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June 24, 2022 | Gary Burger

What Is the Average Car Accident Settlements Amount?

What Is the Average Car Accident Settlements Amount in St. Louis and Missouri? If you were injured because somebody else broke the rules of the road, you deserve compensation no matter how severe your injuries. When we first meet with our clients in St. Louis, Chicago, or anywhere in Missouri and Illinois, one of their first questions is how much money they can expect to receive in a settlement or judgment. The truth is: it depends. Read on to see what a typical car accident settlement is and the factors that may determine your financial recovery. Talking to us is free, so make sure to give us a call before accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company. Call us today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

If you were injured in a car accident in St. Louis or anywhere in Missouri, use our free personal injury calculator to see how much your claim may be worth.

Average Car Accident Settlement Amounts in St. Louis, MO

Auto accidents are expensive. According to the Insurance Information Institute, deaths, injuries and property damage in motor vehicle accidents cost $474 billion in 2020. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, auto accidents cost society an estimated $7,300 per second in loss of productivity.

In terms of the cost of paying out the average settlement, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact figure as many settlement amounts are confidential. But generally, most car accident settlements come in between $15,000 and $20,000. Injuries requiring more extensive medical care often reach $50,000 to $100,000, while injuries resulting in permanent disability or, in the worst cases, wrongful death, can result in damages of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.

How Car Accident Settlements Are Calculated in St. Louis and Missouri

Car accident settlements are generally a combination of the economic and noneconomic loss you have sustained because of the accident. Economic damages are the sum total of all the money you have lost or spent because of your injuries, for example emergency room bills, surgery or physical therapy, assistive devices such as crutches or wheelchairs, money you lost out on from not being able to work, and property damage to your car. This includes your future medical bills, so if your injuries require a knee replacement, you should also be compensated for how much it will cost to have that replaced in 15 to 20 years.

Noneconomic damages are harder to define, but they seek to compensate you for the intangible ways your injuries have affected you. This is commonly referred to as "pain and suffering." Noneconomic damages compensate you for anything from physical pain in the weeks, months or years after your accident, to whether you sustained any disfigurement, to mental anguish and to loss of your ability to enjoy life. It's typically calculated by multiplying your economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries.

For example, if your economic damages were $5,000 and you agree on a multiplier of three, your total damages would be $15,000. However, say you love playing the piano, and now have limited use of your right hand because of nerve damage from the accident. That has a profound effect on how you can enjoy your life and live the life you want to live. In that case, if your economic damages were $200,000, you would receive up to $1 million in damages based on a multiplier of five.

Factors That Determine Your Car Accident Settlement in St. Louis

As the purpose of a car accident settlement is to fairly compensate you for your injuries, the severity of those injuries the the driving factor in how much your settlement might be. Other factors include how your injuries have impacted your life, the insurance policy in question, if you bear any responsibility for your accident and the abilities of your St. Louis car accident lawyer:

  • The severity of your injuries — As more severe injuries lead to higher medical expenses and more time lost from work, they lead to higher settlements, especially when factoring in the pain and suffering multiplier.
  • How your injuries have impacted your life — The greater the effect on your mental, emotional and physical well-being, the higher the noneconomic damages will be.
  • The insurance policy — both Missouri and Illinois have minimum insurance requirements for bodily injury, and while a skilled car accident lawyer may be able to get you more, there are times where you will be limited by the negligent driver's and/or your insurance policy limits.
  • If you are partially to blame — You can still receive a financial recovery if you were partially to blame, however the amount will be less. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but it is found that you are 30% to blame for your accident, you would receive $70,000. While in Missouri you can still receive compensation if you were 99% at fault, Illinois does not allow recoveries for people who are over 50% to blame.
  • Your car accident lawyer — Insurance companies use a lot of tricks to try and devalue claims, and you need a skilled and aggressive attorney to combat those claims and make sure you get the money you deserve. Your car accident lawyer will also need to investigate your accident, prove liability on the part of the other driver and have a network of St. Louis medical and economic experts to precisely value your claim. If the insurance company won't offer a fair settlement in negotiation, you'll need an experienced trial lawyer that will stand by your side and argue your case in front of a jury.

At Burger Law, we've been standing up for the injured and vulnerable for over 30 years and know how to get results for our clients. We know how to fight back against bullies like resistant insurance companies and get our St. Louis and Missouri clients the financial settlement they are owed.

St. Louis and Missouri Car Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

The claims process can be daunting, especially when you're dealing with a painful injury and rising medical bills amidst time you missed off work. You do not have to go through this alone. We're here to answer any of your questions in a no-risk, no-obligation consultation and, when the time comes, we'll fight on your behalf and make sure your rights are defended. Call a St. Louis and Missouri car accident lawyer today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online.