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December 8, 2023

Average Settlement for Broken Bones in a Car Accident in CA

Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

Short answer: The average settlement for broken bones in a car accident in California is approximately $30,000 – $150,000. This range varies because some fractures are more complex and severe than others. Below we’ll detail approximate settlements by fracture type.

Common CA Settlements for Broken Bones in a Car Accident

Fracture Type Average Settlement
Simple (closed) fractures Approximately: $30,000 – $75,000
Hairline (stress) fractures Approximately: $20,000 – $60,000
Displaced fractures Approximately: $75,000 – $200,000
Greenstick fractures Approximately: $50,000 – $100,000
Comminuted fractures Approximately: $75,000 – $200,000
Compound (open) fractures Approximately: $100,000 – $250,000+

*Each case is different and cases could be worth more or less due to a variety of factors such as lost wages and where the fracture is on your body.

Car Accident Settlements Based on Specific Broken Bones

Broken Bone Average Settlement
Arm Approximately: $50,000 – $100,000
Fibula / Tibia Approximately: $50,000 – $120,000
Femur Approximately: $100,000 – $200,000
Ribs Approximately: $20,000 – $80,000
Clavicle Approximately: $35,000 – $85,000
Pelvis Approximately: $50,000 – $150,000+
Ankle Approximately: $20,000 – $75,000

*Each case is unique and factors like surgery can greatly affect settlement amounts. Speaking with an attorney is one of the best ways to know how much your case could be worth.

Factors that Commonly Affect Broken Bone Settlements

The severity of the injury is a primary influencer; more complex fractures or multiple fractures may lead to higher settlements. Medical expenses, including surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatments, also contribute significantly.

Lost wages due to the inability to work during recovery also greatly impact settlements. If the broken bones result in long-term effects or disabilities, the settlement may increase to account for future medical costs and loss of earning capacity. Additionally, California’s comparative negligence rules can influence settlements; if the injured party is found partially at fault, the settlement may be reduced.

The specifics of the accident, such as whether it involved multiple vehicles or if there were any mitigating circumstances, can also affect settlements.

Having strong legal representation, timely and thorough documentation of the accident and injuries, and a clear understanding of California’s legal landscape are crucial factors that can positively influence settlement outcomes. Each case is unique, and considering these factors comprehensively ensures a fair evaluation and negotiation of the settlement amount.

Settlement Examples

broken arm car accident settlement

Typical Claim Process After a Broken Bones Accident in CA

The typical insurance claim process for a car accident resulting in broken bones in California follows several key steps:

Report the Accident

Immediately report the accident to law enforcement and your insurance company. Prompt reporting is essential for initiating the claims process.

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention for your injuries, including the evaluation and treatment of broken bones. Keep detailed records of medical expenses and treatment plans.

Contact the Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company to initiate the claim. Provide them with essential details, such as the date, time, and location of the accident, along with information about the parties involved.

Claim Investigation

The insurance company will conduct an investigation into the accident, reviewing police reports, witness statements, and any available evidence to determine liability.

Assessment of Damages

The insurance adjuster will assess the damages, including property damage to the vehicles and the extent of your injuries. They may request medical records and bills to evaluate the severity of the broken bones.


The insurance adjuster will engage in negotiations with you or your legal representation to reach a settlement. This process involves discussions about liability, the extent of damages, and compensation amounts.

Settlement Agreement

Once an agreement is reached, the insurance company will provide a settlement amount. If you accept, you may need to sign a release form, waiving your right to pursue further legal action in connection with the accident.


Upon acceptance of the settlement terms, the insurance company will issue a payment. This may cover medical expenses, property damage, and other related costs.

It’s essential to document all communication with the insurance company, keep thorough records of medical expenses

Ways to Maximize Your Settlement

Maximizing your settlement after a car accident involving broken bones in California requires strategic actions. Here are some unique tips that the everyday Californian might not be aware of:

Document Non-Economic Damages

In addition to medical bills and property damage, emphasize non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Keep a journal detailing how the injuries have impacted your daily life.

Consider Future Damages

Anticipate and document potential future damages, especially if the broken bones may lead to long-term consequences or ongoing medical treatments. This foresight can strengthen your case for a higher settlement.

Utilize Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

If you have Personal Injury Protection coverage, it can be used to cover immediate medical expenses and lost wages, providing financial support while your main claim is being processed.

Engage Expert Witnesses

If liability is contested or the extent of your injuries is disputed, consider hiring expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, to provide testimony supporting your case.

Highlight Policy Limits

Investigate the at-fault party’s insurance policy limits. If the damages exceed these limits, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement closer to the policy maximum.

Emphasize Emotional Impact

Clearly express the emotional toll of the accident. Stress how the injuries have affected your mental well-being, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Avoid Quick Settlements

Resist the urge to accept a quick settlement offer. Take the time to fully understand the extent of your injuries and their long-term effects before entering into negotiations.

Use Social Media Cautiously

Be mindful of your social media activity. Insurance companies may use your posts against you, so avoid sharing details of the accident or your recovery that could be misconstrued.

Seek Legal Advice Early

Consult with a personal injury attorney early in the process. An experienced lawyer can provide guidance on the unique aspects of your case and help you navigate the legal complexities.

Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer after a car accident involving broken bones in California offers several benefits beyond the obvious ones. Below are three advantages that people might not immediately consider:

Legal Expertise and Strategy

A seasoned personal injury lawyer possesses legal expertise and a deep understanding of California’s laws and regulations.

They can formulate a strategic approach to your case, identifying unique legal arguments or loopholes that could strengthen your position. This knowledge is crucial for navigating the complex legal landscape and maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Negotiation Skills for Higher Settlements

Skilled negotiators, personal injury lawyers excel at advocating for their clients. Insurance companies often have experienced adjusters working to minimize payouts.

A lawyer can level the playing field by negotiating on your behalf, leveraging their knowledge of case law, precedents, and the unique aspects of your situation to secure a higher settlement. Their negotiation skills can lead to a more favorable outcome than if you were negotiating alone.

Thorough Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Lawyers have the resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the accident.

They can gather crucial evidence, such as witness statements, accident reconstructions, and expert testimony, which can significantly strengthen your case. This level of diligence is often challenging for individuals to achieve on their own and can make a substantial difference in the success of your claim.

Get Connected with an Attorney

If you’d like to start your claim process today, reach out to LawLinq as soon as you can. We connect people just like you with some of the best car accident lawyers in the state for free. All initial consultations are free of charge.

About the Author

Jessica Anvar

California Consumer Litigation Attorney Jessica Anvar, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Lemon Law Experts California’s leading lemon law firm. She has multiple years’ worth of experience working with both state and federal lemon laws. Her practice focuses exclusively on consumer protection cases. Ms. Anvar received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University. Jessica is very active in her local legal community and has helped thousands of clients across the state of California. She has an outstanding record as a true advocate for consumers.

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