Average Car Accident Settlements in Georgia

Written By:
Picture of Nathan Whittenburg

Nathan Whittenburg

Owner & Attorney - Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer, Nathan Whittenburg, you can do so here.

Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Average Car Accident Settlements in Georgia

On this page, we’ll discuss average Car Accident Settlements in Georgia, the process of settlement negotiations in car accident claims, how victims can pursue compensation for their injuries, and much more.

Estimated Car Accident Settlement Amounts From an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

According to the Georgia Department of Health, motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of death and hospitalization in the state.

In 2020, Georgia was the fourth state with the most fatalities (1,664) across the nation.

With the staggering number of motor vehicle accidents, many Georgians are left with severe injuries and financial burdens every year.

Average Car Accident Settlements in Georgia; Financial Compensation in Car Accident Cases

If you were recently involved in a car accident in Georgia, you may be wondering how much your personal injury claim is worth.

The average car accident settlement ranges from under $10,000 for relatively minor incidents, to over $1,000,000 in cases involving fatalities and catastrophic injuries.

These projected settlement values are by no means a guarantee of compensation in your car accident claim.

These estimates are merely projections based on various factors, such as past car accident cases and industry data.

To better understand the factors that influence a potential settlement amount, speaking with an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer can help.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and suffered serious injuries, reach out to the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation.

You can also use our chatbot to find out if you qualify for a car accident case instantly.

Table of Contents

What Goes Into Determining a Car Accident Settlement?

A car accident settlement is determined by several general factors.

Key considerations include the severity of injuries and property damage, which influence medical costs and repair expenses.

Lost wages and potential loss of future earnings due to injuries are also factored in.

Additionally, non-economic damages like pain and suffering are assessed.

The degree of fault of each involved party significantly influences the settlement, as does the strength of the evidence presented, such as medical records and witness accounts.

Legal and insurance policy limits also play a role in setting the maximum possible settlement amount.

What are 'Damages' in a Car Accident Case?

When an individual is injured or hurt in an accident, they can recover financial assistance from the negligent party.

The term “damages” refer to the total amount of losses incurred on a victim as a result of a car accident.

Compensatory damages often appear in civil court cases wherein the court awards the plaintiff (the injured party) a certain amount of money from the defendant (the negligent party).

In car accident cases, a plaintiff typically recovers compensatory damages through an out-of-court settlement.

Depending on the nature of the case, the plaintiff could claim various types of compensatory damages, including both economic and non-economic damages.

Lawyers help victims assess and calculate the full value of damages in personal injury cases.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident and need help with your claim, reach out to our car accident lawyer today for a free consultation.

We’re here to help you.

Actual or Economic Damages Explained

Actual or economic damages refer to the tangible losses that the plaintiff incurred because of the accident.

These damages include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any other out-of-pocket costs related to the accident.

The plaintiff may claim actual or economic damages for present and future losses.

For instance, if a car accident caused severe injuries that require ongoing medical treatment, the plaintiff could recover compensation for estimated future medical expenses.

Economic damages in a car accident case may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Ambulance fees
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income and wages (including future earnings)
  • Property damage or loss (such as car repair or replacement)
  • Physical therapy
  • Cost of medical device
  • Increased living expenses
  • Domestic services

General or Non-Economic Damages Explained

General or non-economic damages refer to the intangible losses the plaintiff incurred because of the accident.

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, are difficult to quantify and could be subjective.

Because general damages are difficult to quantify, judges may award them based on various factors, such as the severity of the injuries and the plaintiff’s age.

Non-economic damages in a car accident case may include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of future opportunities
  • Inconvenience
  • Diminished quality of living

Punitive Damages Explained

Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for reckless or intentional behavior that led to the accident.

Punitive damages aim to deter similar conduct in the future and serve as a warning to others.

Punitive damages can only be claimed if there’s proof of gross negligence or malicious intent on the defendant’s part.

These damages are rarely awarded in most personal accident cases, but they can possibly be claimed in car accidents due to the severity of the injuries.

Judges may consider several factors before awarding punitive damages, such as the defendant’s financial standing, criminal background and any previous history of reckless behavior.

Having a reliable and experienced car accident attorney by your side is invaluable when navigating the confusing nuances of compensatory damages.

They can help you understand your rights and ensure you receive just compensation for your losses.

Factors Affecting the Settlement Amount in Car Accident Cases

The amount of a car accident settlement is influenced by the severity of injuries and the extent of property damage, which determine medical expenses and repair costs.

