Typical car accident settlement amounts

You’re driving on I-75 to work and singing along to the radio. Suddenly, another driver doesn’t look before changing lanes and slams right into you.


Now you’re going to miss that important meeting at work, the car you just paid off three months ago is totaled, and worst of all… you’re in severe pain.


You’re not alone.


Over 250,000 people were injured in car accidents in 2021, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.


With a total of 400,000 crashes last year, that means about 63 percent of people involved in Florida car accidents suffered some type of injury.


And for the families of the 3,707 people killed in Florida car accidents, the emotional pain and financial losses continue to linger. Besides current and future medical bills, people lose their job, their car, and may never again be the same person emotionally or physically.


While the best resource for typical car accident settlement amounts in Florida is an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, here are some of the factors that go into coming up with a figure.

What Is the Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount?

Typical car accident settlement amounts vary according to your injuries and property damage.   You’re probably asking, “What about who caused the accident? I was minding my own business and the other guy hit me. Don’t I have a right to receive money from their insurance company because of that?”   Well, that depends. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. That means it doesn’t matter who caused the accident. As part of their car insurance, all Florida drivers must carry what’s called personal injury protection insurance (PIP). Simply put, you go to your insurance company first to file a claim for your medical bills and lost wages.   If your bills exceed your insurance limits or are especially severe, that’s when you can go to the other driver’s insurance company. Florida considers your injuries to be especially severe if:  

  • They meet state-determined criteria for seriousness, including significant loss of bodily functions and significant or permanent disfigurement.
  • If your injuries do not qualify as “serious” but nonetheless exceed the $10,000 PIP coverage requirement
  Vehicle damage falls outside of PIP coverage and can be sought from the other driver’s insurance company.   Issues of fault can get really messy. This is why having a personal injury attorney on your side is so important. We always advise car accident injury victims to watch what they say to people about the accident…even your own insurance company. Accepting blame before you truly have all the facts can come back to haunt you.


How Are Car Accident Damages Calculated?

It can be challenging to calculate car accident damages. There’s a great deal of information that must be gathered and considered.   This is especially true when it comes to non-economic damages which are more personal and aren’t the kind of losses you can just slap a dollar amount on. How can you put a price tag on your emotional distress? Or the loss of a loved one’s presence in your life? This is why it’s so difficult to calculate damages.   In general, damages in car accident cases are broken into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that are easy to calculate because they come with receipts. These include damages such as:  

  • Loss of income
  • Medical bills
  • Therapy
  • In-home care
  • Medical devices
  Non-economic damages come into play when the circumstances of your accident go beyond your PIP coverage as explained above. These kinds of damages are more subjective and personal, such as:  
  • Pain and suffering
  • Living with a disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Loss of consortium
  Depending on the details involved, an attorney can go over the specifics of your case and give you a general sense of what your case may be worth.  

How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident?

It is difficult to assign a concrete financial value to things like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. Although it’s not an exact science, attorneys use the “multiplier method.” This involves taking your economic damages and multiplying them by a factor of 1-5, depending on the severity of your injuries.

Factors That Affect Car Accident Settlement Amounts

Car accident settlements can depend on a number of factors. An experienced car accident attorney can help you go through these factors to determine a possible settlement range.

State Laws

  As discussed, Florida is a no-fault state, which means you can receive funds before the issue of liability is determined. As a no-fault state, however, Florida limits non-economic damages unless your economic injuries are especially severe. That makes it harder to get the large settlement amounts seen in other states, especially if you only sustained minor injuries and property damage.

Car Insurance Policy Coverage

  Bodily injury liability insurance is not required in Florida. This means you could be the victim of an uninsured driver. In that case, you are only entitled to the limits of your personal policy including PIP and uninsured motorist coverage (UM) if purchased, unless there are extenuating circumstances.   It’s important that you seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident or you might not be able to get coverage for your injuries.


  As a no-fault state, Florida does not immediately look at who caused the accident. It’s only when your losses exceed the available funds on your policy that fault becomes relevant. Florida operates under the theory of pure comparative fault.   This means that your total award is reduced based on your percentage of fault. In other words, if the total damages you suffered was $50,000 but you’re found to be 50% at fault for the accident, the total award will be reduced by 50% and you’ll walk away with only $25,000.

