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Posted in Car Accidents on February 17, 2022   |  by Gary Burger

How Much To Expect in an Auto Accident Settlement

How Much to Expect in an Auto Accident Injury Settlement in Missouri and Illinois. If you have been injured because another driver broke the rules of the road and disregarded your safety, call the auto accident law firm of Burger Law now at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 96 percent of all personal injury cases are settled out of court and never go to trial. Insurance companies use a lot of tricks to try to devalue your claim or avoid paying you at all. However, with the help of a skilled and experienced Illinois and Missouri auto accident law firm it is certainly possible to recover fair and full compensation in a settlement.

When trying to estimate how much you recover, the answer is: it depends. First, the severity of your injuries and the affect they have on your life help determine how much you receive. The worse your injury is, the more money you get. Second, the skilled, tenacious and aggressive representation you receive from the auto accident law firm of Burger Law will go a long way in getting you maximum compensation. We have spent over 20 years standing up to bullies like resistant insurance companies and to date have won our clients over $170 million in verdicts and settlements.

If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to know how much your claim may be worth, try using our free personal injury calculator.

What Type of Damages Will I Be Compensated For?

There are typically two types of damages you will receive in an auto accident injury settlement:

  1. Economic or Special Damages, including:
    • Property damage, such as damage to your car
    • Medical expenses, past and future
    • Lost wages
    • Lost earning potential
  2. General or Noneconomic Damages, such as:
    • Pain and suffering
    • Inconvenience
    • Loss of ability to enjoy life
    • Scarring or disfigurement
    • Loss of consortium

In some rare instances you may also be able to seek punitive damages. For example, when we sue drunk drivers, we seek punitive damages so that next time the defendant will think twice about getting behind the wheel drunk. According to Missouri Revised Statute §510.261 and 735 Illinois Compiled Statute Chapter 5 §2-1115.05, punitive damages may only be awarded if you show "by clear and convincing evidence" that defendant intentionally harmed you or acted with reckless disregard for your safety.

How Is My Auto Accident Injury Compensation Calculated?

Your economic damages are typically easy to calculate, as they are the sum total of all of your medical and mechanics bills, and how much time off you needed to take from work to recover. With more serious injuries that require ongoing or lifelong medical treatment, the auto accident law firm of Burger Law uses our network of medical and economic experts to precisely value how much you will need to spend in the future. If you injury means you can no longer work, you will also be compensated for the money you would have earned had you not been injured. So, in an injury settlement you should expect to receive full compensation for the financial impact your car crash injury has had on your life.

Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate, and generally compensate you for the non-financial impact your auto accident injury had on your life. More serious injuries will usually result in higher noneconomic damages. If you love playing and lost permanent use of your hand in your car accident, or lost a leg and can no longer play pickup basketball, that obviously will have a profound impact on how you will be able to enjoy life. There are two approaches to calculating special damages:

  1. The Multiplier Method. Once economic damages are calculated, we (or a jury) multiply the total amount by a number, typically between 1.5 and 5. The most common multiplier is 3. Multiplication by 4 or 5 is saved for claims involving catastrophic injury, such as paralysis, loss of limb, permanent cognitive disabilities or other disabilities.
  2. The Per Diem Method. Your auto accident law firm or a jury will assign a daily dollar amount for your injuries, and multiply it by the number of days in which you experienced pain and suffering. The daily rate will usually be the same as your daily earnings. If your auto accident injury resulted in 100 days of neck pain, your economic damages will be your daily wage multiplied by 100. This method does not apply to catastrophic or long-lasting injuries.

Let's go through an example. You were rear-ended and subsequently suffered a whiplash injury. After six months of rehab and neck pain, the total cost of the repairs to your car, your medical expenses and the wages you lost from not being able to work were $15,000. Using the multiplier method, the total value of your damages and your settlement would be $45,000. Using the per diem method, say you made $200 a day. For 180 days - or six months - of pain and suffering, you would receive $36,000 for pain and suffering, or $51,000 total.

Hire the Missouri and Illinois Auto Accident Law Firm of Burger Law Today

Burger Law's auto accident law firm will know the best method to use for your case. We also know how to fight back against insurance companies and negotiate a fair financial recovery and maximum compensation. While we always hope to secure you a maximum settlement offer, but if we do not we will go to trial and convince the jury to fully compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering. If you sustained an injury in an auto accident that wasn't your fault, call us today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review.