Lost income and diminished earning capacity are also considered, especially if the injuries impact the victim’s ability to work.

Compensation includes non-economic factors like pain and suffering, and the settlement is influenced by each party’s level of fault in the accident.

The strength of the evidence, such as medical reports and eyewitness accounts, plays a crucial role.

An experienced lawyer can be invaluable in navigating these factors, ensuring that victims receive fair and adequate compensation for their losses.

The Extent of Injuries

The extent or severity of the injury the plaintiff sustained is the most significant factor affecting the settlement amount; the more severe the injury, generally the higher the settlement amount.

Some of the most common injuries observed in auto accidents are:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns or lacerations
  • Crushing injuries
  • Internal injuries

Most of the injuries involved in motor vehicle accidents are considered “hard injuries,” meaning they are catastrophic and require immediate and extensive treatment.

These injuries often have a lasting impact on the victim’s health and well-being, thus warranting higher settlements.

The Permanence of the Injury

In line with the above factor, the permanence of an injury could severely impact the plaintiff’s life.

From minimizing their future work opportunities to extensive medical treatment and dependency on medication, permanent injuries can cause significant financial and emotional distress.

Maximum compensation could be awarded for permanent injuries, primarily if the plaintiff’s quality of life and normal lifestyle have been affected.

Some injuries might be treatable long-term but could have lifelong implications, such as chronic pain or physical limitations.

In these cases, the plaintiff could receive a considerable amount for their pain and suffering.

Some injuries could also be treated in the short term but have significant life impacts, such as amputations and severe burns.

In these cases, the plaintiff may receive a substantial amount for their loss of future opportunities and enjoyment of life.

The Impact on the Victim’s Life

How an injury or accident impacts the plaintiff’s life is also a huge factor the judge considers when determining the settlement amount.

For example, if the plaintiff works a labor-intensive job and suffered a career-ending injury, they could receive significant compensation for their loss of potential earnings.

Similarly, if the plaintiff were an artist or musician and lost the use of their dominant hand due to the accident, they would be unable to continue their career.

They might receive considerable compensation for their loss of income and future opportunities.

The judge also considers the impact of the injury on the plaintiff’s personal life, such as their ability to care for themselves or their family.

If the plaintiff was the sole provider for the family and suffered a debilitating injury preventing them from working for the rest of their life, they could receive significant compensation for their loss of income and support for their family.

While most of the examples provided apply to physical injuries, mental and emotional distress also plays a significant role in the plaintiff’s settlement.

If the accident caused severe trauma or resulted in the development of a psychological disorder, the plaintiff could receive compensation for their mental suffering and related therapy.

Medical Expenses Incurred

Regarding most of the factors detailed above, medical expenses incurred due to the accident are primarily considered when determining the settlement amount.

Total cost of medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and therapy will be thoroughly assessed.

In addition to current medical expenses, future medical costs related to treating the injury or any long-term care needed for permanent injuries is also heavily considered.

For example, plaintiffs who suffer from severe brain damage might experience partial or complete paralysis, requiring lifelong care.

The scope of medical expenses is not only limited to medical treatments or pharmaceuticals.

This compensation also covers medical devices, rehabilitation, check-ups, modifications to the plaintiff’s home for accessibility, and any necessary lifestyle changes due to the injury.

In most cases, the incurred medical expenses largely take up a significant portion of the settlement amount, especially for catastrophic injuries.

However, since this type of expense is actual or economic damage, the plaintiff must provide tangible evidence of the expenses incurred, such as medical bills and receipts.

Loss of Income

A critical aspect of life that many car accidents debilitate is a person’s career.

Depending on the severity of the sustained injury, a plaintiff might need to take weeks or even months off work to recover.

In some cases, the plaintiff may not be able to return to work at all or might have to change careers due to permanent injuries.

In these situations, the plaintiff could receive compensation for their lost wages and potential future earnings.

In addition to lost wages, the plaintiff could also receive compensation for loss of future earning capacity.

Insurance Coverage

Another factor determining how much compensation you could recover from the defendant is their insurance coverage.

In most cases, the plaintiff’s lawyer will investigate and determine the defendant’s insurance policy limits to ensure maximum recovery.

If the defendant has a high insurance coverage limit, it could significantly increase the plaintiff’s potential settlement amount.

This potential for a higher settlement is because the other driver’s insurance company will be responsible for covering all damages up to their policy limit.

However, if the defendant has a low insurance coverage limit or no insurance, it could make it harder for the plaintiff to receive total compensation for their damages.

