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Average Compensation Amounts For Traffic Accidents

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What Is The Average Compensation Amount For Traffic Accidents?

According to Insurance Information Institute data, the average amount of car accident compensation in 2017 was $15,270 for bodily injuries and $3,638 for property damage.

According to data from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the average car accident compensation amount for bodily injuries in 2013 was $15,443.

The National Center for State Courts published data from various counties of the United States, including Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, and Harris counties, in 2001 to give an idea of ​​how much compensation the jury awarded for road accident cases. Accordingly, the average amount of compensation deemed appropriate by the jury in motor vehicle accidents is $17,544.

Unfortunately, these numbers don’t tell us much. Because the amount of traffic accident bodily injury compensation varies from case to case, the average compensation amount does not give an idea about the value of the case in a concrete situation.

As we have stated below, many factors are taken into account when determining the amount of compensation for traffic accident bodily injury. How to calculate traffic accident bodily injury compensation correctly is possible only through experience. If you believe the insurance company has undervalued your bodily injury claim, it is best to consult an experienced Houston accident attorney.

Do Not Rely On “Magic” Formulas Or Compensation Calculation Methods You See On The Internet

Most traffic accident survivors do a Google search to find out the average amount of traffic accident compensation that may apply to their specific situation. In the results of this research, websites claiming to provide an exact calculation or formula to determine the average compensation for traffic accident bodily injury come across.

The most common of these calculation methods is to calculate the amount of non-pecuniary damage to the victim by multiplying the sum of the invoices for the treatment of the injured victim and the loss of salary by a random number (1.5-5). Then the average total compensation amount is calculated by adding the treatment bills and the total loss of salary to this figure.

However, this method is almost always inaccurate. That’s because neither insurance company experts nor Texas judges use this method to calculate any car accident bodily injury compensation amount. This practice has emerged in the past from the need by insurance professionals and bodily injury lawyers to “estimate” a settlement amount that would often be appropriate for minor, soft tissue injuries (e.g., trauma from concussions to the head and spine in a car accident).

In reality, there is no universal formula or calculator to calculate the traffic accident compensation amount. The fact that each case is different from the other and that there are too many variables for each concrete case is an obstacle to accurately calculating the average typical traffic accident compensation amount.

However, there are some factors that you should be aware of that affect your compensation amount, such as your “damage amount” and the calculation of your non-pecuniary damage amount. Below you can find our assessment of these issues and examples of actual court decisions on traffic accident bodily injury compensation awarded in various counties of Texas.

Before we move on to our more in-depth review of the average or typical car accident compensation amount, it’s helpful to know what “reconciliation” means.

What Is Compromise?

Conciliation is an agreement between parties to a legal dispute that resolves the dispute between them without filing a lawsuit or continuing further after the lawsuit has been filed.

The parties agree to release the responsible party from all responsibilities in exchange for a certain amount of money for the resolution of the dispute.

In the context of a traffic accident, the insurance company of the responsible party agrees to pay the party injured in the accident some sum to relieve its insured from any liability.

The settlement amount will be a figure that both parties agree to be fair so that the dispute can be resolved promptly so as not to incur further litigation costs.

Do not forget that; Insurance companies are businesses whose purpose is to maximize their profits. This means they will do their best to pay as little as possible when fulfilling requests. Considering your concrete situation, it may make sense to accept an agreement. However, there are times when it is necessary to file a lawsuit and go up to the judge and jury to get the compensation you deserve.

The Most Important Factor In Determining The Average Compensation Amount For Traffic Accidents

One of the most important factors in determining the average car accident compensation amount is knowing what your “damages” are. Damages is a legal term that means the sum of the losses incurred in the event of bodily injury.

In order to receive fair compensation for your bodily injuries as a result of a traffic accident, you must prove your damages. Accordingly, there are two basic types of compensation: Compensatory Compensation, which aims to compensate your special and general damages, and Punitive Compensation, which you can claim in order to punish the party that caused the accident.

Compensatory Compensation

Compensatory compensation is an amount of money awarded to compensate for the “actual damages” of a victim injured as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or fault. This compensation aims to restore the injured party to its pre-accident condition.

Special Damages

Special Damages refers to any calculable/measurable damages such as any past and future treatment expenses, loss of earnings, loss of working power, and any other expenses incurred by the injured person out of pocket.

