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Average Settlement Amount for Car Accidents in DC

The value of your claim could be much higher or lower depending on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your property damage. An average car accident settlement considers your insurance policy coverage, liability, and how local laws apply to your case.

The best way to secure maximum compensation for your DC car accident is to work with experienced personal injury lawyers who specialize in serious car accident injuries.  Call our DC car accident attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

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With more than 100 years of combined experience and a solid track record of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, Regan Zambri Long will work tirelessly to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or stand by your side in court.

What is the average car accident settlement amount in DC?

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What Affects Car Accident Settlement Amounts?

While no two car accidents are the same, the average car settlement amount in 2022 was $24,211 for claims involving bodily injury and $5,314 for claims involving property damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Calculating an average car accident settlement involves reviewing several factors, including your insurance policy coverage, liability, the severity of your injuries, and how Washington, DC, laws apply to your case.

Insurance Coverage

Drivers in Washington, DC, must have at least minimum auto insurance coverage. Minimum insurance coverage is:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $10,000 property damage coverage per accident

In addition to the minimum amounts, you must also hold uninsured motorist coverage at the amount of:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $5,000 property damage coverage per accident

Uninsured motorist coverage allows you to recover damages even if the driver you are in an accident with does not have auto insurance.

However, the District of Columbia is unique in that it has a choice no-fault insurance system.

Under the no-fault insurance laws system, you must first file a claim against your insurance company to recover damages if you are hurt in a car accident. However, you also have the option to buy Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage (PIP). With PIP coverage, you can collect no-fault benefits 60 days from the accident date.

This means that you cannot file a claim against the at-fault driver unless your losses exceed your PIP coverage, your injuries result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, or your injuries qualify as an impairment under the law.

Liability

Your car accident settlement will also greatly change in value depending on who is found liable for the accident. Making a settlement offer may be fairly easy in cases where liability is clear. However, when liability is grey, the insurance company will tend to lowball a settlement offer or even take their chances on going to court.

Severity of Injuries

You are much more likely to secure compensation for serious injuries in a car accident. However, the types of injuries you sustain greatly impact the payout you will receive.

Common injuries in a car accident include:

  • Whiplash
  • Soft tissue injuries like sprains, bruising, cuts, muscle weakness, etc.
  • Complex fractures and compression fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Internal organ damage and bleeding

Victims may also sustain minor injuries that require short-term medical treatment, but these may result in smaller payouts.

Financial Loss

A car accident settlement will often be higher for victims who suffered greater financial losses than those with only minor property damage.

For example, a large truck accident will often yield a higher payout than a fender bender because the damage to the passenger vehicle is likely greater. This results in more compensation to get the car back on the road or replace the totaled vehicle.

Further, if you suffer from severe physical injuries, you are much more likely to need long-term healthcare.

DC Laws

Washington, DC, has laws surrounding policy limits and strict regulations on how liability will impact a personal injury claim.

Washington, DC, follows the law of contributory negligence. Under contributory negligence, if you are found even one percent at fault for an accident, you cannot recover compensation from the other party—even though they hold the majority of liability.

However, for the defense to utilize contributory negligence, your misactions must have somehow contributed to the accident injuries.

Pain and Suffering

While medical expenses and other economic losses will play a major role in your average settlement amount, the non-economic losses are a bigger portion of what is sought in a personal injury claim.

Pain and suffering will be calculated by how the physical injuries you endured have created psychological trauma. This may be done through a review of your medical records, discussions with expert medical care professionals, and the emotional distress you now experience.

How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?

When calculating a car accident settlement, your lawyer will consider the current and future damages you may incur.

Though there is no standard settlement formula for expenses, the value of your claim is calculated by:

  • Past medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages and diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

All injury cases are different, though, and the extent of your recovery can vary depending on the severity of your auto accident.

How Do Car Accident Settlement Payouts Work?

Car accident claims are paid out in one of three ways: a settlement from the insurance company, a settlement in a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, or a verdict by a jury.

A small percentage of car accident cases go to trial, so you will most likely receive a settlement offer from the insurance company.

Once your claim is filed with the insurance company, your lawyer can submit a claim letter requesting compensation for the car accident. If the terms are agreed upon, you will receive a settlement payout from your insurance provider.

Before you accept the initial settlement, you should consider negotiations. This will allow you to sue if you think the insurance will not provide a fair settlement.

But you can still settle before a court ruling, so keep that in mind.

You will have to pay your law firm if you utilize legal representation at any point in the car accident claims process.

Most personal injury law firms operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that once your case is closed and a settlement or verdict is won on your behalf, you will pay a percentage of your settlement value to the car accident attorney. At Regan Zambri Long, we ensure that you get fair compensation, and we never take more than what you won, so your injury settlement truly goes to your recovery.

During a free case evaluation, you should learn the payment structure for the firm you are using so that no expenses are a surprise.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in DC?

In Washington, DC, you have three years from the accident date to file a car accident lawsuit. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so be sure to meet with a personal injury attorney to learn more about the statute of limitations.

Will Working With a Washington DC Car Accident Lawyer Get Me Additional Compensation?

While we can’t guarantee we’ll find you a hidden trove of money for your accident, working with an experienced car accident attorney increases the likelihood of your claim’s success.

We understand the intricacies of no-fault state insurance laws while also knowing the ins and outs of the legal process for complex car accident claims.

Further, studies suggest that average payouts are higher for car accident victims who utilize legal representation than those who do not. This means that you really can’t afford to go without legal advice.

Contact a DC Car Accident Lawyer to Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement

personal injury lawyersIf you or a loved one suffered severe injuries as a result of negligent driving by another, you need to connect with the Washington, DC, car accident lawyers of Regan Zambri Long PLLC. We will take on the insurance adjusters and help you through the personal injury lawsuit process to ensure a fair settlement for your losses.

Call Regan Zambri Long’s personal injury lawyers today for a no-obligation, free consultation to learn what you could recover in your car accident settlement. We represent victims in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia against negligent drivers.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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