In these cases, the plaintiff’s lawyer may explore other options for recovering additional damages, such as filing a claim against the plaintiff’s insurance policy or pursuing legal action against the defendant personally.

Partial Fault

The state of Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule, according to the GA. Code § 51-12-33.

A modified comparative negligence rule means that if the plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 30% responsible for causing the accident and receives a settlement of $100,000, they would only receive $70,000 after factoring in their 30% contribution to the accident.

This rule ensures that each party is accountable for their contribution to the accident.

However, the rule also states that the plaintiff may not recover any settlement if they’re found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident.

Moreover, the plaintiff is also ineligible to recover payment if the court finds out their negligence caused the accident.

This exemption emphasizes the importance of hiring the right Georgia car accident attorney to handle and prepare your case.

Your chosen attorney should investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your damages.

How Does the Insurance Company Compute Car Settlements?

Most insurance companies use a settlement calculator to determine the value of a car accident settlement.

The settlement calculator relies on various data, such as the total medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other damages related to your car accident.

Some insurance companies adjust the settlement you could obtain depending on the car you’re driving, your age, and if you have an accident insurance policy.

Insurance companies must settle a car accident claim within 30 days after the plaintiff completes the claim’s processing.

This period may be extended to 60 or more days if further investigation is needed.

Even if they already have a rough estimate, they may try to downplay the accident and lowball the settlement offer.

Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate with insurance companies effectively and ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.

A capable lawyer will also handle all legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on recovering physically and emotionally from the car accident.

The right Atlanta car accident attorney will fight for your rights and protect your best interests, ensuring you receive a just settlement offer.

Projected Car Accident Settlement Ranges in Georgia

As discussed, the amount range of your potential settlement is heavily based on the gravity of the situation.

The more serious the accident, the higher the possible compensation.

As mentioned previously, settlement projections are by no means a guarantee of financial compensation in your car accident case.

The settlement values listed below within ranges are merely estimations based on prior personal injury cases and settlements in the United States.

It is essential to consult with a car accident lawyer on the specifics of your case.

Minor Car Accidents

A minor car accident means the collision did not result in significant injuries.

Minor accidents usually involve low-speed collisions, minor injuries, and slight property damage, such as scratches, dents, or broken mirrors.

A minor car accident could result in a settlement range of $3,000 to over $15,000.

The number might change depending on the nature of the accident, shared liability, and more.

Major Car Accidents

A major car accident involves more severe injuries and extensive property damage.

These accidents often result in long-term or permanent disabilities, costly medical treatment, and prolonged recovery periods.

Major car accidents can be life-altering and significantly impact the plaintiff’s quality of life.

Here are some examples of major car accidents:

  • High-speed collisions
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rollover accidents
  • Multi-car pile-ups or chain reaction accidents
  • Accidents involving commercial trucks or large vehicles
  • Accidents resulting in severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or amputation
  • Accidents resulting in permanent disabilities or disfigurement
  • Accidents that require long-term hospitalization or rehabilitation

Due to the severity of these accidents, the potential settlement range can be significantly higher, ranging from $15,000 to over $200,000.

The exact amount will depend on various factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation needs, and the cost of ongoing assistance for long-term disability.

Catastrophic Accidents and Wrongful Death

Catastrophic accidents often result in permanent debilitation, such as quadriplegia or paraplegia.

These accidents may also result in permanent neurological damage, extensive medical treatment, long-term rehabilitation, and other costly ongoing care.

Wrongful deaths are also categorized as catastrophic accidents due to the severe impact they have on families.

A wrongful death claim can arise if a loved one passes away due to someone else’s negligence, such as in a car accident caused by another driver.

In these cases, the settlement amounts are based on various factors, including medical expenses, lost wages and future earnings of the deceased individual, funeral costs, and compensation for the emotional distress experienced by the surviving family members.

Depending on the case’s specifics, these accidents could result in compensation from $100,000 to over $1,000,000.

How Can an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Help You?

As discussed above, hiring a car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation and justice against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.

From accurately estimating your potential damages to negotiating with insurance companies and fortifying your case, a car accident lawyer could boost your chances of a better settlement offer.

A Car Accident Lawyer Will Accurately Estimate Your Damages

An experienced car accident attorney understands the factors the court and insurance companies might consider when calculating your potential settlement.

An experienced lawyer will meticulously evaluate your case to determine the extent of your damages and estimate a fair settlement amount.

