Auto Accident: Average Personal Injury Settlement
Being involved in an automobile accident in California can be devastating and therefore knowing where to turn in such a scenario is of paramount importance. Depending on the extent of your injuries, recovery can take a significant amount of time and medical bills can quickly pile up. In these cases, it is reasonable for one to wonder whether the average personal injury settlement for an automobile accident is enough to cover the associated costs. That’s where a personal injury attorney comes into play – they can help you navigate the complex world of personal injury and maximize your compensation so that you can focus on getting the medical treatment you need to get back to full health.
At GP Law Group, our team of qualified and dedicated professionals has many years of experience advocating for the rights of automobile accident victims and getting them the compensation that they deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation, call or contact our office today.
Common Causes of Automobile Accidents
There are a vast number of reasons why someone may cause an automobile accident, but some of the most common causes include (1) distracted driving, which occurs when a driver is not paying attention to the roadway oftentimes as a result of operating a mobile phone, (2) driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, (3) drivers failing to obey traffic rules, such as traffic lights, signs, or the rules of the road, and (4) speeding, failing to signal a turn, driving through a red light, or making a left turn without checking for oncoming traffic all cause countless automobile accidents every year.
Common Types of Automobile Accidents
Some of the most common types of automobile accidents include:
- An automobile making a left turn at a traffic light and failing to yield the right of way
- A rear-end collision
- A t-bone collision
- Being struck by a driver under the influence
- Changing lanes into another vehicle or motorcycle
- Striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk
Injuries Caused by Automobile Accidents
Injuries caused by automobile accidents can be devastating for victims. Many of the physical injuries can take weeks or months to fully recover from, while others can permanently affect accident victims for the rest of their lives. Additionally, the emotional and psychological toll from an automobile accident can be devastating. Ultimately, it’s no surprise that the severity of one’s injuries affects the monetary value of a personal injury case. Some of the most common injuries caused by automobile accidents in California include the following:
- Soft tissue damage
- Disc herniations
- Disc bulging
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial trauma
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and road rash
- Internal organ injuries
Given the seriousness of these injuries, it is important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can advocate for you. Your focus should be on getting the medical treatment you need to get back to pre-accident shape while your attorney’s focus will be on dealing with the insurance companies and opposing attorneys to prove your case and maximize your compensation.
Compensation for California Automobile Accidents
Compensation for California automobile accident victims includes payment for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to tangible items, including (1) past and future medical expenses, (2) lost past and future wages, (3) loss of use, and (4) property loss in the form of vehicle damage or damaged personal property. Non-economic damages refer to intangible items, including (1) pain and suffering, (2) emotional distress, and (3) the loss of enjoyment and quality of life.
In wrongful death matters where a life has tragically been lost, the surviving family of the decedent is entitled to recover for both economic and non-economic damages; however, these damages differ somewhat from the typical personal injury case. In wrongful death matters, economic damages include: (1) loss of financial support based on the decedent’s expected earnings over the course of his or her expected life span, (2) loss of gifts or benefits, (3) funeral and burial expenses, and (4) the reasonable value of household services. Non-economic damages include: (1) the loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support, (2) loss of enjoyment of sexual relations, and (3) loss of trainig and guidance.
California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rule
It is important to note that California follows a pure comparative negligence rule when it comes to automobile accident cases. Under the pure comparative negligence rule, fault for causing an accident does not have to be “all or nothing,” and instead can be shared among the parties. If a case were to go to trial, a jury would determine the percentage of fault for each party involved in the accident and reduce the overall award by that percentage. For example, if a jury were to award a plaintiff in a case $100,000.00 in total damages, but found that the plaintiff was 20% at fault for the accident, the overall award would be reduced by 20%, or $20,000.00, to $80,000.00.
Because of the pure comparative negligence rule, it is critical that automobile accident victims in California secure the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to represent their interests and protect their claims. Failure to do so may result in a victim being found far more comparatively at fault for an accident than they actually are. This would result in the victim receiving far less in compensation than they are entitled to.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
The average settlement value for an automobile accident varies significantly and is entirely case dependent; however, one thing is for sure: you need an experienced California injury attorney representing your interests during this difficult time. To learn more about your legal options and potential outcomes after an automobile accident, call the office or contact us today at GP Law Group to schedule a free legal consultation.