Some car accidents are worse than others. But even if you suffered minimal injuries and property damage, a minor rear-end accident can still be a pain in your neck and wallet.
You should receive compensation for your accident-related losses and suffering.
Minor car accident settlement amounts vary depending on the facts of each case, but there are general principles you can employ to check whether a settlement offer from the at-fault party is just.
The experienced Wyoming car accident attorneys at Platte River Injury Law explain below the details of minor rear-end accident settlements.
If you have questions or wish to speak with a member of our team, contact us today.
What Is a Minor Accident?
In 2020, Wyoming saw 13,161 crashes, 10,793 involving only property damage and 2,256 involving injury without fatalities. Out of the 2,256 crashes involving injury, 3,121 people suffered an injury.
According to the Wyoming Highway Safety Program, there are three kinds of car accidents that do not involve fatal or serious injury:
- Suspected minor injury,
- Possible injury, and
- No apparent injury.
Suspected minor injury is the most apparent of the non-serious injury accidents. It can include non-serious injuries that are evident such as contusions, lacerations, and bloody noses.
Unlike serious injuries, suspected minor injuries do not prevent victims from walking, driving, or performing activities they were able to perform before. Possible injuries are those that cause the victim to complain of pain but are not visible.
Whether your damage is visible or not, do not let the insurance give you a lowball offer for your pain. There are normally multiple ways you can prove damages to maximize your recovery in even minor car accident cases.
How Much Is a Rear-End Accident Worth?
If you want to know how to calculate a rear-end accident settlement, you need to know what damages you can normally recover from an accident in a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
Under Title 1 of the Wyoming Statutes, your damages in a car accident lawsuit or settlement can include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Out-of-pocket expenses,
- Physical impairment,
- Mental impairment,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Emotional distress.
Speaking to an experienced car accident attorney about your ability to recover under these categories can help you determine whether a potential minor rear-end collision insurance settlement is a fair offer.
Calculating economic damages
Your medical bills, lost wages, and any other accident-related out-of-pocket expenses are your economic damages. Economic damages are the easiest to calculate and request in settlement negotiations.
You can readily prove them with your receipts, bills, treatment recommendations, schedules, and paychecks.
While every case is different, it can be helpful to know that repairs like a bumper replacement can cost between approximately $900 and $1,400. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average cost of an emergency department visit can be more than $3,500.
Calculating pain and suffering
Damages other than your bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses are considered to be “non-economic” and include damages for your pain and suffering. These damages depend on your stress and how your life changed after the accident.
There are no standard financial statements to reflect the exact dollar amount you should receive for your pain, but giving as many facts as possible to an experienced attorney can help maximize your compensation.
While your damages depend on your financial documents and your pain, there are limitations to your recovery. First of all, you cannot recover damages in a car accident case if you were more than 50% at fault. Secondly, the law reduces your damages by whatever percentage of the blame is yours.
Unfortunately, the at-fault party’s insurance wants to blame the accident fully on you to avoid a settlement or award. Make sure to collect as much relevant information as possible at the scene of the accident and timely make the proper reports to prove your case against the insurance company.
How Long Does a Rear-End Collision Settlement Take?
The length of time it takes to settle a rear-end collision case also depends on the facts of your case, but there are time limitations for initiating a claim. In Wyoming, you generally have four years from the date of the accident to recover damages.
If a government employee caused your accident while performing government duties, you have two years to make a claim to the responsible government entity and one year from the date of your claim to file a lawsuit.
While you want to act swiftly to preserve your claim rights, you should take reasonable time to make sure you properly assessed your financial losses and received sufficient medical attention.
The at-fault party might want to settle with you as soon as possible after the accident, but even minor whiplash injuries can take six to ten weeks to heal. You don’t want to settle your claim before you understand the extent of your injuries and losses.
Contact an Attorney to Make the Most of Your Settlement
Minor car accident settlement amounts are unique to each accident victim, but insurance companies try to convince victims that all minor collisions are identical and warrant little to no compensation.
At Platte River Injury Law, we do not allow the insurance company to bully you. We are experienced and tenacious personal injury attorneys who care deeply about your unique story.