this, there are plenty of uninsured drivers out there. If you are the victim of a severe injury, your personal injury claims could be reduced if the other party is an uninsured driver. If a motorist is not covered by an automobile insurance policy, it could negatively impact your case and compensation. 

If you are dealing with an at-fault motorist with liability insurance, their level of coverage may be sufficient for the settlement amount. Most likely, an arbitrator from both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance will be sent to assess the damage to the two vehicles and the people involved in the collision. The insurance adjuster will then select a settlement figure after calculating the damage’s entire monetary value and reporting it to them.

Are You Responsible For The Accident?

Car accident claims are easy to initiate when you know who is at fault. But what is the process if you are the one responsible for the injuries of another driver? How much can someone sue you for if you are found particularly at fault? 

Your settlement can be drastically lower if the court finds you partially responsible for the accident. You may be allowed reasonable compensation if you can also demonstrate the other driver was negligent. In contrast, in the case someone has proved your negligence in the automobile crash, you should expect to receive less compensation.

Pure Comparative Negligence 

Under California’s comparative fault law, even if one of the parties is found partially at fault for the accident, they can still recover damages according to their responsibility. For example, if one driver is at fault 10% for the car accident, they will only be liable for paying 10% of the damages while recovering the 90% left. 

Unlike a modified close fault doctrine, California is a pure comparative negligence state. A modified comparative fault entails that plaintiffs cannot recover damages if they are 50% or more at fault for the car accidents. Regardless of your situation, our Fresno personal injury attorneys are here for you. Contact the Grossman Law Offices today without hesitation for a free consultation on your case. It is time to heal and start anew. Allow our lawyers to do the hard work while you focus on recovering.


How long does it take to receive a settlement after a car accident?

How long it takes to receive a settlement in California depends on your evidence, if the insurer delays or denies your claims, and if you are at fault. Insurance carriers must settle claims within 85 days after the date of filing. Regarding compensation, it depends on the severity of your injuries. 

Do you have to accept an insurance settlement?

No requirement binds you to accept a settlement you feel is inadequate. However, obtaining an insurer’s initial offer usually is not the best idea because it is likely low and might not fully account for your injuries. The best thing to do is to contact a personal injury lawyer to represent you properly and be ready to initiate a car accident lawsuit if needed.