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What is the Average Settlement of a Car Accident Case?

Posted in Car Accidents

A car accident in New Mexico could cost you thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. It is common for drivers involved in car crashes to wonder whether they can recoup these costs, as well as how much they could receive for their car accident cases. If you were recently in a car accident in Albuquerque, consulting with a New Mexico car accident lawyer can help you determine the potential value of your claim.

What is the Average Settlement of a Car Accident Case?

Each Case Is Unique

It is generally in your best interest to speak to a lawyer about your specific car accident case rather than searching online for an average settlement amount. This is because an accurate average settlement value does not exist. Car accident claimants have received awards ranging so significantly that it is impossible to calculate an average settlement amount. Some clients have walked away with $5,000 to $10,000 while others have obtained multiple millions. Many factors could affect the potential value of your car accident case.

  • How the crash occurred
  • The actions or wrongdoing of the defendant
  • The severity of the collision
  • The extent and type of injury
  • The presence of scarring or disfigurement
  • A long-term or permanent disability
  • The age and health of the victim
  • The victim’s income level
  • Wrongful death

A personal injury attorney in New Mexico can assess your unique car accident case and let you know how much it is most likely worth based on your specific situation and losses. Typically, a car accident claim involving life-changing or catastrophic injuries will be of a higher value than one with minor injuries. If you have injuries that will impact you for the foreseeable future or for life, your car accident claim is likely worth enough to hire a lawyer to represent you in large claims (circuit) court.

What Damages Are Available?

Even without an accurate average settlement amount available, you could estimate the potential value of your specific case by calculating your damages. Damages refer to the losses you experienced because of the auto accident. In New Mexico, compensable damages can be either economic (financial) or noneconomic (physical and emotional). First, add up all bills, receipts and expenses to calculate your economic damages.

  • Medical bills
  • Mechanic’s estimates on vehicle repairs
  • Income losses
  • Lost future capacity to earn
  • Legal fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Funeral expenses

Then, consider your noneconomic losses. These will generally be more significant for serious injuries or wrongful death in New Mexico. Think about all the physical, psychological and emotional damages the car accident caused you and your loved ones.

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Grief or bereavement
  • Lost quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Humiliation
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Use the multiplier method to estimate your noneconomic damage value. Although it is up to a jury whether or not to grant you a noneconomic damage award (and for how much), this is a common method used in courts in New Mexico. Multiply your total economic damage amount by a number between 1.5 and 5. If your noneconomic damages are significant, use a multiplier of 3 to 5. If they are less substantial, use a lower multiplier. Then, add this value to your economic damage amount for an estimate of what your claim could be worth.

Should You Call a New Mexico Car Accident Attorney?

Always contact an attorney for official legal advice, as well as for an accurate portrayal of the potential value of your car accident claim. Hiring an attorney to take care of your car accident case for you could help you obtain maximum compensation for all crash-related damages. A lawyer will know how to reason with insurance companies and take a claim to trial, if necessary, for just compensation. Most attorneys take car accident claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay any legal fees if you do not win financial compensation. Contact an attorney today for more information about your car accident claim.

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