Financial Losses

  Your non-economic damages are calculated by a multiplier that depends on the severity of your economic damages. So, your total award depends on your economic damages and severity of your injuries.   As noted above, when calculating financial losses after a car accident in Florida, the insurance companies and courts consider economic damages and non-economic damages.   Economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and a totaled vehicle are easier to justify than non-economic ones such as emotional and physical pain, reduced health, and loss of enjoyment of life.   It’s harder to get non-economic damages under Florida personal injury law, with these exceptions:  
  • Death (in which case, any settlement would benefit the survivors of the deceased)
  • Severe and permanent disfigurement or scarring
  • Permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • Significant and permanent injury

What Are Settlement Amounts in Minor Car Accidents?

Settlement amounts in minor car accidents can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. This is just a range and is difficult to pinpoint without a full investigation.

Average Car Accident Settlements for Specific Injuries

Average settlement amounts vary because each case is unique. However, the following ranges offer a general guide for potential settlement amounts based on injury type:  

  • $10,000 to $25,000 for minor injuries, including whiplash or soft tissue damage
  • $50,000 to $75,000 for long-term injuries that require surgery or physical therapy
  • $75,000 to $100,000 for spinal injuries that do not result in paralysis
  • $100,000 to $250,000 for brain injuries, including cognitive impairment, loss of brain function
  When it comes to debilitating injuries such as paralysis or severe brain injury that requires daily care, it’s possible for settlements to run into the millions.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us today.

How to Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement

When you first have a car accident, we understand that the last thing on your mind is how to maximize your settlement. However, taking the right steps from the beginning can provide you with the evidence you need in the event you choose to pursue legal action.  

Document Everything

  Pictures, video, written statements, and journal entries about your pain and suffering can go a long way toward proving your case to the insurance company. Be as specific as possible.

Seek Medical Attention

  Some injuries, such as whiplash, can take time to be noticed. It’s important to get immediate medical attention even if you think you aren’t injured.   During your follow-up visits, be specific about where it hurts. Describe your limitations honestly. This is not the time to hold back or try to appear brave.   Follow any advice your doctors give. Even if physical therapy feels like a waste of time, follow your doctor’s orders. Missed appointments, skipped tests, and lack of cooperation can limit your recovery and your case.

Avoid Discussing on Social Media

  An otherwise strong personal injury case can be derailed by social media. Posting pictures of yourself smiling and out at the bar with your friends following an accident will make it harder to prove your injuries and suffering.   Use the same caution when discussing your injuries or the accident with anyone but your medical providers, attorney, and closest family members.

Don’t Rush to Settle

  Your insurance company will want you to sign a release of liability quickly and settle for little money. Don’t do this without talking to an attorney. Once you sign papers, that’s it. It won’t matter if your injuries are worse than you originally thought—you won’t be entitled to further compensation.

Retain an Attorney

  Hiring a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer is your best bet after a car accident. Your attorney will maximize your settlement and you won’t have to pay any fees unless you get a financial award.   Insurance companies will take your case more seriously if you have a lawyer working on your behalf.  

How Much of Your Settlement Do You Get and How Much Are Lawyer Fees?

You’ll get anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of your settlement. Your attorney’s percentage is typically as follows:  

  • If a trial or arbitration is not necessary, 33 ⅓ percent of any settlement of up to $1 million. The amount increases to 40 percent if a trial or an arbitration hearing is required.
  • If you’re awarded $1 million to $2 million, the attorney gets 30 percent in any circumstance.
  • For awards above $2 million, your lawyer will receive 20 percent.
  • If the person who caused the car accident admits fault but disagrees on the amount of damages, the percentages change as follows:
    • 33 ⅓ percent on awards of up to $1 million.
    • 20 percent on compensation between $1 million and $2 million.
    • 15 percent of any award above $2 million.
  The fee schedule will be outlined in your retainer agreement. In all cases, attorneys may charge you extra for expenses. Under Florida law, any expenses an attorney charges must be itemized and reasonable.

Contact BK Law Today

Fighting the insurance companies on your own is exhausting. You need a caring and experienced lawyer to get the compensation you deserve. Call the trusted personal injury lawyers at BK Law for a free consultation.   We’ll go over your case, discuss your rights, and explain how we can help. Call today and let us show you why we’re the right law firm for you.