You prove these damages by providing evidence such as medical bills, paychecks, W-2s, or a letter from your employer detailing your lost time, salary, position at the company, and usually how many hours you worked. Your loss of earnings includes sick leave and vacation leaves that you had to use as a result of accident, as well as the wages you did not receive because you were not able to go to work.

General Damages

Common losses, also known as intangible losses, are losses that are difficult to calculate/measure. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.001(12) , intangible damages include:

  • physical pain and suffering;
  • Moral damages, including mental and psychological pain, such as depression, pain, sadness, anxiety, anxiety, fear, which the person is exposed to due to the damage to his bodily integrity;
  • Deprivation of marital rights/benefits of marriage by man or woman due to injuries caused by the accident;
  • Discomfort caused by deformity or disorders in the body;
  • Disorder/deficiency in physical appearance;
  • The love, affection, support that the person who lost a relative in the accident (for example, spouse or child) is deprived of due to the death of their relative;
  • The trouble and discomfort caused by the accident;
  • Loss of joy of life;
  • Damage to reputation; and
  • Any other non-pecuniary damage, with the exception of the exemplary Punitive Compensation that you can claim in order to punish the party that caused the accident.

Because of the difficulty in calculating General Damages such as physical pain and suffering, mental or psychological pain, or loss of joy in life, insurance companies use software programs such as Colossus and Claims IQ to assign a value to each injury accident.

Insurance professionals enter injury codes, codes on treatment bills, and other factors, such as loss of joy of life, into these software programs, and they give a range of figures for compensation. Insurance professionals are generally bound by this range unless you provide them with new information.

Often these compensation ranges allocate very little compensation for General Damages, particularly for “soft tissue” injuries (eg, neck and spine injuries, muscle sprains and strains, bruises). They may not even offer enough to cover your treatment bills. In such cases, you should consult an experienced car accident lawyer from Houston to protect your rights.

Penalty Compensation

Punitive Compensation is an exemplary compensation given to punish the party that caused the accident.

This compensation is dependent on the claimant showing with clear and convincing evidence (i.e. the highest burden of proof in a civil case) that the bodily injury was caused by fraud, bad faith or gross negligence. If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run or injured car accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to seek punitive damages.

There is a limit to the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded if you sue and your case goes to trial, in other words if you go before a judge and a jury. According to the following calculations, punitive damages cannot exceed the larger figure:

  • Twice of your pecuniary damages PLUS the amount awarded by the jury for compensation of your intangible damages, not exceeding $750,000; or
  • $200,000.

How To Determine The Moral Compensation You Can Claim For The Pain And Suffering Due To A Traffic Accident?

When searching the Internet for average car accident compensation amounts, you will likely find two common methods for calculating the pain and suffering caused by the accident in question. These methods are the Multiplier Method and the Daily Expense Method. However, as we mentioned above, the Multiplier and Daily Expense Methods are almost always wrong.

Multiplier Method

Although insurance companies use some kind of multiplier in computer programs to calculate pain and suffering, these algorithms are proprietary and kept confidential.

As we mentioned above, the multiplier method is a tool most often used by car accident lawyers to determine a dollar figure for their clients’ pain and suffering in their claim petitions to the insurance company.

In the Multiplier Method, your special damages are multiplied by a multiplier of 1.5 to 5, depending on the extent of your injury. For example, for minor injuries such as neck and spine injuries, your special damages are multiplied by 1.5 to determine a dollar figure for your pain and suffering. In the case of more serious injuries, such as a traumatic concussion, your special damages are multiplied by 5 to determine a dollar figure for your pain and suffering.

Daily Expense Method

The Daily Expense Method is another method used to calculate the monetary equivalent of your pain and suffering in injury traffic accidents. The time spent in pain, suffering and suffering since the accident is calculated and multiplied by your average daily wage earned at your job. Sometimes it can also be multiplied by a completely arbitrary number.

For example, let’s assume that Mr. Ahmet has suffered for 200 days since the accident and earns $200 a day as a construction worker. Accordingly, the calculation of pain, suffering, and suffering would equal $40,000. The reason behind using the daily salary as the daily pain and suffering ratio is that the pain suffered or the pain felt as a result of the injury is thought to be directly proportional to the time and effort you spend while working at a job.

