Average Car Accident Settlement in California [2024 Updated]

You may be wondering whether your injuries or damage to personal property warrants the effort of filing an injury claim or if you’d even qualify. In addition to learning about the average car accident settlement in California, it’s always wise to seek the opinion of an experienced car accident lawyer. These law professionals will inform you whether you have a strong claim and how much you’re likely to receive in compensation.

Potential Injuries From a Car Accident

The bodily injuries a motorist or a passenger, as well as pedestrians or bicyclists, may suffer from a car crash or other traffic accident can range quite a bit in severity as well as the location(s) of injury. Physical harm may include fractured or shattered bones, burns, lacerations, bruising, organ damage, other internal injuries, and damaged ligaments, joints, and muscles.

Car accidents, especially for those outside an enclosed vehicle (particularly motorcycle riders who move at similar speeds to other automobiles), can be even more damaging to victims. Catastrophic injuries may include traumatic brain damage or spinal cord damage. Such bodily harm can result in long-term and even lifelong impacts on the victim’s quality of life and ability to function.

Comparative Fault Laws in California

In California, personal injury cases comply with the doctrine of comparative fault/negligence. This means even if someone filing a personal injury claim is partially at fault for the accident that caused their bodily harm, they can still recover damages — no matter how liable they were, even if they were primarily at fault.

However, their compensation award will be reduced by the percentage they are found liable by the court. For example, if you are 30 percent at fault, you can still receive 70 percent of the settlement you would have been awarded otherwise. Even if you are 90 or more percent liable, you can still seek compensation for the remaining portion of your settlement.

It is less likely for those who were clearly driving recklessly, such as while drunk or ignoring traffic laws and regulations, to recover damages because the liability is pretty clear, and the degree of negligence is particularly egregious.

How Does an Injury Attorney Help My Claim?

An injury attorney is an extremely valuable resource to obtain if you’re considering filing a personal injury claim. One important reason is that they drastically improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement and the likelihood of receiving maximum compensation. This is because a legal professional will know what you’re entitled to given the circumstances and how to provide a compelling argument to prove it, as well as negotiate with insurance providers.

Legal professionals educated in personal injury law have extensive experience negotiating and dealing with insurance companies, including when they want to deny liability, propose an insufficient settlement amount, or are otherwise unwilling to cooperate or compromise. Injury attorneys know how to negotiate and possess the skills needed to effectively litigate your case within the courtroom.

A capable lawyer can also investigate the details of your case and gather all relevant and strong evidence, including proof you otherwise would not have access to (e.g., security or traffic cam footage, police reports). They have a deep understanding of the law, knowing the strongest approach and legal arguments or strategies most applicable to your case.

In order to win your case and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to, your attorney will have to effectively prove the negligence of the at-fault party; this involves establishing specific elements of the case, including that the liable party owed you a duty, that they breached said duty, and that this breach is what directly led to your injury and other damages.


Q: What Is the Average Payout for Whiplash Injuries in California?

A: There’s no average payout that whiplash injuries may receive for compensation because every case will look different, and the injured party can endure varying degrees of bodily harm. Other influencing factors include whether there was shared liability or if the circumstances surrounding the accident were vague, which makes determining liability challenging.

More severe whiplash injuries, such as spinal cord or nerve damage, are likely to receive more in a settlement.

Q: How Much Can You Get for Pain and Suffering From a Car Accident in California?

A: There is no formula or standard when determining how much a car accident victim will receive for pain and suffering. The more severe your bodily injuries are, the more medical treatment and time away from work are needed, as well as time spent unable to do hobbies or perform tasks unattended, all while suffering from physical pain.

Your lawyer can gather compelling evidence that may speak to your pain and suffering, but the final decision is at the court’s discretion.

Q: Who Pays for Personal Injury Compensation in California?

A: The liable party’s insurance provider is responsible for providing the funds for personal injury compensation. Once an amount is agreed upon and a settlement is reached, whether it be through negotiations out of court or during trial, the insurer will send the money to your lawyer via a check in the mail. While other finalizations are taken care of, your compensation remains in a safe bank account. You receive it after your lawyer subtracts their fees and your medical bills.

Q: How Are Settlements for Personal Injuries Calculated in California?

A: Personal injury settlement payouts are calculated by adding the injured party’s total economic losses and their determined non-economic damages. Economic damages include the victim’s medical costs, including rehabilitation or physical therapy, future or ongoing treatment, and lost income from missing work. Non-economic damages, such as the person’s pain and suffering, are decided by the court after assessing the available evidence.

Seek Compensation for Your Injuries After a Traffic Crash

Personal injury lawyers at the Corrales Law Group have numerous injured clients obtain financial compensation following motor vehicle accidents, including trucking incidents and pedestrian collisions. Consult with an attorney to learn about your legal options if you believe you have a viable injury claim.

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