Your lawyer will consider how much you spent on immediate medical expenses, ongoing treatment costs, property damage repair or replacement, lost wages, future income loss due to injuries, and any other damages specific to your case.

Your lawyer will also account for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.

A Car Accident Lawyer Will Negotiate Settlement Offers

Another advantage of having an experienced car accident attorney by your side is the assurance that the insurance company won’t lowball you.

Low offers do not easily dissuade experienced lawyers, and they can negotiate assertively on your behalf to get a fair settlement.

In most cases, insurance companies typically make lowball offers, hoping you will accept them out of desperation or ignorance.

Experienced lawyers are used to dealing with these insurance companies and know their tactics to limit their payouts.

With the knowledge of their lowballing tactics, your lawyer can efficiently formulate an effective response to counter their offer.

With a reputable and talented lawyer advocating for you, the insurer is less likely to take advantage of you.

If the insurance company refuses a reasonable settlement, your attorney may advise you to file a car accident lawsuit.

A Car Accident Lawyer Will Advocate for Your Rights

Choosing the right lawyer to handle your personal injury case is crucial in securing a fair settlement.

Your lawyer’s primary goal is to uphold your rights and interests while ensuring you receive rightful compensation for your damages.

If the insurance company or other parties involved do not offer a fair settlement, experienced lawyers are ready and willing to take matters to court.

Personal injury lawyers have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to build a strong case, gather evidence, and present your case.

With the proper representation, you can receive the settlement you deserve for your car accident claim.

A car accident attorney can help you navigate the legal system and advocate for your rights.

A Car Accident Lawyer Will Strengthen Your Case

Your chances of securing maximum compensation boil down to the strength of your case.

Your lawyer will help gather all relevant evidence, such as police reports, medical records, witness statements of the accident scene, and expert opinions, to fortify your arguments.

They may also work with accident reconstruction experts to determine the cause of the crash and prove liability.

An excellent lawyer will have extensive resources to ensure your case is airtight and compelling.

If needed, your lawyer may even consult with expert witnesses to supplement information and bridge gaps in your case.

An experienced auto accident attorney will ensure that no stones are left unturned.

They will scrutinize and evaluate every aspect of your case to ensure there are no gaps in your argument.

With a strong case, you stand a better chance of receiving fair compensation for your car accident claim.

Nathan Whittenburg: Your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

Our Atlanta car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping you achieve justice for your losses.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident in Atlanta or another city in Georgia, contact us for a free consultation.

You can also use our chatbot for a free and instant case qualification.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Compensation Can I Expect from a Car Accident Settlement?

    Compensation in a car accident settlement can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

    Settlement amounts vary depending on the severity of the accident, the extent of injuries, and the impact on your daily life.

    An experienced lawyer can help you estimate the value of your claim.

  • How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

    Fault in a car accident is typically determined by evaluating evidence such as police reports, witness statements, traffic laws, and sometimes, expert testimony.

    In some cases, fault may be shared among multiple parties.

    Understanding the nuances of fault determination is crucial in a car accident lawsuit.

  • When Should I Consider Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer?

    Consider hiring a car accident lawyer if you’ve suffered significant injuries, faced substantial property damage, or if there’s a dispute about who is at fault.

    An attorney can help navigate the complexities of your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure you receive fair compensation.

  • What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?

    Immediately after a car accident, ensure your safety and check for injuries.

    Call emergency services if needed.

    Document the scene by taking pictures and videos, gather contact and insurance information from other drivers involved, and contact the police to file a report.

    Even if you think you’re not injured, consider seeing a doctor as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Do You
Have A Case?

Our firm specializes in personal injury cases across the state of Georgia, working on a contingency fee basis to ensure the best possible service for each client.

Click below to get a free, instant case evaluation and find out if you qualify for legal action immediately.

Would you like our help?

About Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm

Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury cases across Georgia, including motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death claims. Our experienced Georgia injury attorney works on a contingency fee basis, ensuring you only pay legal fees once we secure your settlement or verdict.

Contact our experienced legal team by phone or visit our website for a instant case evaluation. Trust Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm for dedicated legal representation in Georgia.

Do You
Have A Case?

Our firm specializes in personal injury cases across the state of Georgia, working on a contingency fee basis to ensure the best possible service for each client.

Click below to get a free, instant case evaluation and find out if you qualify for legal action immediately.

Would you like our help?

Share

Recent Legal Guides

#1 Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia (GA)

Local Atlanta Resources

Education
Emergency Services
Courthouses
Department of Motor Vehicles
Community & History