The Texas Court’s  Hernandez v. As Baucum ruled in 344 SW2d 498, 500 (Tex. Civ. App. 1961)  , although such an approach is fair and rational in guiding the jury how to calculate and appreciate pain and suffering, pain in an injury traffic accident and it is not a method that definitively determines the compensation for suffering.

Damages And Pain, Pain And Pain

As you might have guessed, it is very difficult to identify a specific dollar figure for pain, suffering, and suffering, which is highly subjective and varies from person to person. Juries are also appointed to determine this very difficult issue. In summary, the jury is asked to determine how much money can be a just and reasonable compensation for the plaintiff’s past and future physical pain and mental or psychological pain.

As you can imagine, the answers of the juries to this question vary widely. Even for the same concrete case, it is extremely unlikely that two different judging panels will give the same answer to this question. As you can see, it is difficult to predict how much the jury will devote to pain, suffering and suffering. Insurance companies are also aware of the difficulties in predicting jury verdicts.

Insurance companies therefore strive to establish a statistical trend by collecting past jury verdicts, amounts agreed, and any other information that can help them estimate the monetary value of pain, suffering, and suffering.

Although each insurance company has its own special methods for calculating pain, suffering and suffering, their general approach is always the same: There is a direct proportionality between the pain, suffering and suffering and the degree/severity of your particular material damages and injuries.

Namely; Generally, the greater the cost of your treatment and the loss of salary/wage, the compensation for pain, suffering, and suffering is in direct proportion to this. Similarly, the more severe the injuries, the greater the compensation for pain, suffering, and suffering. For example, since a broken bone would cause more pain and suffering than if the neck and spine were slightly injured, compensation for pain and suffering would also be higher than if the neck and spine were injured.

So How Can You Prove Your Pain, Announcement And Pain?

You must provide evidence to the insurance company that you are truly experiencing physical and mental pain, suffering, and suffering. Namely; In your treatment reports to the insurance company, it is important that your doctors state how your injury has seriously affected your life. Statements written in the same way by your supervisor, co-workers, family and friends at work, stating that your injuries have seriously affected your life, will also help to prove your pain and suffering.

Likewise, your own statements that describe in detail and specifically the loss of your joy of life due to the accident are also required. For example, you may explain that you are not able to exercise as you did before the accident, that you cannot play with your young children, that you cannot give them the care and attention you used to, or that you cannot do housework as before.

Traffic Accident Sample Compensation Amounts

Below, we have compiled some examples of Texas injury traffic accident cases that were settled after the lawsuit was filed. In most injury traffic accidents, a settlement is reached before a lawsuit is filed. However, sometimes litigation is the only way to get a fair settlement. When a lawsuit is filed, the risk for the defendant and the insurance company increases. Therefore, the insurance company tends to raise the funds it has set aside for the material value of the case.

Most of the following cases involve a common injury seen in many traffic accident cases: disc herniation. As you will see, the agreed amounts vary considerably depending on the factors we have explained above.

Harris County

Bridges V. Mid South Extrusion, Inc.

  • Summary : Another runaway vehicle, driven by Mid South Extrusion, Inc.’s truck, driven by Mr. Dewayne Wooten, crashes into the driver’s side door of the plaintiff’s pickup truck. Mr. Wooten allegedly texted just before the accident.
  • Injuries:  Nerve compression, headache, disc herniation at C5-6, C6-7 with cervical radiculopathy.
  • Medical Treatment:  Emergency room visit, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, MRIs, Epidural Steroid Injections, and Anterior Cervical Discectomy with decompression at C5-6 and C6-7.
  • Treatment Bills:  $221,115.76
  • Insurance Company:  Travelers
  • Settlement Amount:  $1,525,000

Vessel V. Raheem

  • Summary : While plaintiff was driving east in his Honda Accord on Beechnut Road in Houston, defendant Hudhaifa Raheem crashed his Honda CR-V while attempting to make a left turn in front of the plaintiff.
  • Injuries:  disc herniation at C3-4, C4-5 and bulging disc at L4-5.
  • Medical Treatment:  Chiropractic treatment, MRIs and Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection.
  • Treatment Bills:  $56,626
  • Insurance Company:  Allstate
  • Settlement Amount:  $22,930

