Injury FAQs

Average Settlements for Car Accident Claims

In this article, we’ve taken a deep dive into average car accident settlements and what you might anticipate for your case.

In the United States alone, there are nearly 290 million registered vehicles. So it should be no surprise when fenders and other parts of them are bent to varying degrees.

According to Martindale-Nolo Research, the average settlement for a car accident in the United States is $8,200. 

However, this number can vary widely based on your location, injuries, parties involved, and severity of negligence. 

For example, in an accident with injuries, Martindale-Nolo found that the average settlement or award is $29,700.

Each automobile accident is unique. Calculating settlement values can give you an idea of the potential value of your settlement, but you should not limit yourself to that figure.

In this article, we’ve taken a deep dive into average car accident settlements and what you might anticipate for your case.

What Is My Car Accident Settlement Worth?

Average Herniated Discs Settlements

A herniated disc injury settlement sits at around $350,000. Occasionally, herniated discs are irreversible and may cause a lifetime of pain.

Average Spinal Cord Damage Settlement

The national average for spinal cord injuries is around $250,000. This figure varies significantly depending on the unique circumstances of your case and whether or not you work with an experienced attorney.

Average Head Injury Settlement

Settlements for head injuries range between $20,000 and $30,000. Payments for more severe concussions begin in the six-figure range. Keep a journal of your experience after a head injury so medical providers and insurance companies can better understand the effects the injury is having on you.

Average Back Injury Settlement

A back injury may involve spinal damage, or be as minor as mild whiplash. It’s difficult to assign an amount to this type of injury. On average, a soft-tissue back injury settlement ranges up to $10,000 but could be much higher for spinal cord damage, broken bones, and paralysis.

Average Whiplash Settlement

Whiplash can be a severe medical condition that can last months, or even years in some cases. Additionally, whiplash can knock your spine out of alignment, resulting in various additional complications. Again, determining the average settlement for a whiplash injury is difficult due to the unique nature of each case. Victims who suffer from severe whiplash injuries can realistically expect to receive upwards of $100,000.

What Can I Recover From Insurance After a Car Accident?

Most people do not have enough money saved to cover even a minor unexpected medical expense. That’s why it’s critical to seek compensation for any injuries suffered from another driver’s careless and reckless actions. 

There are typically two types of financial losses or “damages” to recover: special and general.

Let’s take a closer look at the two different types below for more clarity:

Type 1. Special Damages

Special damages, also called economic damages, are easier to estimate since they include all allowable out-of-pocket costs related to your accident. They are objective and reasonably easy to quantify through evidence.

Seven examples of special damages include:

  • Property damage
  • Current and future medical costs
  • Current and future lost work wages
  • Prescription drugs
  • Travel to doctor’s appointments
  • Physical therapy

Ensure that you retain all receipts after your car accident. Your insurance company may need to refer to this information to provide you with a fair settlement. If you can’t verify an expense, it will be extremely difficult to get reimbursed for that expense.

Type 2. General Damages

General damages, also called non-economic damages, are more challenging to estimate since they are subjective. Let’s say that a car accident results in painful bone fractures with years of therapy. Shouldn’t you be compensated for the suffering that another person caused you, even in the aftermath? Every state in America seems to think so.

An injury from an accident caused by someone else may limit you from enjoying the activities in life you once loved. Say you were an avid cyclist, for example, and had your ability to do so taken away due to an accident? How do you put a value on that loss?  

Examples of general damages include:

  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium, or disruptions to familial relationships
  • Loss of care and guidance, or the loss in the ability to properly care for a child or dependent
  • Scarring and disfigurement

These damages are difficult to quantify and calculate. Some states even apply limitations, or damages caps, to limit how much you can collect. For example, California doesn’t limit the amount you can obtain, whereas Florida limits your general damages to $500,000.

Most insurance adjusters calculate general damages by plugging your claim into software that tells them how much to offer. The insurance adjuster will also use their judgment to customize the outcome of your claim.

The most important thing you can do is to track all accident-related expenses and provide documentation to the insurance adjuster to recuperate them. Additionally, make sure that you are also following your doctors’ advice to a “T.” Insurance companies can deny your claim if they believe not doing so made your injuries worse.

Avoid Missing Relevant Case Deadlines

Several deadlines apply to car accident claims. From filing police reports to staying within the statute of limitations, the fastest way to derail your claim—and remove your chances of receiving a settlement—is missing critical deadlines. Avoid making this mistake altogether, and keep working through the process as best as you can.

Final Thoughts and Considerations

We know how challenging the aftermath of a car accident can be. is your partner every step of the way. We’ll keep you posted on the status of your case via our app, text message, email, or whatever channel you prefer.