Average Car Accident Settlement Amounts in Arizona
Car accidents are scary, and there are complex issues accident victims must sort through in the aftermath. A primary concern is often trying to determine how much compensation you can expect to receive for your car accident injuries.
Car accident settlement amounts in Arizona can vary enormously, but the rough average falls between roughly $10,000 and goes up to over $30,000. Some car accident cases settle for over a million dollars. The disparity exists because the value of the settlement is often correlated to the severity of the injuries caused by the accident. In other words, the more devastating the injuries, the higher the settlement.
Factors That Must Be Considered When Valuing a Car Accident Case
The value of your car accident case may be difficult to determine as there are several factors that will influence the final amount. Insurance policy limits can be the main obstacle, as we will explain further below.
Other factors that may influence car accident case settlement values include:
- Who is at fault for causing the accident
- Whether the victim was wearing a seat belt
- Lost income
- Inability to retain their standard lifestyle
- Medical care and expenses
- Permanency and severity of injuries
- Extent of property damage, including the car
Typically, a jury (in trial) or the insurance company (in settlement negotiations) will determine the value of your case. Make sure you retain a competent Arizona car accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. You only have two years from the date of the accident to file a car accident lawsuit in Arizona, and there can be only one settlement.
Types Of Damages You Can Recover in a Car Accident Case
In Arizona, you can expect three types of damages to be recoverable in a car accident case. These include:
- Punitive damages
- Non-economic damages
- Economic damages
Economic damages are awarded when the plaintiff suffers a financial loss due to the injuries resulting from the accident. Typically, these include any lost wages during a recovery period or medical bills that the plaintiff may have accrued.
These damages are for any suffering the plaintiff has experienced that cannot be measured or directly tied to finances. Often, this includes pain and suffering, mental anguish, or a lowered quality of life.
The two most common types of pain and suffering: physical and mental. Physical pain and suffering are relatively self-explanatory: any injury that causes discomfort, both during recovery and pain that may continue into the future.
Mental pain and suffering can be harder to define, but it includes the plaintiff’s emotional well-being, including any fear, trauma, or loss of self-esteem. If you experience an accident and develop depression due to your suffering, you deserve compensation.
The defendant may have to pay punitive damages if the defendant is deemed to have committed an intentional act and/or engaged in wanton and willful misconduct. The defendant pays punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages as punishment and a deterrent against repeating the negligent or intentional wrong.
A defendant might also have to pay punitive damages if the compensatory damage is difficult to calculate or the plaintiff will need continuous medical care.
Insurance Policy Limits
The amount of insurance available is one of the biggest factors in determining the value of your case. If the defendant’s insurance coverage is less than the total amount of your damages, it is unlikely that you will receive the additional money that you deserve.
Arizona Car Insurance Laws
Arizona requires drivers in the state to have minimum liability coverage. This means $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for one person, $50,000 per accident when more than one person suffers injuries, and $15,000 for property damage.
The Difference Between Out-of-Court Settlements and Jury Trials
It can be difficult to decide whether to pursue an out-of-court settlement or commit to a jury trial.
Out-of-court settlements often sound like a quick fix to a stressful situation, but you must be careful. If you aren’t careful, you could sign a settlement that does not provide the full amount of compensation that you actually deserve. Having an experienced car accident lawyer on hand will help you avoid that. Their expertise and experience means that nothing is missed or overlooked, and the insurance companies know they will not be able to get away with paying anything less than a fair amount of compensation.
Of course, sometimes, it is impossible to come to an agreement in the settlement process. When that happens, the next step is a trial. While this can be a lengthy process that sometimes takes months to resolve, it can be worth it to bring the other side to the negotiating table or submitting the details of your case to the jury.
Whatever avenue you take, your first step to a successful outcome is seeking legal advice. Your best bet is to hire a car accident lawyer who is familiar with Arizona-specific injury law.
Protect Your Rights with an Arizona Lawyer
Being able to recoup your losses is a fundamental part of the recovery process that follows a car accident. Of course, just because you are a victim does not mean that you are guaranteed to receive a fair settlement. That’s why it is essential that you have a skilled Arizona lawyer in your corner to advocate and fight for you every step of the way.