Dallas County

Boma V. Thin

  • Synopsis:  Ngand Boma, walking with his son on the sidewalk in Dallas, crosses a parking lot at the end of the sidewalk, and Mr. Boma claims, as Jose Delgado enters the same parking lot, he neglects to look in the direction where Mr. Boma and his son are walking and crashes into the left side of Mr. Boma’s body. .
  • Injuries:  disc herniation at L5-S1 and low back and left hip pain.
  • Medical Treatment:  Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy.
  • Treatment Bills:  Unknown
  • Insurance Company:  Hallmark
  • Settlement Amount:  $15,000

Mozelewski V. Gaines, Young

  • Summary : While the plaintiff, Ms. Mozelewski, was driving her 2001 Chrysler Sebring vehicle on the I-30 in Dallas, she was hit from behind by a 1990 Jeep Cherokee driven by Mr. Gene Gaines. Ms. Mozelewski sues Mr. Gaines and the owner of the car, Judy Young.
  • Injuries:  Disc herniation with cord compression at C3-4.
  • Medical Treatment:  Emergency microscopic C3-4 Anterior Cervical Discectomy and spinal cord decompression.
  • Treatment Bills:  Unknown
  • Insurance Company:  Geico
  • Settlement Amount:  $225,000

Bexar County

Henry V. USAA

  • Summary:  While the plaintiff was driving her 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK brand vehicle in San Antonio, she stopped in traffic and the Ford F-150 branded vehicle registered to Christopher McKenzie collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle from behind. An agreement is reached between Mrs. Henry and Mr. McKenzie for Mr. McKenzie’s police limit of $30,000. Ms. Henry also receives $10,000 in bodily injury coverage from her own insurance. Miss Henry sues her own insurance under underinsured driver’s cover.
  • Injuries:  Neck and lumbar disc herniation; shoulder, upper arm, and wrist sprains; cervical (neck) pain and lumbago (low back pain).
  • Medical Treatment:  Chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, and cervical Epidural Steroid Injection. Surgical recommendation for laminectomy (spinal lamina surgery) in L5-S1.
  • Treatment Bills:  $24,059.82
  • Insurance Company:  USAA
  • Settlement Amount:  $60,000

Nonken V. Caves

  • Summary : Plaintiff’s passenger vehicle is struck from behind by a Van driven by Arturo Cuevas on Highway 281 near the intersection of Loop 1604. Mr. Nonken sues Mr. Cueva and is settled on Mr. Cueva’s insurance policy limit of $100,000. Mr. Nonken then sues his own insurer, State Farm, for under-insured drivers’ coverage.
  • Injuries : Disc herniation at C4-5, C5-6, C6-7.
  • Medical Treatment : Anterior Cervical Discectomy and fusion at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7.
  • Treatment Bills : Unknown
  • Insurance Company : State Farm
  • Settlement Amount : $260,000

Travis County

Schmidt V. Salas Construction Inc, Valdez

  • Summary : While the plaintiff was driving south on I-35 in Austin in a pickup truck, a vehicle used by Arturo Sales Vandez as part of his business and Salas Construction Inc. His car is hit from behind by a garbage truck belonging to a company named after him.
  • Injuries : Disc herniation pressing on the spinal cord at C3-4 and pain radiating throughout the body.
  • Medical Treatment : Single Level Anterior Discectomy and fusion.
  • Treatment Bills:  $14,029.84
  • Insurance Company : Safeco
  • Settlement Amount : $400,000

Trautman V. BHL International, Inc., Mills

  • Summary : Plaintiff was traveling in a midsize sedan on I-35 near the University of Texas at Austin, driven by Patricia Mills and owned by Ms. Mills’ BHL International Inc. BHL International Inc., which he borrowed from the son of the head of the company named BHL International Inc. The plaintiff’s vehicle is struck from behind by the full-scale SUV car belonging to his company.
  • Injuries : Minor lumbar (lumbar) disc herniation, nerve compression in the lumbar spine (lumbar region), and neck and back sprains and strains.
  • Medical Treatment : Chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, MRI, Epidural Steroid Injections, Facet Joint Injections, single-level lumbar fusion and advice to expand the fusion to adjacent areas in the future.
  • Treatment Bills : $108,000
  • Insurance Company : Allstate
  • Settlement Amount : $950,000
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